Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Contemporary Search

I had a very productive morning today. I went over my setting sketches and realized I didn’t need to change any of them; moved on to my research list and removed a couple of items and then added a few new ones; then redid my plot sketch and moved on to my summary outline and finished that (with the exception of the miscellaneous and closing notes which are scheduled for tomorrow). So I managed to incorporate four days into one this morning. The new plot is developing nicely and none of my characters are complaining about having their widow status revoked and turned into aging spinsters. They’ve all been quite cooperative.

I realized as I was writing the summary outline that my story is a strange cross between Cinderella and Sense & Sensibility with a bit of a twist thrown in for good measure. It’s proving great fun to plot out. It was hard to drag myself away from the computer this morning. I wanted to keep going. But alas, the mortgage does still need to be paid. I’m not prepared to starve for my art, and there is no way I could fit all my furniture into a cardboard box. Besides, I hear those contraptions are a bit drafty and, well, I do live on the Atlantic Coast.

Last night after purchasing a stash of groceries to restock my fridge after being away for the week, I decided to pop down to my local used book store and peruse the aisles to get a feel for the contemporary market. I have an idea in my head that I’ve been kicking around for a few years that I would like to write, but I’m having a hard time trying to determine what line it fits into. It’s a relationship story, obviously, with strong secondary characters and a good mix of emotion and humor. But the sensuality level I have planned for it is too high for some of the Harlequin lines, and not bold or spicy enough for some of the others. I think I may have narrowed it down to fitting in Silhouette Special Edition, but the used bookstore didn’t have any of those available so I need to traipse off to Chapters and see if I can pick up some and determine if that’s the right fit.

Elaine English mentioned it is much easier for a new author to break into contemporary than it is historical, and while my passion is definitely historical and that’s where I see myself writing, I figure I might as well hedge my bets since I have this story kicking around in my brain. She also mentioned that if we send her our historical, she can indicate how she sees our voice fitting into contemporary and where the best fit would be. Interesting thought. Either way, I have no intention of giving up on historical.

I even dreamed about it last night. I remember researching all these different lines and worrying that it didn’t fit into any of them. I kept pulling books off shelves and reading the back of them, and then I remember doing a search on my computer in this frantic race to find the right fit. Weird. I would have much preferred to dream about Christian Bale. I need to reprogram my brain.

Oh well…I’m off to tackle another fun day of uploading intranet files. Lordy, will the fun never end…


Nikki said...

Woo! Already researching the contemporaries! I'm glad. I don't know why... but I really believe you're going to do well at them!!!

Kelly said...

I hope. I just don't feel the same passion for them as I do the historical though, so I'm going to have to really love the characters and find a really interesting situation to put them in to keep my interest I think. That'll be the real challenge.

Melissa Marsh said...

You did get a lot accomplished - good for you!
As far as the whole contemporary stuff...I don't like to read contemporaries and I really don't like to write them, so I guess I'm just going to stick with the historicals. If your contemporary story doesn't keep your interest, then I don't know if I would write it.
This publishing business is a hairy beast sometimes. *grin*

Michelle said...

I'm sticking to historicals, myself. I figure, since I love them so much, it has to come through in the writing.