I am participating in “Writing 101” sponsored by WordPress. I haven’t figured out how I will differentiate my W101 posts from any other posts, but when I figure it out, you’ll see the pattern develop. This is the first exercise put forth by W101 and we were to “free write” – a stream of consciousness – for 20 minutes. This might be a slight (possibly scary) glimpse into the way my mind works…. 🙂
After sending my book to three “first readers” last week I wandered for a bit. I cleaned the house. I fixed everything that I know of that’s wrong with the pool. I started redesigning a jacket I bought from the thrift store. And then, I came up with a new idea for a new book. Because I had to travel this weekend I printed out my usual character questionnaires and my “beat sheets” so I could start to hash things out and as long as I had the papers, I thought, I could work on it. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not my computer ran out of juice on the plane.
On the way to my destination a couple of days ago, I actually did pull the sheets out of my ‘padfolio’. I started filling out my beat-sheets. I looked at the character questionnaires – maybe that’s the thing I should be … Oh, I need to call my Mom… (This is how my mind works. It’s a wonder I ever get anything done.) Anyway, I looked at the character questionnaire and thought about how difficult some of the questions were. Some are easy – for instance (and I’m paraphrasing) “How is their relationship with their father?”. Some are much more difficult – at least for me and the way I think of my characters such as “Describe the most significant political or social event the character has seen in their lifetime.”
Since I tend toward the romance genre (at this time) I don’t think of or see my characters as political animals.
I’m afraid of falling into a rut, too. I don’t want to write the same thing over and over, simply changing the names each time. I’d love to be the next John Grisham or Dan Brown and have my book optioned as a major motion picture. Who wouldn’t want that? I’d settle for being the next EL James, but I’d like a little less hateful language thrown at me. I’m not even sure I really see the connection between her books and the “Twilight” fan-fiction she’s been accused of writing. If the criticism is about a man domineering a woman and having ‘deviant’ practices – well, there are a LOT of things out there she could be writing fan fiction about. I never read any of the ‘Twilight’ books, but I did see the first movie and part of the second, I think.
I did, however, read all three of the Fifty Shades trilogy. I don’t think they were the worst thing I’ve ever read. They weren’t the best, either, but I have to wonder if all the people being so vocal about hating the books secretly loved them and got caught reading them when they put forth a façade of being Tolstoy enthusiasts. A lot of people do that – pretend to be different than they are.