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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dear Stupid Head Self

One of the things Dana nudged me about at the conference was that I need to pick something and stick to it. Okay, fine. So I have taken a few works out of the game and am focusing on my sweet romance. Done. However, given that I keep getting comments that I should be writing inspirational, I am still in the debate of mainstream versus inspirational.

What do I write today?

A freaking love scene.

No, it isn't graphic, or anything like that. However, I seriously doubt that my saying "They made love in the meadow" is going to be something that will make Krista or Joan read, jump up and down, and say, "what a perfect inspirational story".

And yet, it's vital to the story, adds that extra emotional punch, is between a married couple, and now that I've written it, I know what's been missing from this story all along.

Please shoot me.

On the plus side, this is the story I was whining about needing a subplot. I have almost thirty new pages in it since Sunday. I took Joanne Rock's advice and re-wrote the beginning from scratch and realized I didn't start early enough in their story. And since I've also realized that my heroine is not as well developed, I can use the extra room for her. I think I may just end up going over rather than being short.

My advice for today: Go ahead and spend some time just writing crap that you aren't sure will end up in the final product or not. Take the time to figure out things tha need to be figured, and the story will open up in ways you never expected.

However, if you're like my stupid head self, I would recommend ignoring my advice, because invariably, stupid head self will rear up, and in the fear of having to actually commit to one genre, do something absolutely stupid like have a couple make love in the middle of a meadow when you'd been thinking they might be inspirational.


However, in the interest of being positive, let's think that this is the nudge I needed to decide to stick with my original game plan of Harlequin Romance. At least there I can say those three dreaded words, "they made love."

Amazing how three little words can change a person's direction, even if you still aren't sure that's the direction you want.


Jana said...

Wow! Loved all the catch-up posts from Atlanta! Sounds like ya'll all had an awesome time and I'm totally jealous. lol

Glad to have you back though...sweetie. hehehehehe

Oh, loved the pics, too. :-)

Now, no more name calling on yourself. Save the name calling for truly stupid headed people...;-)

Patricia W. said...


Is your "head self" inside my head? I am struggling with this exact same issue! I love African-American romances, most of which are secular, although there are some good inspirational ones out there. I want to write these, probably because growing up, I found it very hard to find positive stories with AA love.

I also want to write inspirational because I feel led to show Christians as imperfect folks who love, cry, hurt, and love again, strengthened by a perfect God. I want folks to see real people doing their best to live godly lives.

And last, I've recently found chick-lit, and I love it! I've always had a wry sense of humor that I thought was misunderstood. Now I know there are other folks with a similar humor, or who can at least appreciate it.

Decisions, decisions! Which to choose?

I've started stories that began in one genre and evolved into another. I'm seeking God's direction on this one before I commit to one story, to write it from start to finish. I don't believe it's an either/or type situation, just a question of where to begin.

From the whisperings in my heart, I believe I'll have my answer soon.

Hope you get yours too.

Julie said...

I've read inspirational books where the characters make love. Several, in fact. I can think of a couple that fed my teenage fantasies. You can get away with it if they're married, although some publishers might be grouchy about it.

I have a manuscript that could go either way. So glad I'm not the only one!

Here's why I can't commit to inspirational: I'm not comfortable writing God as a character. And when you write characters who are crying out to God and doing their best to obey God, but then God (who, in my novel, would actually be a character written by me, which is why I can't write Him) doesn't actively involve Himself in their lives, you just have an empty religion, and not a relationship. Too many people see Christianity that way already.

Maybe someday, God will let me -- or make me -- write Him. In the meantime, I'll blunder away at something else. Much of it will probably be crap. Like the WIP I'm currently avoiding by reading blogs.

Danica/Dream said...

Thanks Jana. I won't kill you... today...

Patricia, it's really hard, but so important to follow the Lord's leading. To be honest, it's why I've fought (and still fight) writing inspirational. It's such an important calling, and I don't want to mess it up or harm someone in my attempt.

Julie, you know, my fear in writing about God is more that I see Him as I see Him, if that makes sense. And He is so important that I'd hate to portray Him in a way that would cause others to stumble, or not revere Him as they should. Or, perhaps worse, think of me as some sort of "expert" and forget that I'm still learning too.