Monday, January 05, 2009

It’s That Time of the Year Again!

That’s right…it's resolution time…ahhh yes. Another reason to make a list. And we all know how I do love a list.

I really had to sit down and think over what I wanted to accomplish this year. I’ve been feeling a little burned out on the historical romance genre of late. Not the historical end of things, but more on the parameters of the romance genre part. I keep hearing how the editors / agents are looking for books that break the mould, how they want the books to be sexier, etc, etc. And while that’s all well and good if it fits the story you are telling, a part of me is beginning to feel as if the story is coming in second to the sexy. And I don’t want to tell a sexy…I want to tell a story. And I don’t want to be told to sex it up for the sake of sales at the expense of the story.

Now, maybe I was just having an off day when I was doing my goals, and I’m not saying that I will no longer write historical romance. I have every intention of keeping my toes in that pond. But my ultimate goal has always been to write historical fiction with a romantic element – think Elizabeth Chadwick, along those lines. Where the story and the history and the characters have top billing and the romance feeds into all of these elements but at the same time you are not constricted in what you do. There is a freedom in historical fiction to really branch out into the grittier side of things, to explore different eras that might not sell as well in the romance genre, and to bring to life characters both real and fictional who come from all walks of life rather than just the upper crust.

For the past several months I’ve had a story percolating in the back of my head that wants to be told. It is straight historical fiction and bit by bit the heroine is revealing herself to me, to the point where I had begun to make notes of who she was and what her story is. Then the title popped into my head, and once that was done, there was no turning back.

When it came time to write down my goals, I had to decide what the best use of my time would be this year, given that my writing time is limited to 1.5 hours per day in the morning. As Brimstone has yet to sell, jumping in and doing Book 2 didn’t seem to be a good idea until I knew what was going on with Book 1. So I decided to look at my inventory. I have first drafts of a western historical I did for Nano in 2007 (Salvation Falls) and the first draft of a new series I did for Nano this past November (Invitation to Scandal).

So here are my writing goals for 2009:

1) Do revisions to Salvation Falls (Jan – Apr).
2) Do revisions to Invitation to Scandal (May – Aug)
3) Research historical content for The Tangled Garden and develop outline (Jan – Aug)
4) Write first draft of The Tangled Garden (Sep – Dec)

Next up…figure out my personal goals for the year, one of which will likely be to work off the gelatinous spare tire developing where my waistline used to be…


Julia Smith said...

You don't want to write a sexy...? That's crazy! LOL!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like that story really wants to be told :)

Melissa Marsh said...

I have one of those spare tires, too, darn it.

Good for you on holding firm to what YOU want to write. I believe that is the only way to be truly happy in writing.

And I am SO tired of all the sex, sex, sex! in romance. It has really turned me off to the genre. There is SO MUCH MORE to romance than just SEX. Now don't get me wrong - I don't mind reading sex scenes or writing them. But I hate how it takes center stage in the romance a lot of the time.

Ok. Climbing off my soap box now...

Rene said...

Funny, I don't enjoy the sexy stuff as much as I used to. I agree, I think it is interfering with the stories. I noticed with my latest WIP that the love scene was really toned down and I liked it better that way.

My spare tire belongs to one of those dump trucks you see at construction sites!

Amy Ruttan said...

Good luck with the resolutions!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with those resolutions. Good for you for figuring out you don't want to write a particular type of story just because "they" say it's the type that sells. I'm sure you'll do a fabulous job on your new historical because it's what you truly want to write.

Anne MacFarlane said...

If you can't write what you want to write, what's the point of writing?

Good luck with your writing in 2009

Lexi said...

Sounds like you know what you want. Go for it! Good luck!

Toni Anderson said...

All good goals. It looks like you know what you want!! That is more than half the battle.

Tess said...

You're a better gal than I - my goal list isn't nearly so impressive.

I know what you mean about his rom and the demands to "sex it up". My characters generally set the pace for me and take things to each level as they see fit. I can't force it.

Elizabeth Chadwick inspires me too, as does Susanna Kearsley.