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Ramblings on Writing

Generally, I hate rules. I know, how messed up is that when I’m a lawyer? But I digress (not uncommon, I know). I don’t buy into the “rules” about romance writing except for the HEA and basic punctuation stuff (and I am sort of a fascist about certain things like when people automatically put apostrophes in every word with an “S” at the end, WTF? There’s plural and plural possessive, LEARN THE DIFFERENCE) Whooops, that was a tangent.

Okay, back on track – So essentially I write the book that comes to me how it comes to me. I didn’t even know it was like some uber sin to kill off a character until I did it (and I’m not saying which book for those who haven’t read it). But you know what? Readers love that book, even if I make them cry (and he had to die, I swear).

And I write in multiple POV too. I can’t tell you how many other authors have clapped a hand over their hearts and gasped at me that I’ll never sell a book and how much readers hate multiple POV books. And I know there are readers who don’t like multiple POV books. Just as there are readers who don’t like erotic romance or who don’t like inspirational romance or whatever – you read what you like and that’s unavoidable and frankly, if I tried to write something everyone would love, how boring would that book be?

As a reader, I have my likes and I buy accordingly, but POV isn’t something I find jarring or distracting if it’s done well – so if you tell me a great story in 3rd person, go on with your bad self, or first or in multiple – the key is, tell it well. Tell it organically because if you are obsessed with the rules it shows. It bogs the story down and it becomes about form instead of substance. If you hate multiple POV don’t write it, if you hate to write erotic, don’t do it. Write your own story your own way.

Anyway, I do my thing and it seems like I’ve got folks who like it and I’ve sold 13 books so far which seems pretty darned good in my judgment. I write what I like and I’m darned lucky that people seem to like what I write (and there are exceptions, LOL).

I don’t outline unless I’m working on proposal either. I do pants it, I admit. As my mother would say, I’m a free spirit, I can’t help it. A free spirited control freak, which does not make me an easy person to be married to, LOL.

But I am superstitious. I don’t want to be, but I am. I have this new book I’m fleshing out, my husband and I are actually doing a bit of collaboration on the plotting and I’m really excited about it. But I won’t give details until I have a title and I’m further along. I can’t work until I get a title. It drives me insane!

This is all pretty pointless but I simply can’t think about Jan Butler anymore and so I thought, hey, Lauren, wouldn’t it be cool if you like, talked about, oh I don’t know, writing?

9 comments to “Ramblings on Writing”

  1. Nonny
    August 5th, 2006 at 11:52 pm · Link

    Oddly, I’ve heard more complaint about the use of first person than I have multiple POV. Because, don’t you know, first person is unreliable (true) and you don’t get into the rest of the characters as much (only if you’re doing it wrong).

    Multiple POV is more tricky in romance, of course, because you can easily “overload” the romance with secondary characters. (J. R. Ward is one of the few authors I’ve seen who has a ton of subthreads without, IMO, detracting from the main romance.) But I have a problem with the idea that it’s a “no no.” Grr.

    Gotta love arbitrary “rules,” dontcha?

  2. Shelli Stevens
    August 6th, 2006 at 10:01 am · Link

    LOL I hear ya. You know, at the Pro Retreat in Atlanta Nora Roberts made a great statement about workshops. There is no right way. And if someone gives a workshop saying ‘you have to outline’ it’s bullshit.(yes she said the word bullshit) Everyone has their own way of writing, plotting, pantsing.

    Have fun writing, free spirit! 🙂

  3. Ciar Cullen
    August 7th, 2006 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Multiple POV hasn’t hurt some pretty famous writers. Nor has well-written first person POV (think of, well, all of “literature”). I can’t outline. I simply can’t. I wish I could, and maybe it will click for me someday. But I have no idea what the characters are going to do until I get to know them, honestly. This can get me into middle-of-the-book plot crises, admittedly some pretty frustrating ones! But I’m with you honey, do your thing. It wouldn’t have worked to tell Van Gogh not to use so much blue! I just read a blog in which the absolute rule is write four hours a day no matter what (and I blogged on this). Well, the “what” can be a day job. Does that mean we can’t write or become successful? Maybe, but it isn’t going to stop me from trying.

  4. Lili
    August 8th, 2006 at 7:43 am · Link

    First person narrative can get into the characters quite deeply, but it’s a bit more difficult to achieve. MPOV has been a standard story format for centuries. Sometimes I think writing advice givers need to read more classic literature. Put the pop’ fiction down and pick up a Master. I think mainstream media with its snippets of information has encouraged people to want quick satisfaction. It seems a story does need to be well written if it fits the modern, short attention spanned reader. People don’t read for entertainment anymore, and that’s a shame.

  5. Lili
    August 8th, 2006 at 7:45 am · Link

    Correction – does not need to be well written


  6. Anya Bast
    August 8th, 2006 at 10:50 am · Link

    Beware those who tell you they know how to do it right. The people who profess to know, rarely do.

    POV is a personal thing. I like limited third because it gives me the ability to get deeply into a character’s head while still being able to change POVs. Some people find other POVs more comfortable.

  7. Charlene Teglia
    August 9th, 2006 at 4:50 am · Link

    They will pry my third person omniscient from my cold, dead fingers. *g*

    But I’m with you on apostrophes on plural words. Hate that.

  8. Jenn on the Island
    August 9th, 2006 at 8:36 am · Link

    Ya know, I read all this stuff about how to write that is written by people I’ve never heard of.

    Then I read comments by authors I have read, and do like, saying it’s all BS anyway.

    Guess who I’m going to believe?

    Thanks everyone, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  9. Cathryn Fox
    August 11th, 2006 at 9:43 am · Link

    I cannot write until I have a title too. And here I thought I was the only one. I don’t know why I’m that way. Maybe it just gives me direction, I have no clue.

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