If It's So Easy, Why Haven't YOU Written One Yet? By Maree Anderson (for Writers Gone Wild)
I'm so over this year. And it's only February!
Sheesh. Not looking good, people. And I thought 2009 was a shitful year.
But I won't rant and rave and loose the slavering beast of my discontent, or submerge you in the tidal wave of disappointments I have right now about this whole writing business. Been there. Done that. DH is wearing the earplugs and sporting the hunched shoulders to prove it. (And BTW, the exaggerated metaphors were entirely intentional. I don't write like that for real, I promise.)
My son is home right now with some weird allergy and I have to keep whizzing downstairs to check whether he needs another antihistimine. So I'm gonna be brief and for once, to the point.
DH and I have this friend. She's smart -- very smart. And very capable. I like her. A lot.
She was talking to us about category romance novels. Why? I'm not sure. Because it's not like she reads them. Maybe she thought we were discussing my so-called writing career. I don't know and I didn't ask.
Anyway, this is essence of what she had to say: "I'm thinking of knocking one out. Because, you know, they're so easy to write. Anyone can write one ."
DH bit his tongue and didn't try to disabuse her. Neither did I. We figured we'd be wasting our time.
But afterward, well, color me furious. And infuriated. And any other fury-filled adjective you can think of. Not to mention gutted.
Because I'm trying to write a category romance at the moment. And one thing it is not, is "easy to knock out". Not even for someone who's completed 10 full-length manuscripts ranging in length from 45,000 words to 125,000 words, and kinda likes to think she knows what she's doing by now. Not even for someone who's published a novella, and with another one imminent, hopes she's mastered the art of sticking to a limited word count.
I haven't got past the plotting stage. Okay, let's be painfully honest. I haven't got past a title, names for my two main characters, and a paragraph description about the hero and heroine. I'm not even a plotter, but I know that to write a category romance, everything has to be tight, so I'm plotting an entire scene by scene outline first. Or at least, that's the plan.
And it's hard -- really hard. I have even more respect than I previously had for all those category romance writers out there. I'm hoping one day I'll be good enough to join your ranks. But I'm not holding my breath.
So for an intelligent, modern-day career woman to claim she could "toss one of those off no problems"? Hah. I don't think so, love. Because in the first place, you have to love reading them. And if you hold the genre in such contempt, it's gonna show in your story. And believe me, no-one will want to read your story. End of story. Period.
And if it's soooo easy to write one, then why hasn't she set to work and done just that?
Well, that is easy. Because talking to people about how easy it is to write something -- anything! --is far easier than putting butt on chair, fingers to keyboard, and actually doing it.
Hope I can bite my tongue next time I meet up with her.
(Not So) Cheers,