Saturday, 10 March 2007

things are looking up a bit...

Well, as I said in a comment below, I think I might have turned a corner away from a lot of the doom or gloom...

For a start, my neck's eased up a lot now. Still a bit twingey, but not excruciatingly painful any more when I try to look up, down or to the sides. If I'm careful, I reckon it'll be back to normal in a few days.

Still got a bit of cold, but don't feel quite as grotty as I did, and because my neck feels better, I can handle the viral stuff better.

On the home front, the supremely practically gifted himself has managed to fix both the central heating and the water heater. The only delay has been sourcing the parts, and the fact that himself has a demanding day job that takes up many hours and he has to do work on our gaff in the evenings. Of course, we could have paid British Gas or some plumber... but we know how much work is involved in these sorts of jobs, and we ain't paying silly money to someone else to do them.

One of the biggest things that's been worrying me is the frozen inertia on the writing front. I've been grappling and grappling with vague fragments of stories but nothing's been coming together as a real idea. It's all been like a nasty, murky soup of half baked notions and no real plot. So, being frozen, I've done nothing... and the longer I've done nothing, the worse I've felt. And the harder it's been to think straight about ideas... so... round and round and round again in a negative spiral.

But today, with heat and hot water and a less painful neck etc, I've been able to see things in a more positive light. I haven't actually started writing a new book or novella, but I did do a little necessary work on an older novella for which the proposal is 'out there'... my critique partner had made a great suggestion for improving the reader's perception of the hero, but I hadn't got around to doing it... but today I added a few paras that I really liked and which showed the hero in a more sympathetic light.

And I've been thinking about, and analyzing my dilemmas over new ideas for my regular publisher. Basically the books have now to be erotic romances... and therefore have to conform to reader expectations for romance ie. happily ever after, and in general, sexual exclusivity for the main hero/heroine couple. [yes, I know some people do write romantic menages, but I'm not sure that'd work for me] So, this cuts out a whole raft of writing variations, ones that work fine in erotica, but not in erotic romance. And then there's a further complication... feedback I've been getting is that the kinkier, twisted stuff is just not doing so well. Which cuts out yet another area where I do well as a writer... it's what I'm actually mildly good at writing!!! For other writers these restrictions might not be a problem... because they've got innovative, viable, high concept plot ideas to fall back on. But I haven't... my writing is of the plotless wonder variety, depending almost entirely on characterisation, emotions, situations rather than plots, and intense often pervy eroticism... so basically, with these 'cutbacks', I'm in a bit of a pickle!!!

However, today, I've just started thinking in a more romance frame of mind. Pulling together story bits that I'd thought of using for purely romance novels, but which could be given a more sexy treatment that flows naturally from the relationship... Storylines that probably wouldn't work for the category romances I once tried to write, but which might work for a grown up erotic romance that doesn't have to have a particular type of alpha hero etc etc... Which is paradoxically, a liberating concept rather than a restricting one. It's early days, but I've raced down a few brief notes for a plotline, and instead of going for a high concept location ie. exotic, paranormal, metro... I might write it from a small town perspective... because I live in a small town. I might even set it in a small town in the borough where some of my other books are set. It won't quite be in that 'universe' - because that's a pretty twisted perv universe - but there might be places where this new story could intersect safely with that world.

Sorry if that seems like an ill thought out ramble, but I had to sort of get it down and use this blog as a sounding board for myself... and at least I'm making up for the paucity of entries here lately...

Telly: Bear Grylls survival thing
Chocolate: excellence selection!!!
Mood: better
Writing: bit of editing, bit of planning
Reading: various notes
RSI/FMS: bit sore, not too bad


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear things are looking up on all fronts, so to speak. Enjoy the chocolate when it arrives!

Shanna Germain said...

I'm glad to hear things are better too!

I often have those periods that you're describing, when I'm not working on anything in particular and the ideas all seem like hacks. It makes me feel unproductive and does bad things to my self-esteem...

BUT...I often come out of those times with a new insight, or a solid idea or a fresh look at an old problem. So I'm trying to look at those times as "noodling" times and not beat myself up so much!

Seems like you're getting a lot of "noodling" done, which I'm sure will send you off the right direction when you start moving again!

Best, s.

Author Dara Edmondson said...

I also have plot dry spells. What works for me is a day of reading the newspaper (always juicy tidbits there that could be woven into a plot) or TV, catalogs, etc. The more I check out what's going on in the world, the more my head swims with ideas. Best of luck!