Thursday, March 16, 2006

Things they dont tell you about being a writer PT5

Ever heard the phrase 'TRYING TO RE-INVENT THE WHEEL'?

That's whats coming your way as a writer. Even before you're officially in print, it's there; that deep-seated, driving, all consuming need to follow a Grail like quest to create a completely original romance plot.

The bad news?

There's no such thing...

Even before glamorous writers were on the planet, or the first time (depending on your beliefs) we have been doing the romance dance. I'm not talking the horizontal mambo; what I'm talking about is that HEA that we all seek in one way or another. But as romance writer's we seek it all the more. But we're always looking for that impossible story, that one out there on the horizon that will see us miraculously plucked from a publishers slush pile and thrown headlong and grinning like an idiot into Glamorous Writer Land. If we can just think of a different take on it, see it from a different angle, think up a plot that no-one ever has...

When what we really need to do is go right back to the beginning, the very very beginning, in movie going terms; Before you even parked your car outside the cinema...
We need to remember its about two people...
Yes, we need to just simplify sometimes. Forget glamorous locations, twists and turns, hugely complicated outside plots and quirky pet mushrooms or goldfish and think boy meets girl.

Because when it comes down to it, thats the crux of any half decent romance. Whether they're old friends, living next door, once married, complete opposites or making a marriage of convenience (the latter almost being a holy grail unto itself these days in my experience so far) they are still just two people. And they are the glue that holds the pages inside the covers
Do we think that way though? Do we heck as like!! What we do is we look for inspiration in almost everything. We become obsessed by what other people are doing and what is selling and why. We read, we study, we tear apart and put things back together. Then we watch romantic comedies, we re-write the endings of classic box office successes in our heads and we watch every facial expression, every touch, every kiss and we try to make a story of our own.

When we need to realize that without the glue it doesn't matter what genius plan we have to dress it up. It's the people that matter. It's what we recognized of ourselves in characters that make us feel they are real. After all, is there anyone amongst us that hasn't had the joy and the heartache of falling in love? The very fact that people still dance that dance, that they find love in a world like ours, is an 'awww' moment in itself...

What it comes down to when we become writers is that we need to understand that once the glue is in place, it's all in the telling; the voice. That's what makes us stand out in the crowd... The very fact that writers are in different countries with different phrasing and different daily routines makes each story individual from the get-go. The glue holds it, the voice makes it individual and sparkling, and everything else holds the same place in the scheme of things as the ingredients of a great cake. What makes that cake different from any other cake on the shelf? Ahhh, you see that's where the magic comes in... That sprinkle of fairy dust on the top...

...when you pull it all together so that a reader picks it up. And thats the real Grail... And any day now, I for one, hope to find it...

And todays thought is from Groucho Marks:
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

1 comment:

allyblake said...

Ha! You can't go wrong quoting Groucho Marx. Ever.

Ally