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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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Readers' Sensibilities - Cratag/Signet, Genista Holly Furze

Readers' Sensibilities - Cratag/Signet, Genista Holly Furze, In the comments of my blog one person said that they thought Cratag deserved better than Signet and another said s/he wasn't too interested in reading a story about Genista. To the first, I assured the reader that Cratag was happy with his choice. But that isn't the issue. The issue is that I didn't convince that reader that Signet was a heroine, that she was sympathetic.

No matter what *I* feel, the reader feels differently. Ditto regarding Genista Furze-Holly-Furze. The reader isn't sympathetic to Genista. Now some of this might just be subjective and I-don't-care-for-that-type-of-character (personally I have great difficulty with the "how the mighty have fallen" heroines, women who were prideful in the past and now the current story starts out with them swallowing their pride and being humiliated or something). But it was my intention that Signet was a match for hero and Genista IS sympathetic, and if I didn't convince someone of this, then I didn't do my job.

So, I promise not to take your comments too lightly.

Thanks for all your support,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found Signet sympathetic. And I've been waiting eagerly for Genista's story.

Not every reader is going to like everything, alas, but you're right on the money for me.

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Marseille said...

Well, for the record. I am VERY interetested in Genista's story. I kept wondering why her life had been so challenging with the furze's and what she would make of hersef on her own.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Tannun said...

I think the problem you're experiencing with Genista is a matter of on screen time. We really never got a chance to get to know her when things were going well. When we did she was springing a divorce on Holly. We never got a chance to sympathize with her, Her scene consisted of, I want a divorce, we aren't going to discuss it, I've already been tested, go get tested so we can get this over with.

I think if we had been able to share her thought process as she agonized over the divorce, it would have been easier to relate.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genista: pretty, easy going girl marries brother of one of her lovers -rich and influential family.
Furzes good with money, she doesn't have intelligence/flair to make gold with financial dealings she deals with her looks: gold digger.
From what I remember (maybe I missed it) she was not forced to the marriage deal by her family - all won: money and up social ladder.
Sorry, no simpathy.
Of course, there might be lots of motives/happenings off stage to justify her, only the writer/creator knows for sure.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Peggy said...

To Tannun -- No, we didn't get to see Genista "on screen" in Tinne's book, but we did see her and Tinne together and happy in ... Trif's book? I think?

But that was several books before Tinne's, and that brings us headfirst into the biggest problem with series -- the time between books and the lack of reader remembrance of then-minor characters and their happenings.

But just to post a semi-contrarian POV, I'd be interested to see how Robin makes Genista sympathetic again when the most recent reader memory is "I want a divorce, deal with it."

7:54 PM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Thanks for pointing out the impact of the last scene we've seen Genista in, though I had hoped the scene of the actual divorce ritual was a bit sympathetic too.

Genista first showed up in Heart Duel, so I am used to keeping her entire history in my head. She also appeared in Heart Choice. Maybe Heart Dance, too.

Since these are stories, I might need some test beta readers...if the collection actually gets bought. NOT a done deal, just a show of interest, and written...


8:53 PM  
Blogger Michelle Rudeau said...

Hello Robin,

I know this is a bit random, but I was recently wondering about something. How would Celta’s society deal with someone wanting to do something (as a career) that was not in their Flair expertise? For example, you mentioned that Ailim pretty much always knew she was going to do something in connection with the law because of the nature of her Flair. So I was wondering what would have happened to her or what she would have done if the law hadn’t interested her at all, and say her passion lay in painting or music instead (which is definitely outside her Flair)? Would she have had to go into law anyway, or would she be able to do what she was interested in?

(And thank you for the great stories!)

11:34 PM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Good question, Michelle. Since it's my world and undoubtedly romanticized, Ailim could have done whatever she wanted...but I am thinking that exercising one's Flair is very fulfilling (Heart Dance and upcoming Heart Journey) and suppressing it can lead to problems...hmmm...a story?

Also, even if she'd wanted to be a painter, even if she had the passion for it, and could master the technique, would her "mundane" paintings be equal on such a world who had artists using their Flair? That could well be a downside -- and lead to bitterness.

So, since it's my world, people usually get to choose what dreams they wish to pursue.


6:27 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

I am very interested in Genista's story, and would love to be a beta reader for the set if it gets picked up (please, let it get picked up). I think that Tab's conversation in with Tinne in Heart Fate most piqued my interest, but there were enough references to her in Heart Fate, Heart Choice and Heart Dance to have her as an important character in the series. To see her go from a vibrant young woman to the almost tortured person she is in Heart Fate made me sad. I for one would be thrilled to see her get a HEA, and see how she grows from the hardships.

10:50 AM  

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