Saturday, 17 January 2009

Squelch

The rainy season should have tapered off last month but - it didn't. It poured over the holidays. It poured yesterday; on the way home from work after the deluge the upper air was clearing up but the side valleys were crammed with white cotton. Today it poured again. Great weather for writing or editing, one would think, but did I spend the cosy hours constructively? Nah. My son made the mistake of sharing a website that has links to all the TV shows and I've been pigging out on Desperate Housewives. Yes, you read that correctly.

Since I started the day job a little over a year ago my writing has suffered. I finally finished the edits to romance #2 in December but did I spruce up the digital copy and send it off to the agent? Nope. I asked my sister to read it through and tell me her thoughts. She brought it back today and she likes it a lot, much more so than Café au Lait. She did not like one character's story arc, however. I told her I'd actually written him differently in the first draft but changed it after some feedback from the agent. My sis preferred the first version. I thought it was too predictable; the current one adds a bit of a twist to the end, and I think it trumps the first. I'm leaving it as is.

She doesn't see the story as romantic suspense, though. It's romance, but on the dark side, with a compelling subplot that she loved. (She's not a fan of romance novels generally, and would love to see me get back to work on my other projects, the ones that do not fall into the genre. And the truth is, so would I.) My present quandary is: what is this novel? It's romance, but one of the subplots is pretty strong, probably more so than the lovey-dovey stuff. The other subplot falls right into the suspense arena, but it's not enough to make the story romantic suspense. So where does it fit? Where will it fall in the marketing scheme of things? I know - I should send it off to Susan and let her do the worrying. I will, I will. Soon.

I've been doing a lot of avoiding and procrastinating, but I've got to get my act together now. I have the day job. I have the writing and promoting. And I made a commitment to my son to help him manage his fledgling business. Yes, he's struck out on his own. So, I either do some serious structuring of my time or I'll (continue to) get very little done. Time to slap myself out of the inertia, which I think is a result of my worrying and obsessing over stuff. In the meantime, it's back to those Housewives. I've got five more episodes to get through, you know. Don't you just love that Longoria girl? And Marcia Cross is awesome. Oh dear. Do I have a problem? I watch episode after episode - me, the one who's always avoided TV. Maybe watching it on the Internet doesn't count? Yeah. Right. Am I obsessive-compulsive or something like that? Or is it just the prolonged rainy season that's bogging me down in all this sticky broodiness, avoidance and self-indulgence?

8 comments:

akalol said...

I was on The Lady Young a few days ago when out of blue skies came a downpour. The day was dull after that and I thought of Al Gore.

I am looking forward to your next book and I am sure it would be at least as good as Cafe Au Late and classified appropriately - bestseller :)

Don't worry too much about the TV phase since you will end up bored like all former addicts. But it might also be inspirational for you future novels :)

Stephe said...

Good luck to your son!

And to you too, this 2009. May your tree bear even more fruit than before. (Hey--I am digging on this new purple. Nice!)

JJ said...

Oh Liane, honey I'm sorry you're feeling a bit ... It's very confining, this tropical rain, isn't it? But I can't think anything better than getting stuck into a series while you're all cosy inside. Lovely.

Debs said...

I think you should go with your gut instinct with your book. I loved Cafe Au Lait, and am sure you'll know the best way to write the second one too.

Flowerpot said...

Rain is so, so dispiriting - well the English kind is anyway. Best of luck wiht the book - I'm sure it will all sort. Soon.

KeVin K. said...

Romance novels constitute over 50% of all book sales in the USofA. I'd say go with the romance label, half your sales will be to people who buy because it says romance on the cover.
Once you've broken into publishing, you can see about breaking out of your initial genre. But don't confuse book buyers too early in the game.
My friend and writing mentor Kristine Kathryn Rusch uses a different pseudonym for each genre in which she writes. (Gee, maybe you should consider using a pseudonym....) She had to establish herself as a marketable science fiction and fantasy writer before publishers were willing to take a chance on her manuscripts in other genres.

wordtryst said...

akalol, I don't think of Al Gore that much; I think of the countless others who've been sounding warnings for decades before anyone had heard of Gore, when words like 'ecology' and 'conservation' were new and radical.

My end of the island has to be the rainiest; we call this valley Trinidad's bathroom.

Bestseller sounds like the best label EVER! :)

wordtryst said...

Hey Stephe, thank you, on behalf of both of us. You know I wish the same for you and your son too! (Re the purple: thought it was time for a change... :)

JJ, I've sidetracked the blahs by getting totally lost in the series. It was lovely escaping, although I felt terribly guilty about it. :)

Debs, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I have to tell you that your feedback really buoyed me up, and I printed the post for my 'feel good' file! I am indeed trying to trust my instincts with the second book, and to get past the wobbles and uncertainty.

Flowerpot, thanks for the good wishes, and yes, it all tends to get sorted out in the end despite our misgivings. (I've heard about that English rain of yours...)

Kevin, those are the very stats that made me start with romance. And you're right, of course. This is not the time to be jumping genres all over the place. Your wise advice is always appreciated. Thanks for the link, and I'll give that pseudonym suggestion some thought!