Is it possible for an unknown author to grab a six-figure publishing deal and a top agent in the middle of a recession? Those in the book trade say no way! Even the top authors are facing cut-backs. With no novel outline, no plot, no title, no genre, no word count and no contacts in the business, Anu Novelist sets out to achieve the seemingly impossible. Credit crunch . . . what credit crunch?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I'm on my way - sort of.
My first efforts focussed on 'genre'. I divided a piece of paper into three columns (just like being back at junior school, this). In the first column, I wrote down as many genre types as I could think of: literary/ chick lit/ crime (thriller/ mystery/ suspense)/ rom com/ western/ Mills & Boon
In the next column I wrote the 'plus' points against each one and in the third column the minuses. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've been given the advice 'write what you like to read, so you won't be surprised that the plusses for the 'thriller' genre overran all the others. My favourite type of reading has always been crime fiction. But . . . (and it's a huge but, unlike my own petite (and gorgeous, so I've been told) 'butt') . . . I'm prepared to sacrifice the kind of story I love . . . for something that is more commercially viable. That's the name of the game after all. This is a commercial enterprise - all about making masses of dough in an economic downturn.
Chick lit is a real no-no for me, no matter what the size of the contract. It's too light and fluffy and boring. Yawn. As for Mills and Boon - don't get me wrong - I have huge admiration for those who can, but I don't think I could pull it off convincingly.
No what we need is a kind of saga - something that demands a sequel (possibly several) - and a TV adaptation. Absolutely. Now we're getting somewhere.
Now we just need THE BIG IDEA as Dave Haslett put it. I'm off to check out this week's top ten listings in The Bookseller, to get some inspiration for my blockbuster. Or possibly bonkbuster.
See ya later!