You Want Me to Write about WHAT?
I’ve been a writer on the side for several years now. Officially, that is. Unofficially I’ve been writing since I was…well, a lot younger than I am now (let’s not get hung up on details). I’ve gone through the stages where I wrote tried to figure out what to write and who to write it for. I’ve scoffed at some genres then been knocked on my butt when I found out how well some of those genres sold. Through it all I have been write about one thing – writing a book about basket weaving is not going to make me rich! 🙂
A while back I read a study that indicated the majority of e-readers were owned by women. It wasn’t a big majority, but anything over 50% counts. Conversely, the majority of tablets were owned by men (or in my case owned by me but used by my children to play games on). That made me begin to understand why some of the genres were so successful (e.g. romance and it’s many shades). So all I had to do was write romance-ish books, right? Well… not exactly.
My wife recently picked up 50 Shades of Grey. I was torn on the decision. On the one hand it’s a book with loads of bad reviews, written by a writer that made me grimace when I sampled the blurb and some of the text within, and it’s very poorly edited. Professionally speaking, I just couldn’t condone it. But then there’s the sheer volume of copies sold, not to mention the promising secondhand mention of the affect its had upon women reading it (one friend recommend I “nip down to the shops and get some plastic ties, cuffs & a whip”). With advice like that, how could I deny her?
To continue the tangent, my wife is most of the way through it and her opinion of it is that it’s not her thing (the BDSM), the writing seems immature or inexperienced, and there are countless mistakes throughout that are driving her crazy. But she’s still reading it. And no, I haven’t needed the ties, cuffs, or whip.
So I asked her what the deal was. The movie Magic Mike was a big success amongst women and the most regular review is that there’s too much plot and not enough dancing. Similarly, books like 50 Shades are light (at best) on plot and long on smut. Is this a sign that (like usual) most men have no clue what women want? Do you ladies want sexy, fun, light, and humorous entertainment without the burden of plot and story behind it? Oh sure, there needs to be enough to make it look good if somebody should glance over and ask about it. Think of it as a beard covering the steamy parts hidden within.
I asked my wife that same question and I got a half smile and a shrug. That’s it. What the heck is that? How do I, and other writers, provide the kinds of things you’d like without being able to get any clear guidance or data? Maybe that’s just my man-brain and the quest for something that makes sense, but throw us a bone here. Ladies, you’ve been dating and marrying us for years. You know by now us guys don’t do well picking up subtlety. Help us help you…
To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.