Throwing Out Those Writing Rules - Melissa Schroeder

Throwing Out Those Writing Rules

Hey, there. It’s been a long time since I have chatted about writing. Mainly because every time I did a post, people wanted to debate the finer points. There are times that is good. Then, there are the times where I want to tell people to suck it. So that is usually not good, lol.

But, I wanted to encourage authors to step away from the rules. Yeah, you can go back to them. Believe me, I am a cappy, and I don’t like the idea of a world without rules. It actually makes me twitchy. So come along with me for a few minutes, especially if you’re stuck.

If you get any group of writers together, there is usually a discussion on all things writerly.We do tend to obsess the small things. Like, what day should I release (if you are selfpubbed)? What genres are selling? If I want to be with a publisher, where should we go?

Sadly, the last few years, we have started to sound like baseball lovers. You know the types, right? They spout off who has made more home runs in the fifth inning when the sun is in this position in the sky. It boggles the mind. Well, it boggles my mind, at least.

If you are like me, you obsess. I think it can actually be worse if you are self-pubbed. You have all those wonderful numbers at your fingertips 24-7. It is easy to focus on those things, look for patterns to tell you what is successful. It is one of my downfalls. I like to make calculated risks. It is part of my Cappy background, but it also has to do with my military background.

A plan doesn’t fail. You fail to plan.


I am throw that shit out the window. That’s right. If I went by numbers only, I would not be working on Angus. Callum did well two years ago in reviews. Most, not all, people liked the book, thought it well-written.  But, the sales weren’t there. I think I know why, but I will go into that at a later date.

When I was writing A Santini Christmas, I was planning my next year. I didn’t know where to go, but there was something I knew I was missing. A book that I needed to write, a series I had forgotten.

Not forgotten, but pushed the side. Why? Well, I look at those pesky numbers as I said before.  And, well, those numbers weren’t great. Harmless or any of my military books outsold Callum by a very large number. But the feeling grew that THIS was the book to do.

Other than the numbers, there was another reason, although it is slightly influenced by the numbers. The Cursed Clan has five separate love stories, but there is one story arc that goes through all of them: solving the curse. Because of that, I could not leave readers waiting another two years. I knew I would have to have the other three books out in the next 12-18 months. That meant I had to devote a lot of time to them, and some of that time would have to be carved from my writing time for other books. Books that make me more money.

So, by the rules I should be doing another contemporary right now, but I’m not. That comes when I finish up with Angus, but for now, I am going on instinct alone.


Categories: Clan Books Santini Upcoming Writing

3 Comments on “Throwing Out Those Writing Rules

  1. I am sure r your instincts will be right and people will start accepting the Clan. They are quite awesome! Expecially Callum! 🙂

  2. I have always felt better when I followed my instincts, and failed, than I have when I didn’t follow them, and failed. Follow your gut!

  3. Go with your gut. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, then what’s the point of doing it. Write whatever you want and we’ll read it.

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