Saturday, July 11, 2009
The Nonromantic Romance Writer
This last week, I've done a great deal of editing on my manuscript. My new critique partner, the fabulous Ellen, has been invaluable in helping me tighten up my work by eliminating sections that don't forward the action, rehash something already told, thinly veiled info dumps, and the sort of nonsense and lazy writing habits that I'm prone to engage in.
From an entirely different, but no less reputable, source came even more useful critique concerning my ongoing struggle to master POV, pacing and active voice. These are all areas where I struggle, but I'm determined to get it right. The funny thing about this 'other' critique is that it pinpointed something that struck me as funny. The person said that if I hadn't indicated 'romance' then they would have thought my story was a straight paranormal fantasy. Why would I find that funny? Well, I'll tell you.
I mentioned before that my RWA chapter might eventually wonder what possessed them to agree to let me chair our upcoming conference since I'm probably the least romantic writer (or one of them) in the group. My strong affinity for fantasy and sci-fi writing (Neil Gaiman is in Chicago today at ALA accepting the Newberry medal for the Graveyard Book. WOOHOO!!) finds its way into all of my writing and if I had my wicked and warped way, our romance writers conference would be headlined by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Patrick Rothfuss. And what would that get me? I'll tell you. There would be a whole bunch of thoroughly confused and probably angry women out for my head if June weren't here to restrain me. Not that I could GET Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett or Patrick Rothfuss to come and speak but that wouldn't stop me from trying to convince them.
And to further illustrate my non-romantic ways, one of the two stories I'm working on currently has a character so reprehensible that even I think of him as the BIGBASTARD. He shows no sign of reforming and seems to be quite content with his lot in life, as it were. You would think that I, as the author, would have some control over his actions, but such is not the case. I'm letting him tell his own story and all signs are pointing to the road to ruin. We'll see what happens.
Anyway, again congratulations to one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, for winning a very prestigious and relevant award for an outstanding book.