Pardon me while I hide.
With nerves gathering in my mind’s every corner ready to pounce on this Women’s Fiction gambit I’m starting this week, I am playing the coward for two last days.
Housework, garden work, and general busy bee work for my parents are on the books for today before a travel day tomorrow. Then…
The game is on!
(Heaven help us all.)
Next week, I write.
No more planning.
No more philosophizing on genres.
No more wheedling on plot differentials, character dynamics or outcome scenarios.
I’m just going to write the stupid thing and see what happens.
A loosey-goosey plan, I admit, but it’s time to see if Book #19 can fly.
With the Women’s Fiction arena now clear in my sights, it’s time to decide which of two story arcs do I ride into the party.
Plotline #1: Streamlined story; very complicated people. (i.e… Jack, a recovering alcoholic and borderline schizophrenic, and Jill, a narcissistic personality with deeply-seeded people issues, went up the hill to fetch a pail of water…)
Plotline #2: Very complicated story: streamlined people. (i.e…. Jack and Jill went up the hill in an effort to evade their own government which has turned inexplicably on its own spies and marked the pair for death; while there, the couple feigns fetching a pail of water while signaling their compatriots, an underground network of redeemed assassins.)
Of course, Plotline #1.5 would be ideal, but that would mean a novel approximately 450,000 words long… Um, no.
I’ll keep you updated.
Laboring through my parents’ lilac bushes with a bow saw in one hand and a wicked-looking clipper in the other, not a single thought was spared yesterday for the late 18th century love practices of my fictitious folk.
However, as I was warring with myself as to whether whacking a bush off at its shaggy, uncooperative ankles would be paramount to murder in Mother Nature’s eyes, I did decide to give this whole Women’s Fiction genre a go with my new book.
It won’t be so much a complete change of concept from Historical Romance, after all. It will simply be a refocusing of point of view.
I can do it.
Heck, it’s got to be easier than bush-dressing.
There is a tempo to a story, a certain beat that carries the audience along the plotline. It may leisurely lag, snagging on every hiccup, snaring on every sigh. It may merrily syncopate, speeding along the trills and whistles with nary a gathering breath.
There is no right or wrong. There is only rhythm.
Cup your hand to your ear, young author. Listen to the beat of your tale and sing along attentively.
Post-Note: I spent yesterday battling an oak tree for dominance in my parents’ front yard. My newest writing project got not a thought… hence, a post more generalized than I usually prefer. Sorry about that.
Ok, so my next novel is now all plotted out in my head (not outlined on paper or in chapter-form yet, but all there in the twitchy grey matter between my ears). Good, yeah?
If I do go the Women’s Fiction route and concentrate the majority of point-of-views on the female folk, can I handle a complicated storyline in a genre relatively newish to me? Should I cut down on the twists-and-turns and streamline the plot? Or am I overthinking the whole genre-thing and making rash decisions that play against my strengths as a storyteller?
Excuse me. I have a twitchy brain to bash against a brick wall.
Well, this is new. My next novel (only in its infancy stage) is facing an identity crisis.
Ok, perhaps “crisis” is a bit of an overstatement. It’s more of a genre wavering, I suppose.
Historical Romance or Women’s Fiction?
While one can be a subset of the other, there is still a world of difference between the two in the creation phase.
In Historical Romance the relationship, the romance, must remain the star.
In Women’s Fiction, the female lead may take and hold center stage. This does not mean that she must keep the spotlight all to herself. She can share it, absolutely. But it is her story, not the relationship’s which gets top-billing.
The question is… Do I have the guts to allow my new novel to lean towards Women’s Fiction instead of Historical Romance?
The answer is… I don’t have a clue.
I’ll keep you updated.
While I was scurrying around the American Southeast yesterday on a 7 hour road trip, I crawled into a bit of Liszt. Being a classical music nincompoop, I expected to be both impressed and confused. I did not expect to be inspired. But not only was I inspired, I crawled out of Liszt with my creativity completely re-energized.
Oh, I’m still clutching my nincompoop papers firmly to my chest. Unfortunately, I was not struck with sudden musical insight. But I was struck by the man’s creative process.
He did not “write” to create the perfect piece for the piano, he “wrote” to use the piano perfectly.
Language came before story.
It’s a flipside we often forget in our rush to get published, in our rush to get paid.
Just something to think about.
Post-note: I apologize for not letting you know ahead of time about my travel day Sunday. I completely forgot until Saturday’s blog was posted. Apparently, my nincompoop habits have leaked into my blogging.
Some say that a story’s title should fit the tale like a supple leather glove to the hand. It should contour to every curve of every finger, encasing the whole in timeless style and inarguable grace.
Some say that a story’s title should be little more than a catcher’s mitt. Meant to ensnare every reader that comes its way, it makes no apologies for its girth or its purpose.
I say that a story’s title should simply be a ring. Designed to fit on a single finger of the tale, it has no desire to cover the whole hand. It should sparkle best against the naked skin of the story…
With that silly analogy fresh in mind, I am proud to announce that my next novel has its ring!
I will now proceed to party like a fool.
Discouragement nipped at my heels yesterday.
Swatting away the little devil took an absurd amount of my attention.
The end result? Little work done and bloody ankles.
Kitting myself out in military boots and mace today.