Well, honestly, I don't often feel that I have much of a choice. The "Muse" makes that decision for me. No, I am not insane. 'She' is my inspiration...the one that takes an idea and runs with it through time until the perfect people are created; the perfect time decided upon; the perfect conflict crafted; etc.
The MUSE is inspiration, and I honestly believe it's something only true writers have. Is it an entity? An overactive imagination? Maybe both?
If you aren't a writer, this makes no sense and you are currently wondering about my mental stability. Like I mentioned before -- I am sane, or as sane as any writer gets. ;)
So, I write what I'm inspired to write. Romance. You may not like romance...then chances are good you won't want to write it. I don't care for science fiction that much except for an occasional Star Trek episode/movie. But I do love paranormal fiction.
Words of wisdom: "Don't write what you know -- write what you love."
Of course you have to do the research if you aren't familiar with aspects of the story -- such as the setting; the time period; a specific occupation one of your main characters has. Research is an important tool to any writer. Get the facts straight or someone, somewhere will catch you...then it'll really hit the fan! ESPECIALLY if you want to write a historical novel. Do not try to fudge your way through history...unless you're creating your own version for a fantasy...because those readers can be very unforgiving.
It all boils down to this: What do you tend to read? What kind of stories draw you in deep and don't let go until that last page is turned? THOSE should be the stories that you write. Whether they be mysteries, sci-fi, young adult adventure, fantasy, etc, etc.... Only you (and your muse) can make that decision.
Don't try to follow the market because the market will leave you behind. Most books put out by the BIG houses (ie: NY pubs) were bought a year ago or more. The editors may be looking for something completely different now. So, write what you love and hopefully someday you'll be blessed to share it with others.
STEPS in WRITING:
1. Choose your POV
2. Let an idea gel in your mind
3. Research as necessary to get started
That's how you begin. But we aren't done! There are a lot of traps and tricks along the way. I don't know them all, honestly. Writing is one of those careers where you are constantly learning and honing your craft. However, I will continue to share what I do know....or think I know. ;) Hopefully, some of my fellow writers will come out to play as well.
Any questions? Please ask! I'll give it my best shot.