Klieg light epiphany

Saturday, December 11, 2004

So, I've always suspected that my writing was going to eventually head in the mainstream direction. Single title contemp romance with an 'edge'. But being on a writing hiatus for the last week or so, left me with a lot of thinking time--always a dangerous thing--and I realized that I have the ratios all wrong. Most of my ideas, and how I'd like to execute them are definitively mainstream with a strong romance(tic) edge/subplot.

That Golden Heart entry I just finished? I don't think I have another one of those 'straight' romances in me. I'll always love that ms because it was my first and I learnt/practiced just about everything I know about writing on it. But I want to go further, explore other things, mix genres and if I keep thinking I have to stay within the parameters of what is acceptable for romance writing/reading in today's market it feels like eyeing a straightjacket for the fit.

There's a story (most likely trilogy) idea that's running through my head right now and I've taken to referring to it as 9 1/2 Weeks meets Anne Rice's vampires. That's the 'high concept' one liner blurb, there's more to it than that, of course, but it sort of gives you the 'flavor' of the concept.

Ironically the only reason I started developing this idea is because another idea I had--a twisted version on the classic 'secret baby' plot--was too dark to jump into after finishing my GH entry. It's a story of revenge and redemption. (Hero is an assassin and heroine as supected murderess (during time the story takes place).) It's just that every time I get an idea I keep digging and adding and twisting stuff, till it's just borderline romance, if that.

In terms of career planning and branding -- ie delivering more of the same to build readership and become more marketable to an agent/editor -- it looks like 'straight' romance is not where I should be toiling. And "toiling" is the operative word here. Mainstream is much more competive etc, to break into. *sigh* Maybe the strong romance subplot will still come to my rescue.
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Amie Stuart said...

It's a huge realization (and I know you and I have talked about this before), but I think knowing what you want to write and what direction you need to go is a huge thing! I'm in the same boat--i find myself wanting to do more and more mainstream/women's fiction than romance. The hard part is shaking off those romance rules (something I'm stiill grappling with). One thing I think will help is shaking off romance writing crit partners in favor of writers who write more mainstream stuff (like you! 8-D)

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