Yesterday at work I took a call from one of the hospital's radiologists, Dr. "Smith," who said that his colleague, Dr. Jones, dictated the x-ray results of his patient, Patterson, under the name of Dr. Smith's patient, Peterson. Dr. Smith said he would be reading the x-rays of Peterson and would be dictating them, while Dr. Jones would re-dictate Patterson's results under Patterson's name instead of Peterson's. All I had to do was remove the erroneous transcript on Peterson that really belongs to Patterson, and all would be well.
It's not a job, it's an Abbott and Costello comedy routine! Who's on first...?
Am I the only who is put off when the leading man of a romance novel takes one look at the leading lady and can identify the label inside her outfit ("She looked luscious in a black Armani suit.")? It seems to me that the only time a man should know this would be if he was there when she was getting dressed. Wouldn't this work better if it was part of the narrative or in the heroine's point-of-view than the hero's?
I think men who cook are sexy. On the other hand, men who recognize the work of designers of women's clothing make me question their masculinity...not the impression romance writers want to give for their heroes, I'm sure, and certainly one that clouds my perceptions.
I was quoting some of my reviews from Trouble Down The Road when I noticed a similarity between two of them. One reviewer said:
"The reason I enjoyed it so much is because even though the books are fiction, Bettye Griffin touches on a lot of real life issues. She develops each of the characters so thoroughly that the reader will most likely identify with one or more of the characters."
And then there was the reviewer who said:
"I enjoy reading Bettye Griffin's mainstream fiction books because she writes about real family life situations."
The similarity, of course, is the references to "real life." I've always been a realist. Even my romance novels are more about real people with real issues who nevertheless manage to fall in love rather than fantasy-fests that suspend reality. These might not be the most popular storylines, especially in these times when difficulties abound, but it's me.
I'm okay with that. Trying to write something I'm not really feeling would be as fake as green contact lenses...and it would look just as bad.
Clearly, writing about everyday drama is my strength, something I do quite well, and some people find the results both interesting and relatable. So I am now going to begin writing my next mainstream women's fiction, which is about a long-held family secret that comes to light after 50+ years and threatens the very fabric of what had previously been a rock-solid family from Zion, Illinois. I do have a title, but I won't reveal that until much closer to the publication date. I'm very excited about this project; it's my most ambitious to date.
How do you like your fiction? Real life, fantasy, or a balance of the two?
There've been some recent changes in the direction of my writing career, the details of which I'll share at a later date. I took a close look at my writing habits and decided I've been entirely too lazy when it comes to my writing. I've been terribly late with the manuscripts for my last two books. It's time to step it up, especially if I want to get my next Bunderful Books novel, The Heat of Heat, available for sale by November.
My new goal is simple: 1000 new words per day, at least 5 days per week (anything extra is gravy). Now, 5000 words per week will mean 16 weeks for an 80,000-word manuscript, 20 weeks for a 100,000-word manuscript, so I'm hardly talking Zoom City here. But, considering that this is a new manuscript and I'm simultaneously doing edits and rewrites for The Heat of Heat (which don't count as new words, even if there are plenty of them involved in the process), I've been very pleased with my progress. And I'm noticing that while 1000 words is my self-imposed minimum, I frequently do more than that (yesterday I did 1945). So, just two weeks in, it seems to be working pretty well.
Keep an eye on my progress meters. I'll have one for every project I write on.