Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Romance and Obsession

I'm still working on marketing my novel. I had to rewrite the synopsis because it didn't reflect enough of the plot. It is hard to cut 80k words, 3 plot threads, and 8 characters to 3 pages. It takes the voice right out of the work.

Been reading a commercially successful romance writer, this was a 'western' type, 160k words long. I noticed how many of those words had nothing to do with the plot. Most of it was him obsessing about her, not her problems, but her appearance! The plot wasn't advanced by this, it just made him look like a fool. A fool in love, I suppose, as it was all about her being plump and how he didn't mind. (Bulletin: men aren't that picky.) Scarcely a thought for the villain lurking in the background, though the man had whipped a horse half to death.

The operative word is "commercial" as in women's commercial fiction. It was just like a Harlequin only 3 times as long.

I didn't write a traditional romance. My focus was on the plot, not what she looks like. (Can you focus on the POV's appearance when she's not looking in a mirror?) I may not be able to market it as 'romance' first. I didn't dwell on the obsession of 'love' Heroine is too busy trying to keep ahead of her employees.

I'm so glad that I kept the POV changes to a minimum! If he spent all his time mentally undressing her, the plot would be strangled. And the book would double in size. (Yikes!) Especially with the hero's back story, I don't want him to appear unbalanced. As Hero says to Heroine: "I'm not a nutcase."

Oh there is so much to learn! I suppose it all comes down to writing what I want to read, and can't find: Intelligent, well plotted fiction, with two adults who fall in love and solve a problem. A story that avoids both the 'dour alpha-male' who is brainless brawn, mentally undressing the heroine because he's driven by his hormones. As well as the shallow self-obsessed heroine who spends all her time looking in mirrors and wondering what clothes to wear.

Is there a market for such fiction? Or am I the only woman who browses through the book stores thinking: "I could write so much better than that!"

Stay tuned.


Karlin said... are not the only woman who thinks they can write better. I have often thought that. Maybe you can give me pointers on how to get started. I can write something if it assigned, but I have trouble coming up with my own ideas. Sheesh! :P


Ms Kitty said...

Oh Bird,

Just remember all the silly things that happened to us while we were partying. I think that you could come up with something if you thought about it.