Tuesday, 13 January 2009
New Year's Revolution - N M Browne
I thought for a New Year I am going to try a new approach to writing and come up with something that might sell well. How novel and innovative, I hear you say, how ambitious and how doomed.
Be that as it may, I have decided to have a go. So far I have a knee tremblingly handsome hero and a beautiful, feisty heroine. (I know this last is not strictly necessary, but I am a feminist and I don’t do swooners.) Should this work of potential popularity be funny or melodramatic? Should it be romance or horror? Should I try for something original - a vampire romance meets James Bond in fairyland? An everyday story of a skeletal scarred wizard with a dysfunctional family in a doomed love triangle with a teacher? Should I go for some genre bending – gothic comedy, chick lit horror - or keep it clean and neat and stick to fantasy?
That’s the trouble, there isn’t a recipe is there? I have a worrying feeling that this attempt at popularity will end up like every other – abandoned in favour of a story I can care about. I will end up doing what I always do and write whatever it is my recalcitrant imagination will deliver and hope for the best. Ah yes, our old friend hope again, would any of us ever write without it?
The trouble is that there are too many good writers, producing too many good books and while that is great for readers it is tough on writers. How do we stand out from the crowd? How do we trap the zeitgeist, hit those over stimulated teenage nerves, inspire cynical publishers to lunch, launch and love us and, more to the point, put some promotional money behind us? Damned if I know.
So, back to my heroine, do you think she should be an orphan with red hair and untapped magical powers – what if I gave her a lightning scar?