Writing & Publishing Tips: Write What You Want to Read by Liz Long (Guest Post)

Posted November 10th, 2014 in My Features, Writing and Publishing Tips / 18 comments

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Welcome to my feature, Writing & Publishing Tips.  Here, writers and readers alike can learn firsthand knowledge about writing and publishing from various authors (and occasionally me). I hope you enjoy, and never hesitate to ask questions.

 Guest Post

Write What You Want to Read

by Liz Long

We can all be picky readers. We know what we like, what genres we prefer, and are often cautious when picking up a new book outside the realm of our usual pages. I know what kinds of plots I love or what sort of romances drive me up the wall.

Four years ago, I set out to read a story that would stick with me.

I wanted to read a story about a strong girl who didn’t need to be rescued, who put logic ahead of emotion and thought things through. I wanted to read about a supernatural group of misfits who weren’t necessarily vampires or werewolves. I wanted a story full of mystery, one that would confuse and worry me as much as the main character when she discovers the information. And I wanted a little bit of romance, but not so much that it takes away from the plot or consumes the heroine’s thoughts.

I couldn’t find a story like that, not one that I truly thought had all those parts. So you know what I did?

I wrote it.

When I wanted to read a story with witches and murder and raise the hairs on the back of my neck, I bet you can guess what I did.

Yep. I wrote it.

One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever read was to write what you want to read. I know – it sounds simple. But really, isn’t that why we set out to write the story we did?

With my stories, I knew that these were the kinds of books that I would pick up in a bookstore for a closer look at the cover, that the back cover blurb would be enough to draw me in and at least make me give it a chance. And right now you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m only saying these things because I’m the author, but hand to heaven, these are the kind of books I’d read. But since they’re not out there, I took matters into my own hands.

If you think you’ve got a story full of interesting characters and a dynamic plot, WRITE IT. Short story, flash fiction, full on novel, whatever – readers who are tired of the same old thing will want to read it. GIFTED had several wonderful compliments, including that it was “a breath of fresh air” and a “unique story” because it’s unlike anything else on the market.

Turns out, other people are looking for those kinds of stories too. They’re giving me a chance because I wrote what I wanted to read. I’m proud to be an author of that kind of story. I think you will be, too.

Author liz longAbout the Author

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a Social Media & PR Strategist includes writing for LeisureMedia360 (Roanoker, bridebook, Blue Ridge Country magazines) in Roanoke, VA.

She currently has four books out. The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus with a murder mystery thrown in.” Her second book Witch Hearts, is a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. Her newest title, A Reaper Made, is a fantasy about a Reaper who must work a little magic to save her family’s souls from demons. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

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Reaper Cover by liz long Check out Liz’s new book:
A Reaper Made

Grace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

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18 Responses to “Writing & Publishing Tips: Write What You Want to Read by Liz Long (Guest Post)”

  1. Julie

    Great post! Yes, writing what you enjoy reading is the best way to get a good story and come up with something others will also likely enjoy.

    • Liz

      Thank you for reading! I think it’s a great way to make your own book that much more readable. If you’re excited about it for readers, they’ll be able to see that in your writing and hopefully like it almost as much as you do 😉

        • Liz

          Hmm, I think the first novel was probably the toughest. I had SO MUCH material to work in and of course a learning curve. Each book for me has gotten easier to write since as far as outlines, plotting etc because I know how to find my zone now 🙂

  2. Lily

    Great post! I firmily believe in writing what you want to read because then you will be passionate about your project.

  3. Jaclyn Canada

    Such a simple concept, but absolutely true. It I could write, I would have all kinds of stories to pop out that I want to read. Too bad I only have concepts and lack the ability to put them to page. Excellent post!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Awww, you know you could totally write a great story, but I bet finding the time would be hard.

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