Monday, February 20, 2006

Presidents' Day Lament

Too Many Directions Stress Bot Picture courtesy of lisa beebe's Futuristicky blog that I love for its forward thinking and plentiful robots. See her current posts and related Metroblogging NYC for examples of sassy, provocative, engaging posts that wouldn't dare abandon you for a holiday weekend because of vocational indecision.

I hate to break up your doubtless very personal and elaborate P-Day celebrations with my diffuse gripes, but I haven't posted lately, and navel gazing is what I've been doing instead.

As I've hinted at least, I've begun working on a new kind of mystery for me, unlike the completed (and I think good) tragic thriller that I'm still trying to sell despite the resounding lack of response from those receiving my queries and even from who've specifically requested samples. Could it be that I've created the ultimate weapon, the manuscript version of The Ring that kills or nullifies all who read it? Probably not. That I've created yet another manuscript that causes profound indifference, generating something that is really nothing, is more likely. Still, I have another noirish notion on tap if someone's interested in a two-book deal, and I haven't given up. Firing more queries off the starboard side, Captain!

Anyway, the new opus-in-progress is an absurd, darkly comedic mystery. It's bleak but grinning, and has a surreal slant that may work well or fall flat on its face. It's not plotted far anough ahead for me to know yet, though I generally the chapters written so far, and the critiques have been positive.

This weekend, I also began working on a- and I don't know how to express this without shuddering- contemporary romantic comedy or romantic suspense. Yikes! I began thinking about this one because a dear pal assured me that together we could do way better than the craptastic movies we've seen lately. I think my new premise (already more comprehensively plotted than my Absurdity) is relatively original as these things go, inherently dramatic, topical, and makes the lead characters interesting adversaries before they're succumbin' to the lovin'. The subplots are amusing and scary. The whole thing is rather cinematic and lends itself to the romantic chemistry through snappy, urbane patter that everyone aspires to convey. I don't know if I can succeed any better than the vileness I've read lately, but only attempting it will answer the question. This hasn't exactly been my choice of genre before today, but it is after all a story about characters under increasing external and internal pressures leading to dramatic cataclysm or resolution. And that's what I write. Somehow I believe I can write this thing rather quickly and that it's very marketable and might even be fun. But what the dagnabbit am I thinking careerwise?

Not every agent looks fondly upon genre switching. Nor do readers or publishers. This variety assortment approach could leave me looking like hack-of-all-trades, master of none. However, I don't exactly have an established career to shoot in the foot, do I?

Between competing general advice to pick a genre, write more, write different, I don't know exactly what I'm up to. I just feel in this moment like developing a lot of work for sale, seeing what sparks, and going from there. I also feel approximately at the point where I'm not going to fret so much about craft, just tuning the story elements and dynamics and letting the endless wordsmithing slide a little for the sake of productivity. Perhaps a bad direction, but I've taken the quiz, and I'm not an artist, I guess. I'm a Hack.

If none of the above musing interests you, here's info about the new wave of napping sweeping the nation. Here's the MetroNaps NYC location with Wake Center lotion and music at the Empire State Building. You may buy me a nap pass for P-Day.

1 comment:

April said...

I wish there was an "Are you a hack" quiz for musician types. I consider myself a hack musician for this reason: I don't/won't/never did practice 8 hours a day. How freaking boring.

I think the definition of hackery is different for musicians versus those for writers. I'm always in deep admiration of those who write well, and someone who can put words together in a way that makes me wish their words would never stop.

I really can't stand musicians who refer to themselves as artists or what they do as art.