Chapter 2 Bonus: Interview with Chris Wicking
The book promises an interview with novelist and crime critic Peter Guttridge, and I will be interviewing him and adding his interview to the site (on the fiction-writing tips page). Meanwhile, on this page I’m happy to present an interview with Christopher Wicking, one of the legends of horror film writing. His credits include cult classics The Oblong Box, Scream and Scream Again, Cry of the Banshees, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, Demons of the Mind, and To the Devil a Daughter.
Six Good Ideas About…Finding Your Niche
1. What do you like to read or to watch? That may be what you’d be most happy writing.
2. Don’t try to write for a particular niche because it seems to be ‘hot’ at the moment unless it’s one for which you have a real feel anyway. You won’t do it well, and most likely by the time you finish the trend will have moved on.
3. Never try to write down to a niche that seems easy (e.g., children’s books)—none of them are easy, it’s only that good writers make them seem easy.
4. Certain niches, such as crime novels and legal novels, lend themselves well to a series of books with the same protagonist. If you can do so with integrity, avoid killing off your protagonist—if the book is a success, you may want to bring him or her back.
5. The biggest challenge with a niche novel is to stay within the basic conventions of the genre, yet find something new that will set it apart from the competition. Allocate enough brainstorming time to come up with this before you start writing.
6. It’s a good idea to specialize at the start of your writing career, rather than trying to write in several genres at the same time. Once you have established yourself in one arena, you can choose to spread out into others (although your publisher may not encourage this!).
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“With compassion, wit and the wisdom from a long successful writing career, Jurgen Wolff guides you step by step, on the inner and outer journey to writing success.”
— Robert Cochran, co-creator and Executive Producer, ’24’
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