I finished Chapter 14 in Blood Avenged last night, which means there are only about fifty pages left. I might even be a little ahead of schedule, amazingly enough. Doing the Happy Monday dance for that.
I overheard a conversation Friday night at Barnes and Noble that's stuck in my brain (or is it my craw?) since then, so today it's coming out. I've got too much other important stuff to keep up there!
Two women were seated near me, and the one woman was talking about writing a paranormal romance. My ears instantly perked up since that's what I do. I have to admit that I don't get to spend much real time (in person) hearing about the joy and sorrows of other authors' lives, so I was interested even more.
Cue the hopes-dashed-against-the-rocks music here, however. I quickly found out that I wasn't listening to an author but someone who was posing as a writer. Her first sentence gave her away when she announced that she was going to write a paranormal romance and didn't believe it would be that hard or take too long. She then went on to explain why, her reasons including that others have done it, so why couldn't she and it's not like there's a lot of research involved.
I don't disagree with the idea that others have done it so why can't I. I think it's a great incentive to doing anything. That said, it's not easy. There's a reason some people are good at it and others, no matter how hard they try, aren't.
And not much research? Well, that depends, and you'd be surprised at how much research good authors do even for subjects you'd think required very little research.
Writing isn't something you can learn from books, no matter how many gurus say otherwise. Sure, you can (and should!) learn grammar from a book, in addition to techniques concerning methods to organize stories and your ideas. However, you can't learn to write from books. Writing is something that comes from a place other than your head. The how-to books are good for your brain, but they don't do anything for your heart. Stories require your heart to be in them, or no matter how hard you try, they won't work.
And then there's another reality lost in our world today. Even if you have heart and have learned everything you can from the writing gurus, it may still never mean you can write anything good. Not everyone can be a writer, just like not everyone can be a football player. Writing just seems easier because it doesn't physically hurt as much. :)
So to the woman at the Barnes and Noble near my house, I wish you luck. When you looked at your friend and said confidently, "That writing thing can't be that hard, right?" I chuckled. And then when you added, "And it's paranormal romance, so how hard could that be?" I rolled my eyes. You see, it only looks easy. What you're entering into is a world where there are no rules but many competitors. Everyone has a vampire, angel, demon, shapeshifter, were, and even ghost romance to sell, so you've just walked on to a very crowded field. And your attitude tells me you underestimate a few things and overestimate others.
So no, lady at Barnes and Noble, that writing thing isn't easy and your ideas about paranormal romance are a bit off. And even if everyone you know says you can do it, in the end, it's all on the author. I'll be looking for your idea because I remember it. Nothing original, but then again, either were your ideas about writing. It's called hubris. Dictionaries are in the reference section.