Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ain't it the life?

I've been working all day, tweaking the opening scene of the next novel I hope to sell to Steeple Hill Books, and it occurred to me that I've neglected to blog today, so I popped over here. I don't talk much on the blog or anywhere else about my unfinished manuscripts, but if I wrote about anything else right now, I'd lose my momentum, and I do plan to get right back to the WIP as soon as I publish this post. So you're about to get a scoop.

Any minute now, my hunk o' burnin' love is going to call to remind me to get out there and vote (and I plan to do that, later, if only to cancel out any bad choices he might have made this morning), but I won't hear the phone ring because of Dave Grohl. I've been listening to the Foo Fighters' "In Your Honor" CD for the past couple of hours, and I think I've asked Dave to sing "Resolve" for me about ten times so far. That song in particular is helping me stay inside the chaotic mind of my story's hero--yes, I am a method writer--as he deals with the breakup of his rock band on the last night of their very first headlining concert tour and decides to return to his Minnesota hometown (regular NRJW readers will make the connection with my recent research trip) to get his head straight and make plans for the future.

Yes, I realize rock stars don't typically make good heroes for inspirational romance novels, but my guy's different, and I have to write this story whether my editor ends up buying it or not.

It's not that I have any desire to push envelopes with my publisher or genre. It's just that this story premise has set my imagination on fire. I write primarily to entertain myself, and I'm having a great time torturing this rock star (not Dave Grohl, but the guy I made up. Dave sounds plenty tortured already, especially on songs like "In Your Honor", although he can do pretty songs, too, like "Ain't it the Life" on the "There is Nothing Left to Lose" album. By the way, if any of you are familiar with "Ain't it the Life," would you agree that it sounds remarkably like something the Beach Boys might have sung?) Oh, sorry. Was I rambling?

Speaking strictly from a business standpoint, I might be shooting myself in the foot, spending all this time on a hero my editor might not be wild about. But I'm wild about him, and that's why I'll complete this manuscript instead of sending in a couple of chapters and a synopsis and asking for a contract to write the story. Where would I be if my editor said no? With unfinished story business in my head, that's where. And I don't want to go there.

Clearly, I'm never going to get rich and famous writing romance novels. But I am having a wonderful time.

Okay, I'm outta here and back to work.

Um, Dave? Would you mind taking that from the top?

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Carrie said...

Writing for an editor I can't relate to, but loving a character and an idea, I can. I'm partcipating in NaNoWriMo, and had planned my story and two main character for weeks, when out of the blue, two days before the start of November, an idea I loved came to me. Now, I'm writing rather blindly about my dear main character and loving him to death while having the time of my life. I hadn't the smallest idea that I would love to write like this, or that a sweet young man would appear out of nowhere and charm me so!

Good luck with your story!

Robin Bayne said...

Great post. Why bother if you're not having fun??

Brenda Coulter said...

Thanks, Robin.

Reese, I'm glad things have clicked for you.

TrudyJ said...

Tortured rock star? Those are the only three words I'd need to make me buy it.

Clearly there's a segment of the reading public you'd be appealing to!

Brenda Coulter said...

From your lips to my editor's ears, Trudy.

Anonymous said...

There are no "rules". And if there are, then the editors break them all the time. Laverle Spencer has a book called "Small Town Girl" about a female rock star that was fabulous. As Miss Snark says, good writing trumps all.

Write it, Brenda, so we can love your hero too.

BTW, I know I spelled Ms. Spencer's name wrong. I'm too lazy to go to my bookshelf and find the correct spelling. Forgive me?


Brenda Coulter said...

I'm having a blast with the story, Olivia. But while you're correct about there always being exceptions to the "no rock stars" rule, in general, those books are very difficult to sell--unless they're written by big-name authors. And darlin', I'm no Lavyrle Spencer!