On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mainstream/White Space -Tastes

Image hosting by Photobucket I read (skimmed, read the full beginning and ending) a mainstream novel this week. I disliked it intensely. I think I picked up the novel because the cover was fantasy-like and the back blurb sounded ok. I don't think I checked out the spine where it said "Novel."

Not much "white space." White space is what you see when the book has a lot of dialogue (all that white space around short lines) and action. A book with little white space is exposition, explanation, inner musings, etc. And, yes, "white space" is a term used in writing/publishing circles, I didn't make it up.

I don't like mainstream, or mainstream women's fiction much. Too much like reality, I think. Every main character in this book loved and wasn't loved back, or loved ill-advisedly, usually both, from the 6 year old boy to the 75 year old woman. Oddly enough, I think the theme was supposed to be Love Conquers All. Furthermore, I think it missed (or was too subtle with) the MAIN payoff, which was pretty irritating. It has excellent reviews at amazon, so I think that on the whole, her target market enjoyed it.

It depressed me so that I went looking for my favorite comfort author, Jayne Ann Krentz, and a book of hers I hadn't read so often that I could repeat MOST of the dialogue.

And, naturally, being mainstream, sympathetic characters died. Nope, I don't read, judge mainstream stories, and I don't ever intend to write it. This book is going to the used book store which may or may not give me credit -- and since my Mom uses my credit and reads mainstream, it might turn out to the good somehow.

So that's taste. The characters (when they weren't angsting and being depressed and depressing) were interesting enough to have hooked me, especially the boy, but the small plot wasn't sufficiently engaging to keep me from skimming (and, yeah, I KNOW some people skim my books, too).

I guess the point of this long, rambling blog is that SOME READERS YOU WILL JUST NEVER PLEASE. GET OVER IT.

And that's something I have to remember myself ("I don't read talking animals," someone once told me. I told her (in a nice way) that she would NEVER like my books, so don't bother to buy them.

May you write to your market today.


Anonymous a reader said...

this is why you have to be true to yourself. You cannot please everybody!
Just read The Romance of Libraries edited by Madeleine Lefebvre, just lovely. Sue's short note about her "quiet one" was lovely if sad.
All the best for your writing

8:08 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks, reader. You've got it in one. A writer must be true to her/himself and their work.


7:11 AM  

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