How do you decide what to write? How do you pick out the story or the theme or the characters of your next book?
I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes an editor decide to buy and publish the books they choose. I read fairly voraciously. I read a lot in the genre in which I write, but I read in other genres as well. Most of the time I can definitely see what attracted an editor to a book. But sometimes I read one and I think "I don't get it." Of course I'm not supposed to, I guess. Books are not all chocolate fudge sundaes. Everyone likes chocolate fudge sundaes, but a steady diet of them, more than likely would make most of us ill. And I am smart enough to know that my taste in books is not the be all and end all of everything. Which is a shame because I really have excellent taste.
So, what influences do we listen to when we sit down to start that new book? I have noticed that everyone and her grandma is writing young adult these days. The same can be said of paranormals. The theory for some is that if you write a young adult paranormal you are guaranteed a sale. I'm in trouble then because I am not overly fond of teenagers. Five years teaching high school English and history will do that to you. I love paranormal, but I think I would want to write something completely different rather than what everyone else is writing.
How, then, do you decide? Do you write to please yourself? Do you write with the absolute intention of making your story marketable no matter what? Is it possible to write a story with one audience in mind and then rewrite or edit if for another audience because the powers that be think it will sell better as this or that?
I guess my real question is how attached are you to your story ideas? How much are you invested in them? When you are looking for that next story idea, what sorts of things influence your choice? Inquiring minds want to know.
I'll be back. Suddenly I am craving a hot fudge sundae!