Wednesday, April 3, 2019

IWSG: Writing Wishes

Oh hey! Its Insecure Writers Support Day. Ya know; first Wednesday of every month. EVERY MONTH.

Like, (face palm) duh, how could I forget? Well, easy peasy, for me. Not like I did not remember - nah, its like, I know its coming, I know what I need to write, I know I need to write a post, answer the question, have something to say . . .

And then, POOF, the thought flits in and out of my brain. Instantly. There and gone!

So I'm unprepared; writing this after 10pm Tuesday. I posted though . . right?!?

April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

FIRST CHAPTER!!! I have a completed trilogy (counting the two books I lost in a computer transfer and need to re-write) and just have never been happy with the first chapter of the first book. This has been through more changes than a baby in their first year of life. I've submitted the novel too many times, to all manner of Agents and publishers, and have yet to garner any interest in the novel. Its the first chapter, I'm sure.

My MC is just not likeable in the first chapter - or two. She is not heroic, funny, goth/emo, bitchy.  She is just - Amy. Boring, recluse, scared. Not YA angsty or dramatic. This is a Women's Fiction novel. A bit of romance triangle, domestic violence, addiction, an abusive childhood, and lots of regret and future hopes.

I think the novel lacks hair flipping, furrowed brows, clenched jaws, and a first person POV. (LOL, yes, that was meant as a joke - mostly.)

I read (audio book) on impulse by a novel by Tami Hoag. I have read several of her mysteries, and I like her writing style. There was an audio book staring at me the last about four months at one of my Golden Gate stores, and finally I bought it. I should have known it would be a category romance by reading the title, TAKEN BY STORM. I guess I just could not believe it would be a romance. But yeah, it was. Now, I like Tami Hoag, one of my favorite mystery authors. TAKEN BY STORM was seriously your typical category romance. All the furrowed brows; clenched jaws/fists; furrowed brows; dual hot, head jumping perspectives; main conflict a job the love bad guy won't give up, distrust of promises . . . ya know, category romance.

And I'm wondering: if I really want to be Traditionally Published, do I need to adhere to all the YA/Romance lingo? Do I need to have more drama?

No, I'm not disrespecting the Romance genre. I happen to like several aspects of the genre (uhm, RomComs are a secret guilty pleasure), in its various subgenre's; but I'm not sure I want to write it.

And thus, the problem with rewriting the first chapter to make my main character more likeable to today's reader. Or write it as an action novel from the man's POV. Which negates the fantasy of "women writing for women, about women" category.

I'd like to use this quandary for my excuse for not writing at all right now. But sadly, even I know that's pure BS.

Oh yeah, the WEP/IWSG linky is open for the April Challenge - Jewel Box.

While I'm driving, I come up with several story starts, then forget them by the time I get to a hotel and have a few minutes to think about writing.

The wine and sleep usually win out.

I know - I should be re-writing that first chapter instead of wishing on the magic writing Genie for a quick fix.

I'm late this month for everything. It may be early in the month for most of you dedicated authors; but in my sales world, I'm a month behind. Spring is great weather wise, but it brings on a lot of extra time servicing my stores, resetting programs, counting credits for returns, restocking with tons of product. Seasonal changes are not fun, or easy. This week is worse than most others. I think. It could be normal and I'm too tired and addle brained to know any better.

I'll get around to commenting this weekend. Sorry for the delay. Good think IWSG is this week and not next week or I would not be able to  post/comment at all. And while I hope to write something for WEP, this and that are the only posts for this month. Its A-Z blogfest month, and this is not the time for me to make my first commitment. But congrats to all who are participating.

Thanks Ninja Captain Alex, who is the IWSG creator, and his co-hosts: J.H. Moncrieff; Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken.

  IWSG Anthology MASCQUERADE, Oddly Suited, available April 30, 2019. Click here for purchase links and details.


J.H. Moncrieff said...

Hmm...that's a tough one. I think there's always room for books that are a bit different, but unlikeable characters are a really hard sell.

It would mean a big rewrite, but sometimes the solution can be to have a more likeable character tell the story. (Sherlock Holmes, The Great Gatsby.) Not sure if that would work for your book, but it can be a way around the issue you're describing.

* makes note to minimize furrowed brows in future books

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The main character in my trilogy started off unlikable. It might just require a little toning down, but don't feel you have to conform.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I sympathize with you because I have struggled a lot with my first chapter and still think I may need to fix the one in the current manuscript I'm working on. Maybe critique partners can help you get it right. It is harder to draw the reader in if your character isn't likeable.

Patsy said...

Knowing what we should write, remembering to write it and actually doing it are three completely separate things, which sadly don't always end up following each other in logical order.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The bigger publishers will want the standard cookie-cutter elements, but small publishers are looking for something that is just a little different.

Unknown said...

There's nothing wrong with average characters. The trick is to give the readers a reason to like her. Give her a Save the Cat moment to get the readers to cheer for her. And give her some skill that she's really good at, something that makes her stand out a bit. Readers latch onto that.

I haven't lost any books due to computer problems or anything, but I did spend ten years just completing my fan fiction story, so I understand how slow the craft of writing can be. Good luck with your decisions on what to write.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

It's just weird thinking of using something as powerful as a wish to write anything. But first chapters are a good start.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm always coming up with ideas that I forget. The lack of motivation to actually write anything is my biggest problems--ideas are easy for me. I'd really like to get traditionally published, but that's not going to happen unless I get serious about my writing.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Olga Godim said...

I want a writing Genie too. Such a lovely concept.

Botanist said...

I had a difficult time with the MC in my book #2 - coming across as just unpleasant instead of wittily snarky - so I feel your pain.

Denise Covey said...

Ha Donna you and me both. You've got to get that opening right. Which is why my novel got rejected. So now I'm going all Story Genius on it and it's looking far better baby. How often have I heard critique partners say -- just don't like your MC. Gulp.

J.Q. Rose said...

I say, the heck with them. Write the story you want to write. Whatever is in your gut is right. You cannot develop a great story if you hate it, right? Loved your blog post.
JQ Rose

Diane Burton said...

In the 2nd book of my sci-fi Switched series, the heroine was so unlikable (according to my former editor) that she "should be shoved out an airlock." Hey, that's not nice. I had to find a way to make the reader find her likable. Eventually, I did, but it wasn't easy. Good luck!

Lisa said...

Keep that chin up! I, too, have fought the inner battle of writing Romance in the way it must be written. But more than half the reading population can't be wrong, right? Romance is still 50% or more of total book sales in the US. Something must be working...

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I hear you! Those first chapters have so much pressure on them to have a hook, to draw in the reader, to be right! hehehe.

Sarah Colins said...

Such a great blog – bright and informative. Thank you for your opinion and helpful articles.

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