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Ghost Stories, Rom-Coms, Mystery Fiction and You

Atlin Merrick brand new stories Shouty Encouragement

"I hope and pray no on has had this idea for a story yet!"

That's a tweet I saw this week, and it made me fly off the handle in about twelve different directions because, because, because...

...the thing about stories and human beings is that the first thing we probably did as human beings was tell each other stories.

Even before language we told about the fish we almost caught — it was this big! — about the spark we think might be something more, about how that person over there makes our heart go fast like this.

What I'm trying to say is that, as one human who has lived all her life around other humans, I believe we've always told each other stories and so after tens of thousands of years of this, there just can not possibly be a brand new story.

So what?

'Women's fiction,' LGBT Fiction, Mystery Fiction—It's All Been Done. So what?

Whatever the genre, whether a ghost story, caper comedy, rom-com, whether they're calling the audience segment this year 'women's lit readers,' 'gay fiction readers,' or whatever, the stories in those markets and about those topics have been told already. All of them.

But not by you.

Not with your brilliant brain, your background, your way with words. There are hundreds and thousands of stories told about vampires, villains, people falling in love, finding hope, healing, whatever.

Not. By. You. Though.

Your way of writing belongs to you, your viewpoint can not be shared by anyone at all because you are the one standing in that exact spot where you are, seeing what you're seeing, hearing what you're hearing.

So if, from where you stand, you have a story to tell about a gay woman, an autistic man, a trans person, a gay trans autistic astronaut, or whomever or wherever you want to write about…only you can do it, because only you have your viewpoint.

Don't hope the story's never been told, just tell us the story you have never told.

Because it'll be brand new.

And we want it.

“There are no new stories. It all depends on how you handle them.
In romances the characters are going to fall in love with each other;
you know that when you see the syrupy cover.
It's how [we] get there that's the fun.”
- Jude Deveraux

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