Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Where Did that SNOW Come From?

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." — Lady Dorothy Nevill

I got up at 3:15 a.m. this morning, dopey as all get out... had gone to bed at 9:30 (LATE for me), dog woke me at 1 a.m., took her out, back to bed... struggled to sleep, dog woke me again a 3:15 and I got up. I loaded the LASR pages and reviews, put some wood on the fire, looked outside and saw SNOW(!) and decided I needed to sleep some more. So I laid on the couch with the dog and the cat and drowsed.

I'm still dopey, but I think I might be able to function today.

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I'm working on a full read-through of my mystery. Fact is, it's been so long, I've forgotten things. So my working on it yesterday was reading it... therefore, no additional word count. Still, I am moving forward.

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I got an off topic comment on the blog yesterday from DeeDee (who doesn't link her name, so I can't get in touch with her...) who had a question to ask about the romance publishing world. She said this:

For the past year, a girlfriend (published writer and publicist) has been writing a romance, her great american effort in 1st person, and she received this eMail:

"On page 3 of the newsletter, in the cream colored section, under the headline "The Black Velvet Seductions Wishlist February 2008" the second paragraph reads, "We do not accept any material written in third person. This is incorrect. We ONLY ACCEPT MATERIAL WRITTEN IN THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW. The sentence should have read, we do not accept any material written in first person point of view. Sorry for the error."

Why is romance the only genre mired in the tarpit of such pedantic rules? If the genre is to earn respect, shouldn't it treat works as literature instead of mere commodity? Could you dedicate a blog day to this topic?


Folks, I'm too busy to write an entire post about this, but I'd be willing to be that one or two or ten of you could think of something to say. Please do so in comments, would you?

I'll give you my two cents here: First off, a publisher is absolutely entitled to decide what they will or will not accept for publication. Period. This is certainly not exclusive to romance.

Second, some romance publishers WILL accept and happily publish well-written stories done in first person POV (The Wild Rose Press is one), so don't blame the rejection from one company on the entire business.

Third, I suspect *most* readers are used to third person. That's typically what we get when we open a contemporary romance novel. It's possible that the publisher is only trying to make certain that their customer base is satisfied.

Okay... I'm done for now. If I think of anything else, I'll post it in comments.

The floor is open.

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Only seven days until "One Love For Liv" is published.

Squeee...

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I spent ten minutes trying to find a quiz I hadn't taken, and struck out... looks like my daily quiz may be a thing of the past. You'd thing with ten gazillion people out there, someone would be making a quiz every day.

Sorry folks.

11 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

HQN has been publishing some first person romances. Kristin Higgins for one. (check her her out. She's funny, too!)
I think times are changing and you'll eventually see more first person romances, but some publishers are traditionalists and may want to stick with a formula that guarantees to work/sell.

Charity said...

Oh, sure. First person POV in romance. Next thing you know, dogs and cats will be living together.

It's scandalous, I tell you, simply scandalous.

Seriously, I thought there's be more takers on this one. ;-)

Maybe I'll blog on it.

Melissa said...

Hope you don't get too much snow and can squeeze in a nap!

Marianne Arkins said...

C,

I wish you would -- my brain is so focused on other things it's amazing I can string three words together right now.

M~

Brandy said...

So you'd be upset if I told you it's 71 here today? *g*
I'm not a writer, or in the business, but I can say that I have seen First Person books out there and have even read a few of them. One can hope that there is room for all creative types of writing out there. (Oh, and Jill Shalvis has written in First Person and it was published, so......)

Have a good day!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I hope the read through is energizing. I had a different writing task come up suddenly today, so I'm not going to write on the mystery. I am going to do some background reading that I've been putting off, though. The main thing is making progress, right?

And oh... that POV thing....

Tori Lennox said...

Personally, I love first person. I usually write in first person. Though the 1920s mystery is in third.

Charity said...

I'm not sure I managed to address the actual comment, but I did manage to squeeze in references to James Bond, Greek billionaires, and knife-wielding kittens.

Diane Craver said...

I like to read third person but love to write in first person!

I think first person point of view is becoming more popular.

Dru said...

As a reader, I'm use to third person point of view, but recently I've read first person point of view and I had no problems with it. As long as the story is well-written, it shouldn't matter which POV is being told.

Yesterday IE wouldn't let me post to your blog. Weird.

Mel said...

I don't understand why first person is taboo with most romances. Nonetheless it's one of those unwritten rules in this genre. The caveat that in first person the book is more the heroine's story is bull.

What romance isn't mainly the heroine's story?

I think first person got a bad rap like most writing taboos-a lot of people did it badly and it became a no-no.

I personally can't speak for publishers that shy away from that POV. Or why more often than not a first person romance is disguised as women's fiction or a chick-lit. It just may come down to sells, or sticking to what's tried and true, but I still think it's short sighting the reader to not even CONSIDER it.