Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Identity Crisis?

I need to preface this by saying I understand that not every reader will enjoy every book I write; however, I went onto Amazon and responded to a reader who appeared to take issue that my writing is all over the place, and that two different writers wrote BEING PLUMVILLE and TROLLING NIGHTS--the latter of which received 2/5 stars by a reviewer who also gave BEING PLUMVILLE a stellar review. I responded to the accusation by accepting the charges, so to speak. I DO write differently depending on how the characters come to me--I don't really have a "method" so to speak, other than listening to my characters and following where they want to go--because believe me, trying to do differently does not end well! On the other hand, I know there is a certain amount of risk implementing that writing style, one that will earn me the two not-so-great reviews I receieved. I am disappointed I could not provide these readers a product they could enjoy, and I probably broke some cardinal rule trying to "defend" my characters to them. And yet even as I did so, I was not very surprised by some of the objections, and more upset with myself I couldn't/didn't convey what I was trying to convey through these characters...or wondering if I DID convey what I was trying to convey, and the readers didn't like it. I don't know. This is yet another chapter of my ongoing dilemma--what the devil am I writing?! It's apparently not romance; I don't think it's commercial fiction. The only thing I know I am writing are love stories--at least I'm trying to do so. And I do not want to dismiss those who do enjoy what I write. Know my market. One day I'll figure out what that market is, because I can assure you my characters certainly do not care about it! They just want their stories told, and they chose me to do it.

To whom am I accountable? The market, or them?


Anonymous said...

Yes - I believe you are writing 'Love Stories'.
Beautiful Love Stories.
Being Plumville was the sweetest love story.
Next on my list to read is Trolling Nights and Reconstructing Jada Channing.

I enjoy your stories. Just keep doing what you've been doing.


d brockett said...

I check your blog on a regular basis and joined your group so I wouldn't miss out on anything. I have not read all of your work, but what I did read inspired me to read more and to join the group. I read the reviews on Amazon and didn't think much of them. I got what you were saying in Trolling Nights. I'm a hippy size 14 and considered fat by some but can certainly draw my knees up and rest my chin on them. I was also in the Navy and know that you can be surrounded by so many different people with different personalities and just because it wasn't what you envisioned, doesn't mean it isn't possible for that person to be that way. I read so many reviews about how the reader didn't think the character acted in a realistic nature. I think of all the people I know who do the craziest things, including myself.

I write also, but work and children have it more as a hobby right now but I like your stories and hope that my stories are similar. I don't always want a quick physical attraction that leads to happily ever after in 25,000 words. I want go along for the ride on that long journey where the characters are discovering themselves and each other. My friend told me that she thought of my stories as not as much romance as more about the journey and experiences of the woman. That's possible. But whatever label you want to give your story, don't doubt yourself.

I've read almost all of E Lynn Harris' books and I think he's an amazing writer. I still have friends and family who just can't bring themselves to read his books yet. he didn't give up and he has quite a fan base. So do you so please continue to follow your heart.