Good morning. As you all know I've stopped writing for awhile. Last year's writing/publishing frenzy has left me blocked, which may or may not be a good thing. We'll see how it goes.
But, because I haven't been writing, my brain has been left to rattle around in my cranium with nothing to focus on, so it wanders to and fro in its own little world. Last week, I happened to find an old book I had lying around that I hadn't read. Mind you, it was published in 2009, so it wasn't that old, but still.
(Funny how it takes New York almost 18 months to publish something, and then in 6 months it's already in the Dollar Store.)
Anyway, as I read this book, my little brain kept urging me to throw it across the room. It was an historical romance, by a very famous New York published writer. And I had read almost everything she's ever written, so I was dismayed when I got to the end and realized I SHOULD have thrown it across the room. (It ended up in the yard sale.)
I wondered then, why on God's good green earth, would her agent, editor, publisher, BFF, and mother, allow her to publish something that was just so ... dare I say it .... bleh. Not to mention her own self.
I mean, really. Where is her pride? Her intergrity to stand behind her work?
Don't get me wrong, I've had reviewers harangue me for my plot lines and characters, and some of my word choices, but I stand behind everything I've ever written. I think what I write is special, it's not your same every-day-run-of-the-mill historical romance. I don't write sex, but I insert the historical facts as accurately as I can get them and I think that makes up for the lack of voyeurism.
I make sure I trim my adjectives, keep my plot moving forward, don't keep repeating the same things every 5 pages. Readers, I have come to find, aren't stupid. They wouldn't read if they couldn't follow the plot. But jeez, this New York writer broke every single "bad" writing rule in the proverbial book by my standards. What's up with that?
When did these New York pubbed romance writers get so complacent? Is it because they know whatever they write will hit the best seller list? Or is it because their publisher doesn't care what they come up with and they know they'll sell 200,000 copies in those 6 months anyway?
However, one thing, I do know, I will not be complacent. I will always strive to have the best plot, characters, and story-line out there. I really don't want people throwing my book across the room.
Tell me -- Are you afraid of being complacent? What do you do to combat that? How do you define complacency in writing?
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013