Monday, November 22, 2010
Fairy Tale or Gritty Reality ... Part 2
It's a struggle I've faced as well. I love to read novels that show authentic, messy lives, about people who are hurting. God can do so much with broken people, His redemption message seems so much clearer.
In today's economy, the reader wants stories that whisk them away from today's hurts. For an author to have financial success, they almost have to write about brighter, happier topics. So, what does a writer do?
I've read a few blog posts recently that have addressed this and have given me much to think about.
In the November 18th post on the Novel Journey blog, Athol Dickson writes about Trouble in a Writer's World. As always, he offers excellent insights.
Literary agent Rachelle Gardner addresses authors being Torn in her November 17th post on her Rants & Ramblings blog.
As for my opinion? Well, after writing one novel with the market in mind, I've decided to Surrender and go back to writing my passion. While my first readers and critique partners have enjoyed my attempt at romance, the story feels flat to me.
Last week I wrote a new scene for a novel I'd completed about three years ago, a scene about a 17 year old Christian boy facing the siren's temptation of a girl eager to give herself away. As I wrote it, I was energized. I could literally feel the young man's conflict and I couldn't leave the computer until the scene was complete, some 3000 words later. Not once did I experience that while writing the romance. When we're passionate about what we're writing, we can't stop. More importantly, the reader can feel our passion.
I read that above-mentioned scene aloud to my 18 year old daughter and her boyfriend. She was incensed that my male character didn't once think about his girlfriend's personality. But, my daughter's boyfriend? He said it was spot on. That's how teenage boys often think. He wasn't proud of that fact, but he was being honest. Now, he wants to read more. Why? Because that scene was authentic and passionate. If we want to reach people, we have to be real with them and meet them on their level. That's what I intend to do.
So, what's your take? What do you think authors should write?