“Vision precedes reality.” Jayne Ann Krentz (said by a
character in the novel ‘Amaryllis’)
I want to be more like romance novelist Jayne Ann
Common wisdom says don’t compare yourself to others. I
call bullshit. I think sometimes others can show you the potential you aren’t
JAK does this in 2 areas for me. First, she’s incredibly
prolific. She writes under 3 psuedonyms: Amanda Quick historicals; Jayne Castle
futuristics; Jayne Ann Krentz contemporaries.
She’s been accused of writing from a formula. Having read
every word she’s written, in my opinion, she has several formulas and ALL of
them produce good books.
She’s proof of what happens when one sits down and puts
their fingers on the keyboard and writes. Daily. For hours. I want more
of whatever it takes to do this.
The second area she shows me where I don’t live up to my
potential is harder to explain. I’ve read some of the most profound truths in
fiction. When characters in novels say things like “vision precedes reality”
it’s better than non-fiction.
I know I’m capable of writing like this. Again with the
sitting…with the fingers on the keyboard – this time adding an engaged, active
I want to be more like romance novelist Sarah
I can’t quote every word of her book ‘Garden Spells’ but
I would if I could because they’re compelling. The genre is romantic magical
realism but it’s beyond that. The main characters have magical quirks that form
community and arc to fit together like pieces in a puzzle. And the apple tree
in the backyard is one of the main characters.
I know I can write like this. I started a magical realism
genre trilogy. I still have pages on a jump drive somewhere. The guts of the
story were all outlined in a red sketchbook that I was using to make notes
about works in progress and ideas for other writing projects. UNTIL. I was on
an Amtrak train and there was an idiot who locked himself in the bathroom with
a gun. Everyone had to flee the train, leaving their belongings behind. I
should’ve brought the sketchbook with me. We never made it back on that
particular train and my efforts to locate the lost sketchbook were futile.
I could have reproduced most of the background for the
trilogy if I had made efforts at the time. Now it would be starting from
scratch. Maybe someday.
I want to be more like romance novelist Jenny
Crusie. She’s written 20 best-selling novels and in the next 2 years she will
be releasing 4 more. And all of them have snappy, snarky, dialogue-driven
From Agnes and the Hitman:
Agnes: “Who is Carpenter?”
Shane: “He’s a man of many talents.” He looked up at her,
and she remembered she was naked. “You might want to get dressed. He’ll be here
in twenty minutes.”
“Is he going to try to kill me?”
“Already I like him,” Agnes said, and went into the
I’m not going to say I can write like this. I can write
the dialogue. I can drive the plot with it. What I can’t do is what Crusie and
Addison Allen are masters at. I can’t treat a book like a thousand-piece puzzle
that all fits together and makes a beautiful picture in the end.
But I’m confident that I could learn to do that.
What I want is more time to write.
So the question is: why do I waste the time I have doing
“Vision precedes reality.” I want my circumstances to
lend themselves to my finishing novels and chapbooks. When I try to visualize
what that reality would look like, though, no clear picture forms.
Brilliant idea: I need to make a vision collage. Should I
make it online? Should I do a cut and paste on poster board collage? Where
would I get magazines with pictures to cut out?
Snap – another reason why I don’t write more: I’m
easily distracted like those dogs in the movie Up anytime there’s a squirrel.
That was a great movie. Maybe I should watch it one more
Post a Comment