Gatecrash: Liberating creativity in the age of boilerplate fiction

Here’s the first of a series of posts about creativity vs. formula in fiction writing. I’m looking forward to the rest. And the comments are worth reading too.



Last March I developed a long essay on the state of fiction these days, as I see it — particularly the fiction we associate with the indie market. It’s probably thought of mainly as genre fiction, though there’s a mixed bag of material out there, available predominantly as ebooks from It struck me — still strikes me, in fact — that the tools offered by online publishing present an enormous opportunity that’s not being taken advantage of by writers, artistic freedom being the biggest elephant in the room.

I had planned on publishing the essay as a standalone ebook, but over the course of the year I realized that hawking my novels is hard enough. I’ve decided instead to post it in eleven parts here on the blog, offering it at the end as a free pdf download. Each part will run about a thousand words so it’s easily…

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    1. Writers see so much advice that adds up to writing the formula genre novel that many believe that’s the only right way to gain credibility as a writer. The ideal package is copies sold + 5 star ratings gained + readers “hooked” on your “brand” = Success. Every other configuration is either failure or writing as a hobby. (Now maybe this is just my biased opinion; as you’ve probably guessed, I haven’t as yet achieved Success and may never do so).


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