Anxious for Literary Thoughts
Okay, the Christmas cards are out. Except for a couple. The tree was purchased and trimmed this afternoon. Just in time, it seems, since there was no one else at the tree lot, and there were only markdowns to choose from. I've baked a bunch of cookies, bought a bunch of presents, and almost finished wrapping them. And I don't have to make Christmas dinner this year.
So as far as I'm concerned, the holiday is almost over and it's time to start thinking about other things. Bookie things, for instance. Writer-type things.
I've been thinking about something that happened at writers' group the other night. The Guy and I were the only ones who showed up. The Guy is a very nice human being who is really willing to glue his butt to a chair and work. He likes to write very plot-driven sci-fi/horror thrillers. The one he's working on right now includes a male character and a female character who seem destined for a romantic entanglement.
Now, I don't care for romantic entanglements, anyway, and I felt this one seemed a little predictable. So I suggested some alternatives. The Guy's response? "People want the romantic entanglement."
I repeated this story to a young relative who is studying scriptwriting. His response? "The Guy is right.
Well, this raises all kinds of questions in my mind. Who wants a romantic entanglement? Readers? Editors? Do publishing companies choose new authors on the basis of their ability to produce a predictable romance? Are publishers looking for the same old, same old or do they want something different? Are readers looking for the same old, same old or do they want something different? And are writers obligated to write what they think will make their book marketable? What makes a book marketable? The same old, same old or something different?
I hear both sides of this argument all the time. As a reader, I have to come down on the side of wanting something different. Which means that as a writer, I want to deliver something different.