Never say Never Trying something different

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

You may want to skip this post. It's a long-assed all about me one. Or you can go right to the end to see my writing goals for next year :-P

I've mentioned before that the year turned out not too bad for me. I set goals and achieved a lot of them. But, one of the most notable goals that I fell short of meeting had to do with the writing. I pushed myself and made some progress, but not nearly enough. I've had to sit back and analyzed the possible problems:

I was in a dark place emotionally for the past (couple of) years. There were/are two unlikeable people in my life who I had to interact with on a daily basis, and those interactions, inevitable, filled me with hate and anger, more and more. One of the things I worked on this year, was to *not* let those two get to me because I barely recognized myself as the laid-back, calm, jokey person I'd been most of my life. Instead I was a coiled tangle of ugly feelings and knee-jerk reactions. *bletch* (Not a conducive mindset to creatively writing passionate, humorous, love stories)

So instead of funny, hot, emotional, contemporary stories, I was caught up in a dark fantasy pseudo historical romance, which was more plot heavy, than character driven. The darkness in the mss reflected some of what I was feeling in real life, I guess that's why I couldn't let it go. But even the other mss I was working on, that had more humour, was still missing that emotional/character-driven component which I think is a major strength/driving force in my writing. I'm tired of pushing, and poking, and pulling. I want to be carried away.

So... those two books have been put aside for now. I promised a bunch of people I'd start submitting my first ms again (Felicity Stripped Bare in the sidebar). To that end, I tweaked the first paragraph a bit, then sent the whole thing off to the GMC Queen, Dee. I got several requests (fulls/partials) for it, but no sale. Maybe Dee can give me some idea of why. Or maybe I just hadn't sent it out to the right agent/editor yet.

Next up, I have a couple of contemporary romances that I need to go back and finish. Hindsight tells me part of the problem with them was that I was attempting to shift from the strength of 'character-driven' to plot-driven. A little more structured plot can only do good, but it's not what drives my writing. So, I'll have to untangle those twisty-twist plots I cooked up, and revise with something more streamlined.

But, it's hard to jump back in to mss left cold for months/years. I want to feel that emotional connection to my characters that I now know is vital to my writing. Being caught up with fascinating world-building or plot twists will only take me so far and then no further. And, there does have to be a strong enough frame-work of GMC/plotting to sustain a single-title length. My brain needs a bit of a rest from that type of in-depth planning.

So.... I'm working on a novella/short story length erotic romance (Song of Surrender in the side bar). 50-100 pages. Yeah, yeah, I've been decidedly unenthusiastic about overly sexualized stories (mostly because the sex was at the expense of character, believable/interesting plotting) and I'm on the record for saying I can't write short. lol. But novella writing will help me get out of the rut I'm currently in because, most of the focus will on the H/h (their emotions & responses), and I can avoid making the back-story/world-building/plotting too complex or worrying about supporting the story over a longer page count. Also, I'll probably get around to finishing Leif Irondik. *g*

I now know that the sooner my H/h interact, the better for me. The stories really hit their groove when I have the H/h playing off each other emotionally, sexually, personality wise. I need them in conflict, or engaging banter, or fighting/responding to sexual attraction before all the external plotting gets out of hand. And no more love triangles. At least no more love triangles where Hero B is in the spotlight for the first couple of chapters, when I know in my heart that the real hero, Hero A, is waiting in the wings.

Writing goals for next year:

1. Focus on getting the single title romances done and at the door, starting with Felicity Stripped Bare. While there seems to be a death knell ringing over the contemporary romance sub-genre at the moment (move over Westerns, chick-lit, and Regencies), I naturally write with a high level of sexual tension/physicality, so the level of heat might still get me some interest. :-/

2. As a counter-point, keep writing (and hopefully get published) the novella length erotic romances (which seem to be mostly fantasy/sci-fi based at the moment). They'll give me a break from writing the longer contemporary romance books, but keep me productive at the same time.

3. Writing Related: might do something about a new blog design/web-site. We'll see. But I may adapt a schedule like a number of other writers (Writing Wednesdays, Thursday Thirteen, Reviews on Mondays, etc) so I can get this blog a little more lively again.
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Jordan Summers said...

Vanessa, It seems like a very good plan. I broke down and started a novella to get my writing moving. It really does help. Good luck with your New Year's plan. :)

Jaye said...

We're on the same page again, Jordan. lol. Well I'm on page 36 of a possible minimum 50 pages, so already I feel like I'm making progress. ;-) Good luck with your own plans!

Jorrie Spencer said...

Hey those are great goals! Definitely get those mss out. And 36 pages is very good :)

raine said...

Go get 'em, Jaq! :-)

Amie Stuart said...

Good luck babe! I know you can do it!

Plot-heavy Hmmm why does that make my bell ding =(

Kat said...

Ewe can dew eeeeeeeeeeet.

Jaye said...

Thanks guys! You know I'm wishing the same for you all. Although I think I'm in the worst shape here. :-P

Kat!!! Where the heck have you been girl!?

Kat said...

Buried beneath finals. I have 3 weeks off tho. Guess what I just picked up? A novella that I am using to 'get back in shape'. We's thinks alikes you's ands I's.

Sela Carsen said...

I'm so proud of you!

Sasha White said...

You are going to kick ass this year. Well, you always kick ass, but this year, you're going to enjoy it. :)

Jaye said...

Yay, Kat is writing again!

Sela - thank you. :-)

Sasha - from your mouth to god's (and any receptive agent's/editor's) ear. ;-)

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