Lazy, Long Post

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I woke up today minutes after twelve, feeling like I did some major partying last night. I didn't. But the past week has been the pits, and very stressful, so I think my body/mind is enjoying the opportunity to fall apart. :-P It's 5:30 and I'm still in my pajamas, and my headache is only now abating...somewhat.

Anywho, I stumbled across a couple of interesting discussions today.

Sylvia Day and Alison Kent talk about the reluctance of fellow romance writers to critique each other's work *publicly*. I have this reluctance. I don't want to get caught in a flame war. I don't want those 5 rabid fans--(as opposed to the thousands of normal functioning adults ones)-- of Author X, who post on a gazillion messageboards all the day long, to tar and feather me all over cyberspace, just because I don't dig what their Queen has written.

Who needs that kind of grief?

I also don't want to shoot myself in the foot professionally if Author X's peers, crit partners, editor, agency, 'favorite reviewer' ect, decide that they are no fan of anyone who is no fan of author X. Everyone would like to rise above it all, yaddah,yaddah, but the fact remains that we're all human, shit happens, and memories are longer than some careers.... This industyr is tough enough, which newbie needs that kind of handicap going in? I like Paperback Writer's Take on the it: Do your business, then be on your way.

As a writer, I understand that most authors truly try to send their best out there (or at least their best first 3 chapters. snort), and I can see how feelings can get hurt. Yet the reader in me says it's not fair to my pocketbook if I don't hear the honest (if hurtful) opinions on various books/authors. I give wide berth to those sugary reviews with no depth, sign of critical thinking or intelligent dialogue. I have no use for them. And I thank God for reviewers like Mrs. Giggles, who give their unvarnished opinions, and places like All About Romance where the reviewers all say their piece and there are open forums for readers to post their own thoughts, rebuttals and feedback. I'll do the 'fake name' thing over there if I really feel I must say something publicly, but usually I keep my comments offline in private email exchanges with friends. Word of mouth is still word of mouth....

Speaking of AAR, they have a thread going on about the imminent demise of the Regency Historical. The thing that causes me concern here is the whole contemporary romance 'is the next big thing' mindset. Since that's sort of where I'm targetting, that should be a good thing, right? Lots of opportunities! Editors will be hungry for material! Except I think the same marketing formula that invaded Historicals -- Regencies with XYZ factors sold, everything else was given short shift--may come into play here. I'm not good at writing to (marketing) hooks. I'm still trying to find my voice and how I write. The inevitable 'narrowing' of focus re 'hooky' elements that will occur with the deluge of submissions chasing the 'next hot' thing doesn't bode well for a (beginer) writer like me.

On the other hand, because of this so called 'fatigue' of the recency set historical, we're already starting to see the market begin to open up to other eras and story/character types.

Finally, I ran across this post by Tony Pierce on how to be a successful blogger. gg. Suzanne McMinn did a column on this recently, and Alison has blog about having an attractive blog, that stands you out from the crowd and makes your site visually memorable. The one thing, most important thing, Tony forgot to mention,is: enjoy blogging. Do it because you enjoy it.

On to another Tony. Tony Falcon dropped by here earlier and left a nice comment. I followed the bread crumbs back to his place Life Undercover. He's a Texas NARC, and has some very interesting posts. Check him out.

This gentleman also has very interesting discussions going on at his blog. The Oxthodox world is completely foreign to me, so I find the comments sections--which usually run up to about 50 posts--facinating.

Back to the topic of writing, Larrissa Ione, Steph Tyler, and Jordan Summer's "You Ought to Know" posts offer some great pointers.
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ma said...

Thanks for all the links, Jaye! Jordan's was especially interesting.

I suppose I will soon be convinced that all my book reviews should only be posted privately, sigh.

Kate Allan said...

I think there is a difference between critiscising what an author writes (e.g. not to your own taste) - I would never do this. But I do review novels for the Historical Novels Review. I usually try and think who the likely readership is and phrase my review towards them. But a weak book is a weak book. And I'll write that in a review and sign my name to it, no problem.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the Tony Pierce link. That was fun!

Danica said...

Wow great sites!! Shhh... I'm supposed to be finding the address I need for later. Yeah, I know, this is not, but it's so much more fun to be here!

Sasha White said...

Great! SO many ways to procrastinate!! *g*

As for the writers commenting on other writers I think we can say what we along as it's known as an opinion...and is not "slamming" them.

Remember my post about Laurell K. Hamilton's new series. We had a bit of discussion about it, but it wasn't BAD. And I sincerely hope if she ever read it she wouldn't be offended by it. It as just my opinion.

Jaye said...

Jorie, you feel comfortable posting your reviews, you're only second guessing yourself because of the ongoing discussion. I say, keep on doing what you're doing.

Kate, the difference there is, you're reviewing, and as you point out, writing *to* a certain audience. It's another thing to post your opinion, then have someone take it the *wrong* way, or personally and start some cyber-based vendetta. :-P

Suzanne and Danica, you're both welcome! I check out a number of blogs, not just writing/reading based ones, thought I'd throw a couple out there for others.

Sasha, I do remember that discussion. Maybe it was safety in numbers? lol. I wasn't the only one who was less than enamoured with LKH. But that discussion still didn't really touch upon specifics. There was talk about not getting her voice, and comments on not finding her work particularly 'erotic', but that's it. Plus LKH is not one of those lightening rod authors--like, Suzanne Brockman, fer instance--where passions can quickly escalate any discussion into a flame war. :-P

Anonymous said...

Great links on this piece. I loved the undercover work. Jordan

Sasha White said...

Jaye~ I get what you're saying.

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