Monday, 24 September 2012

Writing the novel I want to write

My writing has ground to a halt over the last week. The problem is, I've completely stymied myself by thinking about the sorts of things that "should" be in my novel - for instance, there is no love interest, no romantic storyline at all, and I wondered if I should add one in. Of course this then caused me difficulties because it doesn't fit with how I see the story in my mind.

There are people who will argue that you have to write for a market if you want to be published, but I know that will never work for me personally. Stories come into my mind unbidden, without any prior consideration of what might sell in a bookshop. As soon as I try to squeeze that story into a direction it doesn't want to take, it loses all sense of originality and sounds increasingly contrived the longer I try to force it. Yes, the novel might end up being more difficult to publish/market/sell, but I will at least have the satisfaction that I have written the novel I want to write.

There are a lot of YA scifi novels out there where the female main character only seems to become a rebel once she has a love interest - before that, she's happy to plod along doing exactly what society tells her to do. I want to write female characters who are strong, intelligent and are willing to take risks, for their own reasons. So who cares if my heroine doesn't fall in love with her male best friend? She has much more important things to worry about!

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