Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Small (but significant!) Discovery

My plan for my next writing project was to quit fooling around with genre fiction and to write "women's fiction". When I sat down to actually attempt that, it dawned on me that I don't know what "women's fiction" is as a specific genre. Therefore, I decided to write a good story featuring the kind of strong female characters I like, and not worry about the genre, at least until it's time to market the story. That simple-sounding decision freed my Muse from the constraints I was trying to impose.

For my particular Muse, total freedom is very important. She's turns contrary and shuts down on me when I try to control her or take charge too much. Having lost that power struggle, I'm now back in the groove.

My current project, After the Fire, features a divorced middle aged woman coping with a challenging career and a fifteen-year old daughter, plus a bunch of baggage from her childhood. In other words, it's got all the stuff I want to write about. The story is, however, a mystery. The main character's personal situation is not front and center: it's the background "given". The character's role in investigating a suspicious fire in a crowded restaurant impacts her personal life but that is the primary sub-plot, not the focal point of the story. I'm writing a story featuring a strong female character. The story is not specifically about her.

This is something different for me and it feels very right. I think this small step is actually a giant leap forward in my writing journey.

Don't everybody say "DUH" all at once!



  1. Duh!

    Sometimes it's best to let the muse run and see where she takes us.

    Last time I did that, I ended up with five books in a YA series I had no intensions of writing.

    Wonder where your journey will lead...?

  2. What really caught me eye here are your words "it feels very right." Listen to your heart, it sounds like you're writing exactly what you should ... Enjoy!

  3. Read some place that 75% of all book readers are women, so from a marketing point of view I guess writing womens fiction is a good idea ... and probably some men would liked to read it too >:)

  4. Thanks for the affirmation and feedback. I'm thinking that the subject of fire investigation and mystery may have broader appeal than just women. We shall see.

    I started drafting the second in the series this week, to see if it would hold up to another novel. So far so good.

    BTW, I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back, now!