Monday, August 02, 2010
What's your line in the sand?
I actually dragged myself to the public library and took out some books recommended by some bloggers this past month. A variety of genre.
Then I sat down and read them all.
Do you know what I found out besides the knowledge that I need to read more?
I don’t like reading the style of writing I was trying to write. I love stories with some personal background woven in it, some memories filtered through the dialogue, some real emotions—not the heart pounding, lump in the throat kind of sentences with only action and very little else.
I love good women’s fiction with some threads of romance.
What did all this mean to me as a writer?
It meant taking a harder look at what I have been trying to achieve. A book ago, I wrote a woman’s fiction and loved it. My heart fell into it and I wrote with a never ending desire. Then I found out contemporary women’s fiction isn’t selling. So I pulled out an old romance—what I thought I once liked to write—and revamped it.
What I did is called writing for the market. What I ended up with is a nice book but not one I’m convicted about. The kind of book that if someone stopped me in an elevator and asked me about it I’d not really know what to say. So I went back in and tried to add in the stuff I love. I tried to make it mine—not a generic romance.
It helped. But I still have this sinking sensation that it isn’t where it should be for me.
So I’ve drawn a line in the sand.
I started a new book and I’m forcing myself to write what I love. Or delete it all. When we don’t write for the market, it might mean a longer wait for publication. I finally accept that. But it also might mean more pride in my work.
What’s your line in the sand?