Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writers, Articulation and Intellect

I’ve always admired people who are so articulate in their ability to skewer a point or write blog posts that are scintillating in analytical detail. I tend to ramble and just throw something out there. Even in my stories I tend to ramble. I’m getting better at reining that habit in though.

Still, when I read posts at different blogs, I’m in awe of the minds that write these posts. I mean these people must have brains like Einstein, because I read them and think OMG, I am sooo not posting a comment because what I have to say will pale in comparison to their intellect. Of course, I generally wind up ignoring my own advice and I post much to my regret. *sigh*

Duh Moments

I consider myself pretty intelligent, sometimes, I read blogs and comments and I’m thinking, WTF?? Did these people go to Harvard, Brown, Smith, Yale…etc. I feel somewhat ashamed of my lack of knowledge, and yes sometimes even insight, about the topic of romance. It makes me wonder if I’m a superficial author. A writer who doesn’t delve deep enough into the intellect of my characters for my readers. In some respects, it makes me wonder whether I’m supposed to be writing Jane Austen for the masses or Stephen King for the masses.

Jane Austen wrote romance that also was a commentary on the society she was a part of. All of her books delve into different aspects of the social structures of the time and she’s become well loved for her work and the analysis of her work is expansive.

Stephen King on the other hand, doesn’t generally write about the society we live in, rather he writes books that are meant to “scare” you, while entertaining you in the same breath.

I was trying to be analytical when thinking about these two writers, who you CAN NOT compare in terms of apples to apples, but here’s what suddenly popped into my head. Jane Austen is like a lovely art museum. Her books are beautiful portraits that you can drink in pleasurably and just sit and relax with for the simple joy of it. Stephen King is an amusement park ride (think roller coasters). His books are strictly for setting you on edge of your seat when he pulls you up one hill and then he plunges you down that same hill at lightning speed to the point you’re so scared you have no spit left.

Drinking From The Well

I drink from both wells (art museums and amusement parks) equally and can still be satisfied. And it makes me wonder if most readers aren’t like that—able to drink from the socially conscious type of books and the “fun, just for the hell of it” books. I know that a lot of blogs out in the blogosphere purport one opinion or the other, but there's a large percentage of the population that doesn't read those blogs and probably have a different opinion as to what constitutes good romance writing or bad romance writing.

For me, I’m convinced I’m a Stephen King kind of writer. I just want to write what I love to read, and I want to entertain my readers with a good story. I write for the masses and I don't worry about putting hidden messages or social issues in my books. I don’t want to over think my work, although I sometimes feel intense pressure to do so when I read some of the blogs out in the blogosphere. But what I really desire is to have a reader, say "Damn, that was a good book. For a couple of hours I was wrapped up in somebody else's troubles enough to get away from my own."

So where do you think you fit in?
Do you see yourself more as a Jane Eyre or more as a Stephen King writer/reader? Perhaps you’re neither and think you’re like someone else…Thoreau, Emerson, Poe, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele…tell me who you see yourself as when it comes to writing or reading.



Monica Burns said...


Alisha Paige said...

Great topic, Monica! I'm trying to keep my reader on edge. To keep that reader turning the pages. I love to write dark romance, love mingled with darkest desires, danger and wickedness. I too try to write for the masses and do not really try to convey a message through my writing. I have however discovered one central theme throughout most of my paranormal and fantasies. Reincarnation. I just love the idea of life after death. Of death as a rebirth of the spirit. It's interesting to see reoccuring themes with an author and this has come to define many of my books.

Monica Burns said...

It's interesting to see reoccuring themes with an author

This is the one thing that troubles me about my own writing. I want to keep it new and fresh, and it concerns me that somehow a singular theme might wind up as a boring concept for readers. I've been toying with trying to infuse a new theme in my work. So far, it AIN'T working. LOL

Thanks for posting.

Alisha Paige said...

You know, you are right, Monica. I only have a handful of books out but I'm need to come up with something else. We as authors need to keep it fresh! And sometimes this is very difficult! I'm hoping my muse inspires me.

Monica Burns said...

Good luck with that!