Tuesday, July 6, 2010

stop look listen to your heart

Made a promo copy of my book (which I really should take pictures of to post here), which needs some formatting changes and lighter pictures, but every impromptu test reader I forced the book upon over the weekend really liked it. I'm also going to expand a short story I wrote during NaNo 2009 into a novel for NaNo 2010, because writing truly is the juncture between stupidity and masochism.

Speaking of, I was talking shop with another writer buddy of mine and the topic became how often we pull in our weirder ideas and narrative impulses. I do it a lot, partly out of the fun contrast that comes from conveying said weird ideas with gravity and straight-faced earnestness, and partly because I don't want my work to become a series of tiresome pratfalls and wacky faces. But more to the point, I think it has to do with the disappointment I feel upon seeing superficially weird/quirky characters attached to a conventional story with a rivet gun, but without any real effort to take them anywhere interesting. Which of course ties in with the latent fear that my own work suffers is derivative and forced. Being quirky and dark is chic these days, as the bajillions of YA magic vampire series out there deftly illustrate, and I don't want to get lost among the bandwagon-jumpers now that it's suddenly cool to have a morbid sense of humor and like Edward Gorey.

However, crossing my arms and pouting because I did X before it was popular is a lame and immature (and self-defeating) response to changing demographics and trends, and I shouldn't allow it to undermine my own creativity. So I'm going to honor some of my more ridiculous concepts from here on out, and continue developing my voice/language/style to avoid being overlooked. And I honestly don't begrudge the YA magic vampire novelists anything; they're just doing what I'm trying to do, which is make a living at this. I'm just stubborn and I want to do it my way, with as little bending to market pressure as possible.

(Oh, and the surly latte drawing is courtesy of Ellejohara).