Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

Another cliched post title. Come to think of it, I'm full of cliches. Maybe that's what's wrong with my writing. Then again... romance (and probably many other genres) can be cliched, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes cliches provide an element of predictability that - if not over the top - can be comforting for a reader.

Coupling the cliched with the unpredictable is where a novel really satisfies. At the moment I'm reading Jennifer Crusie's 'Tell Me Lies'. I'm only a quarter through the book, and already I've been completely surprised at least twice. See, the romance itself is a bit of a cliche. This novel combines the 'Stranger Comes To Town', with 'Teenage Romance Reprise', with 'Revenge', with 'Romantic Suspense'. It all works very well despite the usual romantic cliches. Though we know when C.L. Sturgis comes back to his home town to find Maddie cheated on by her evil, oafish husband, that they'll end up together and everything will be okay in the end, the read is no less nail-biting.

And so we come to my post-rejection place. I'm fine, and back in the saddle. Sometimes I feel a bit pathetic, wondering how many rejections it will take before I take the hint and stop writing. But right now I just CAN'T stop. Maybe I will never be able to. I heard Steve? Carroll (recent winner of the Miles Franklin award) speak on the radio the other day. He talked about how he never cared whether people liked his writing, because he always did it to please himself. Maybe there's a lot to be said for that. Relax, enjoy the process, and savour the fruits if they come. I don't know if I could be that centred, but it helps to hear someone who's achieved substantial success say it.

This past week I have written a little bit but I've mainly concentrated on being kind to myself, watching telly (discovering 'The Tudors') and yesterday we went to see 'Guys And Dolls', which was fabulous. I still have all the songs going through my head. But this small hiatus has also been about reflecting on the journey so far, and figuring out a plan of attack from this point on. There are things I need to improve about my writing, and now is a good time to start fixing. Tonight, when I log my total word count for the 50k in 30 days challenge, I hope to be able to say I've written 25,000 words (currently at about 22,000ish). Not 50,000 words as planned, but I'm satisfied with that.

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