At the heart of everything successful I’ve ever done, there have been several core values that represent who I am as an author and the type of things I want to create. I’ve discusses many aspects of these things before, but here are the values proper:
1. Write To Be Read – This is one of those values that isn’t as obvious as it seems. The goal of writing a story is to write something that you want to read and that others want to read, but it’s easy to get lost along the way and end up creating goals that don’t serve this value. The truth is, it’s not about a story that others want to read. It’s about having every moment, as much as possible, be cool and exciting and worthwhile. It’s tough to get every sentence, line of dialogue, and story to fulfill this value but it’s certainly something to strive for and every one of my books has been better because of this.
2. Write For All Levels – I’ve always wanted every type of reader who enjoys my stories to be able to do so. This means catering to every level of engagement possible from the most casual reader to the average reader to the fan to the super fan. If you just want a good story, you should get that. If you want arcs that build across multiple books, you should get that. If you want things to be able to speculate about for hours, then that too should be available. And the story should be enjoyable no matter which one of these things (or even something else) that you want.
3. Have Value – Not value as in a principle that you stand for, but value as in substance. Every story should be a story of value. Everything that you do should have value. Nothing should be arbitrary or forced. This is probably the value that summarizes the others, but I think it certainly stands alone.
When I’m having difficulty writing, I usually look to these things to find what the problem is. Most of the time, writer’s block stems from losing yourself. From losing sight of the thing you set out to do in the first place. And these values guide me back to my original intention and I will keep them forever. This is how The Library Series was made and how I became an author. This is how Memory Blood is being made. This is how RMV Mysteries is being made. And I am very proud of all of these series and I know that anything that I work on in the future will be something to be proud of as well as long as I remain true to the values in my heart.