Have you ever read that book that broke all the rules? You know the one that wasn’t very well written, had all the –ly and –ing words that we're constantly told are taboo and will see your baby stuck in a slush pile forever? I just did and let me tell you I loved it! Once I got over the passive sentence endings and contractions that seemed out of place and weird dialogue of teenagers too cool for school, I really enjoyed the storyline and the general premise and mood of the book.
Lauren Kate’s ‘Fallen’ is a story that I thought would be about vampires or something paranormal since the blurb talks about Luce’s former lives and does she really want to know about her past.
‘Some Angels are destined to fall’ (You’d think I would have read the first line of the blurb but I didn’t even see it…)
‘Instant. Intense. Weirdly Familiar…
The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows that she has never felt like this before. Except she can’t shake the feeling that she has… and with him – a boy she doesn’t remember setting eyes on.
Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her – or destroy her?’
Let me tell you that I really enjoyed reading this story but again, it had everything that I’ve been told lately in one form or another that publishers don’t want. It had parts in it that just seemed to hover for no reason, parts the story could have done without. Until the pieces of the puzzle started to fall and jam into place.
Anyway this post isn’t about good reads. Not really. Something else I’ve seen a lot of lately has been the ‘my work doesn’t seem to fit’. Fit what? Is there a mold for writers among the genres that your story has to follow a certain set of rules? Even the Harlequin lines don’t contain specific sets of ‘rules’ that are written in blood and concrete. Sure they have guidelines and each has its own kind of 'prerequisites' but they aren’t rules. I’m guilty of the same thing so many other new writers are and that is writing to a line. I’m not saying you should go off on your own and write down everything the way you see it. Blaze still needs sex, Presents still needs the sexy-as-sin Alpha and Historical still needs the facts and history.
I’m saying that maybe we need to write what we want first and foremost and then find a home for it once that baby is finished. It’s all well and good to want to get published and the quicker the better, I’m in the same boat, but what happens when you submit or enter a competition and the answer comes back ‘We already have stories like this’ or ‘We already have writers with voices similar to yours’.
Is it because I wrote to the ‘rules’? Who knows. So for 2010, my resolution is to write what feels good for me. I’m going to go with my gut and see where I end up. Now, I’m not one for making resolutions. Generally, I think they suck. Most people make their resolutions and goals with unrealistic expectations and don’t take into account outside forces. So I’m setting myself the goal of pleasing myself this year (you can stop chuckling and get out of the gutter now). My need and want to be published is as strong as it was in 2009, it’s even stronger. I really thought 2009 was going to be my year to shine but now, with only three days to go till another year ticks over, I’m not disillusioned enough to think the phone is going to ring with that ever elusive ‘call’ in the next 72 hours. But it won’t get me down. 2010 I’m going to work harder and work smarter and write the way I want to write. I’m going to be happy about my writing and my characters and my prose. But most of all, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. I'm going to enter the Clendon, Little Gems, maybe Fire and Ice. I'm even working on a cover for the Little Gems cover comp. It's going to be a great year with lots of fun to be had.
What will you do? What are your resolutions and how do you plan to stick to them?
Till 2010, be merry and safe =)