Thanks to Publetariat, I just came across the most revolting piece of “advice” I’ve had the displeasure to read. To be fair, if you’re a genre writer who hopes to be compared with well-known writers in your genre, this “advice” may be just what you need. If so, be happy. But for anyone who aspires to more than, however subtly or unsubtly, appealing to readers who simply want more of what is being churned out by the hundreds of thousands, it’s anathema. Yes, I’m that pissed off. Anathema.
The advice, on Duolit, boils down to these two simple rules: 1. The Unique Twist Algorithm. Choose “a well-known author with a similar writing style and genre. “take that author’s work and add a twist that describes why you are not only different, but *better* than that author…” Which leaves you with something like: I’m like Nicholas Sparks, but with more laughs and less tears. I’m like Stephanie Meyer, but with stronger female characters.
And 2. The Love Child Theorem. This one works for writers who mix genres and/or styles. Pick two more authors, each different from the other, but similar to you in some way. Put those two together and declare yourself their unique love child.
Figure out which of those two equations fits you best, and you have a way to describe yourself as an author if anyone asks.
Since humor doesn’t always come across well on the net, I wanted to think that post was meant to be funny or satirical, but the author’s replies to (approving) comments squashed that pretty quickly.
For any reader of this blog who doesn’t know what my position is on the importance of being yourself as an author, and the concept of writing “for the ages,” let this be your wake-up call.