Friday, April 28, 2006

small Rant

I was puttering around some study groups this morning -- periodically I go into all of them and snoop just because I can (and no one has updated their blogs yet, so I have nothing else to do) -- and I came across a reference to someone, once again, stating that they are planning on writing a category romance in order to get their foot in the publishing door with the implication that:

1. Romance is easy to write; and
2. Anyone can get published in romance.

That said, I have also hesitated to return to one of my crit groups because a member who had taken a long hiatus has now returned. She is a talented literary writer with an acerbic tongue and an intense dislike for the pablum that is romance writing. Because of this, I'm not entirely certain that I will be comfortable in there any more, which is a shame because I love the rest of the folks in there.

I know I've ranted about this before, but it still gets my goat.

Writing romance is no easier than writing anything else. You still need decent characters, interesting plot and good grammar (though I've seen dozens of books published with one or more of these "requirements" missing).

And, if the person I'd referenced above took the time to look through some of the "aspiring romance author" blogs, she'd see how many folks are out there writing and submitting and NOT getting published.

I don't read literary novels... I'm not wired to enjoy them. I had several shoved down my throat in English lit classes, and every one of them was a wall banger for me. I finished them because I had to, but never found one that kept me awake reading until 2 a.m.

I love reading genre novels: romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy. You know, all the stuff that's panned in the "real" writing world.

I read a blog this morning that compared the garbage he's been reading in the literary community to (said with a sneer) chick-lit. He called it "lit-lit" and it wasn't a compliment.

But doesn't it say something that the biggest selling genre of books out there is romance, following closely by mysteries? People have enough darkness in their real lives, they need happy endings in make-believe.

Or at least I do.

And writing them isn't easy.



Tori Lennox said...

I don't read literary novels... I'm not wired to enjoy them. I had several shoved down my throat in English lit classes, and every one of them was a wall banger for me. I finished them because I had to, but never found one that kept me awake reading until 2 a.m.

Amen, sister!!! Mystery is my biggest genre of choice, but I do read romances, and science fiction/fantasy. Literary stuff? NO THANKS!!! I'd rather watch paint dry. *g*

Ceri said...

I couldn't agree more with you! I read for entertainment. Period. Like you I got my share of literary "masterpieces" throughout my school career and I'm really not enthusiastic about reading them again.

And no, its not a piece of cake getting published in the romance genre. If that were the case I'd be published many times. I've worked hard (and for years) to reach the point I'm at.

I'd be curious to see what this person thinks after she subs her first romance. *rolling eyes*

zoogq-sounds like the cute alien Muppet character

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. Most of those lit books put me to sleep. My favorite genre is mysteries. I love being immersed in a book and totally unaware of all that's going on around me. If a book has me stumped until the end, that's the best. I recently read a book that did that. It's The Delta Project by Mark Earnest. It's a detective mystery with disappearing dead bodies/post 9/11 military conspiracy novel all in one. It kept me guessing until the end. I couldn't put it down.

Charity said...

Well, leave it to me to be contrary, but I’ve found books in every genre that I’ve enjoyed, from romance to literary to the classics. We wouldn’t have a romance genre without Jane Austen and the Brontes. Pamela Regis’s A Natural History of the Romance Novel is a good place to start, published by University of Pennsylvania Press for a balanced review of the genre’s history. Next time someone genre bashes, point them toward Professor Regis and let her do the work.

And darn it all, I can’t find the exact quote, but I love what Sir Tyrone Guthrie (founder of the Guthrie Theater here in Minneapolis) had to say about how entertainment need not be devoid of meaning. When these arguments start among writers of varying genres, it seems to come down to that. It must be one or the other. Either you’re literary and have MEANING albeit a depressing and pretentious one or you’re genre and you’re fluff for the masses.

I’m not sure why these genre wars start and with such frequency, but they seem to. Reminds me of kids taking sides on the playground.

Marianne Arkins said...

I suppose that "literary" in my brain equals "depressing".




And, I have to admit to not enjoying reading many classics either.

A Tale of Two Cities. Yawn.

I tried to read Peter Pan to my daughter, and a more confused, poorly written, convoluted book I have never seen.

We stopped after the second chapter.

But then, I've said before, I lack the "deep" gene.

I'm shallow.

That said, I believe that many genre novels have a deeper meaning if you look for them.

And, IMHO, romance carries the deepest meaning of all. What could be more important than living Happily Ever After?