Thursday, August 09, 2007

Identity Crisis

I recently purchased a Katie Melua CD and like it a lot, but I found a review of her music on the web that struck a chord with me. (no pun intended :)

The reviewer mentioned that it was obvious by the several different styles and covers of her music that she was still trying to find her niche.

Hmm.... I went. Hmmm....

Last night, after transcribing handwritten chapters of my latest short story targeted to Ellora's Cave, I had a dream that I was still writing that book. Now, I know I've posted on here before that I think I'm probably not the best person to be writing erotica, and in the dream, I was writing happily away, then became sad when I noticed that the story didn't have enough sex and that the sexual language wasn't graphic enough. I was upset because I liked the story as it was and didn't really want to change it. My characters were sweet, and I really liked how they were coming along.

I woke up realizing that must have been in my subconscious as I wrote because I reread the story, and while there are some graphic details and strong words, it's still pretty tame for erotica. I started wondering if I should just stay true to the story and characters as they present themselves and have to target another publisher, or try to force them to fit the style for Ellora's Cave.

Woe is me. I really wanted to do this for EC - I'd like to have something published by them, I just would. However, not sure if this one will make it. Sigh.

Have you ever tried to force your writing to take a turn to satisfy a publisher/editor/"the market" and if so, how did that turn out?


  1. I tried to write a humorous caper romance that I thought would sell and would fit my voice, but it didn't work. The good side is I bought the DVD of The Thomas Crown Affair as research, the one with Pierce Brosnam. Yum.

    I enjoy writing--and reading--sex scenes, but for me they have to further the book and change something. Otherwise I can't force myself to write them or read them.

  2. I started getting serious about writing by writing a category romance aimed at a specific line. It actually went to second round revision requests before it was turned down, but when the dust settled, I realized I was forcing it. And that I'd wasted a lot of time and effort on something that didn't make my heart sing. So I've been following my heart ever since. I'm hoping it works out for me :) .

  3. Edie, I'm actually surprised that didn't work for you, but there ya go. You never know. At least you did get some good research in. :)

    Interesting, Michelle. I recently read on a blog somewhere (can't remember exactly right now or I'd provide the link - may have been Jon Zech. Anyway...) that given our short time on earth and the long time it can take to write a book, we should only write the things that we do believe in - "make our hearts sing" as you put it.

    The good news for you, is that I've been reading lately that editors are looking for good historicals and time-travels, so you're on a good path there! :)

  4. Sorry. I haven't been in demand enough yet to feel pushed to do anything. I just putter along, writing what I like, lingering in delusional writer-land. Once the rejections come piling in, though, I'll probably be better equipped to commiserate more with you about bending my work to the market.

  5. Kate, I agree with the quote you mentioned about life is short, write what you believe in. Like Michelle, eons ago, I tried to fit into category. A nightmare I've never forgotten. Imagine WF voice, with a touch of "southern twang" trying to follow guidelines. Just ain't happening. LOL. I'd say those dreams of yours are trying to tell ya something. Keep us posted. I, too, have ones that need unraveling. Sometimes I get it, others not so much. Still, I try.

  6. LOL, Avery - I hardly have people banging on my door. That's just me trying to put more stuff out there, hoping it will sell. :)

    Too funny, LaDonna - hey, there are small town category romances - you could just set one in the south. ;)

    Yes, I imagine my subconscious is trying to tell me something. I'm just too stubborn and stupid to listen. :)

  7. Ag dear Kate, It is all what feels right and not....I cant really give a deep opinion of this as I am still working to get published/...:)

  8. Yup, I've *cough* had to write scenes / dialogue pieces, etc., into a novel I didn't agree with. How did it turn out? Well... I wrote one, almost gagged at how unrealistic it was, and then yanked it out during the last copy edit pass before it went into production. I just couldn't stand the idea that my name would forever be in print next to those two pages.

  9. I understand where you're coming from. I write what I'm comfortable with and take a "let's see what happens" approach from there. If the writing is strong enough, EC might work with you on the sex and language. I've heard of them doing it with another author, so you never know. If worse comes to worse, they might recommend it for Cerridwen and at that point, you can propose upping the anty to get it to Ellora's Cave.

  10. That's so funny, Holly. I use that approach with the technical manuals I write and edit. Not sure I'd have the nerve to do that to another publisher. :)

    Thanks, Marcia. I'm still working on it - we'll see what happens. They must just turn it down flat anyway and save me trouble of worrying about it. :)

  11. Kate, I just clicked on the picture, and it said "me as Cartland". (I did recognize the dog and the pose, lol.) So that's what you look like. Love the picture. *g*

  12. LOL, Edie - I did wonder if anyone would "get" the picture. Wasn't sure if enough people would recognize the iconic pose of Barbara Cartland with my face plastered on it. :)

    It was part of my identity crisis - do I write erotica, or sweet and innocent? Couldn't think of another photo for "bad me" vs. "good me." ;) Maybe the one Laurell K. Hamilton did of herself as Anita Blake. :)

  13. OH, and Etain, just because you're not published yet doesn't mean your opinion doesn't count!

  14. Hi, Kate! I missed you while you were MIA. :-) Glad you're back.

    And, yes, I've tried to shape my stories to fit what I thought publishers wanted--and that so did not work out for me. It was only when I let go and wrote the stories that I wanted to write that I really felt comfortable--and saw more sales.

    Best of luck to you!

  15. Thanks, Cynthia. Good to know about the increased sales. :)

    Thanks for the welcome back. I'm here - just not able to post as regularly as I'd like.

  16. this may sound silly, cause im not a profesional writter. but i think when i try and push a story to go where i want instead of where it is going already you loose something. the focus the drive the passion you feel about the story. it really depends on how you feel about the changes though.


Say what you will...