My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year is a mishmash of books, movies, writers and TV shows that have in one way or another taught me something about writing and helped me be a better writer. Some inspired my own stories and a few taught me what not to do. Each post is a one minute lesson on writing. The IWSG is also taking part in the challenge. You can find some writing inspiration during the entire month.
Charles Todd is actually a mother/son writing team. They write two different mysteries series set in England during the years after WW I. The things that draw me to the series is the intricacies of the plots but also the many ways class distinctions impacted police work. The horrors of WWI play into nearly every novel, but the terrible way battles were waged, the incredible loss of life and the guilt many of the survivors experienced. The support veterans received from the government and the public was pathetic and attitudes unforgiving for anything perceived as self-pity or weakness of spirit. The mysteries Inspector Ian Rutledge face are solved by intelligence and persistence rather than clever forensics. When I first started writing, one of the hard and fast rules was that certain time periods just wouldn't sell. Anything WWI or WWII would be rejected by every agent and publisher. Don't even mention Vietnam or Korea.
Lesson: Don't let anyone tell you what will or won't sell. If a certain time period or location is what you're interested in writing, then write it. Compelling stories, intricate plots and a captivating writing style is what makes your books successful. This applies to other things besides time periods, such as certain genres. Are vampires devoid of all popularity? Not if you have a unique, compelling take on the genre.
Some wisdom from the Old Farmer's Almanac.
It is considered lucky to born on Good Friday
"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent."
Marilyn Von Savant
Have you ever had anyone tell you that the genre you're writing is a mistake? Have you read any good books set during one of the World Wars? Is there a certain time period a novel could be set in that you would never read?