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A House is Not Always A Home
The Novelty of Choosing Niche Writing
Find Your Writer's Niche
The wonderful thing about writers is that each has a very special set of characteristics. Add to this feature their ancestral history, rich in cultural traditions and the end result is a treasure trove of interesting talents in writers. How do writers find their niche? One way is to dip into an objective view of your ancestral history. Are there unusual family traits that are worth putting to use in writing style and choices of writing niches? What fascinates or captures your imagination? There's always one or more particular aspects of life that seem to lure writers to greater depths of exploration. The niche interest may be the occult, a deep cultural heritage that marks their daily lives in a profound manner or unresolved crimes that hold a writer's imagination hostage. Houses have always been my personal choice for a writing niche.
A House Is Not Always A Home
I find the structure of houses and the architectural design speak volumes of the occupants of a home. To me, the two entities are inseparable. As an example, in my first book, "Barrow House," the house that inspired the story, was one I'd seen dozens of times in a neighboring town as a child. Actually, I saw a small slivered view of the house. It resembled a typical mansion of the Gilded Age. It was two stories, a white clap board, with Victorian gingerbread along the exterior and Romanesque, white marble columns. This house was completely surrounded by a tall, black, wrought iron fence. The fencing reminded me of one I'd seen enclosing a cemetery. Inside the fencing, to add further privacy, were large Canadian Pines that hid most of the rest of the house. Barrow House is a fictional name for the house and family who lived in this mansion. If anyone lived in this mansion. For more than a dozen years, the mansion seemed isolated from the rest of the town and passersby saw barely more than a twelve inch view in entirety. To a child's imaginings, the people who might have lived in this home couldn't know they'd inspire a fictional suspense novel that included a nine-year old child murderess and the deprivation and cruelty of diminished wealth after the Crash of 1929. It was easy to see how my early childhood fascination for houses would eventually become my writing niche.
In my second novel, "The House at the End of Langdon Road," the house that inspired this suspense story line was located in my home town. This house was a complete caricature in sensibility. The land around this cottage home was clearly in contradiction to the actual size of the house. A child imagines the small cottage house being swallowed up by the immense land upon which it stood. This story line was in direct contrast to "Barrow House," where wealth was the underlying cause of misery, suffering and death. The fictional owner of the House at the End of Langdon Road was a poor, immigrant farmer with seven sons, two of whom were convicted a crime they didn't commit as young teens. This house fit into my imaginings for creating characters and events that married well with the post World War II years and the onset of the 1950s. I chose to use the same town thirty years later and even included a few of the characters from Barrow House in cameo profiles. This is a deliberate attempt to insert familiarity between writer and reader, using sequeled characters even though the story line is completely different.
The Essence of Niche Writing
The essence of niche writing is to remain true to your chosen niche. There are two very good reasons for this. The first reason is readership. By choosing a niche, writers call in a wider scope of readership by genre and then, by niche. The second reason has more to do with marketability to publishers. A well-defined niche creates a writer's persona more quickly and more memorably. To readership, the niche becomes a method of identification. Potential lovers of suspense novels may not recall the title of your book. They will remember the niche if it's unique and supported by consistency. Aside from choosing an initial niche for new writers, there's the benefit of diverting the niche from fiction to non-fiction when the literary market swings in either of those directions as a result of readership popularity. The essence of niche writing incorporates the depths of a writer's deeply embedded heritage with their ability to embue readership with a unique insight into a niche you, the author, find fascinating and captivating.