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Writing About Writing for a Change

Looking through my notebook for something else, I came across the following I had written on an unknown date, and I do not believe I have used it.  Since the only thing I can come up with now is more writing about not writing, I thought this would be a nice change of pace.

Having decided to concentrate on my writing once again, I further decided to start a new novel and finish it quickly. This is hazardous, given my long history of starting novels and NOT finishing them, but I am always one to take a chance.  In my further defense, I did write the closing scenes of the last novel I vowed I would finish, so one could argue that I finished the first draft.  However, I am no hand at argument.

So I was wondering what kind of a novel to write, and I had this idea to write a tale of romantic suspense.  I enjoy some of those Gothics, you know, the ones that show a castle under a full moon with a woman in a long dress running away.  Victoria Holt is the mistress of that genre. I love her.  I do not feel equipped to write a real period piece, but romance and suspense, I can do, or so I think (perhaps I flatter myself, but let’s not disillusion me at this point).

I know romance publishers often have strict guidelines, so I did a Google search of romantic suspense publishers.  I have been having better luck with Google lately, and I did find something.

One publisher said they wanted strong, smart heroines.  I can do that.  I hate having a weak, wimpy lead character (NEVER MIND how I may act in real life; I am not writing an autobiography).  They want her to have clearly defined goals and meet with real obstacles. Hell, that’s just good fiction.  What does your character want?  What keeps her from getting it?  Another thing they like is snappy banter, like from 1930’s screwball comedies.  I love those old movies!  And I am good at writing dialogue, even if I do say so myself.

Things they don’t want:  when the only obstacle to love is fear from previous bad relationships.  OK.  Men who condescend or are meant to woman.  Well, that’s good.  I hate it when women fall for those creeps!

That was when I got tired of writing about writing and started taking notes on the novel I wanted to start.  Full disclosure:  it petered out before I got very far.  However, now that I have typed all that in, I am anxious to try again.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted as to how it goes.


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