It’s been a funny few days. A small monkey has been flushed down the toilet courtesy of Lilirose (don’t call the RSPCA folks, it was made of plastic); my husband and I had a row about Cheerios of all things (How? I don’t even know); my son has been offered a “cool ride home from school” in a Black Thunder (mind boggles) on wednesday next week courtesy of local radio station Gemini FM and I’m pretty sure I sent a rather amorous text message to one of the other Bloggers by accident yesterday. You know who you are. Soz about that: your name is next to my husband’s in my mobile phone book, nothing funny is going on. Honest.
So, what else? Well, it would seem my 25 WOL package sucks. Which is a shame, since I worked a trillion hours on it, but you win some, you lose some. Rewrites are funny things: they can be exhaustive, exhilarating and ultimately deflating. My first Power of 3 liked it, but I should have known they’re all insane and need lobotomies. Only kidding. That first Power of 3 were all girlies like myself, not really interested in sci-fi. The next Power of 3 (well, 7) were made up of blokes who all adore sci-fi: the problem with mine then? Mine is a big fat cliche.
So how do you write a genre you’re just not that “into”? I mean, why would you bother? Well, I’m looking at it as an exercise – one day I hope to be commissioned on a movie that actually gets made and there’s a fair chance I’m going to look at the brief and go: WTF? We all know producers are mad and escapees from Broadmoor (really, it’s true, ask anyone – but not the Producers themselves ‘cos they’ll bite your cheek off like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear), so it makes sense to me to get a little bit of practice in on something I wouldn’t normally write. Plus there’s this part of me that says, “Sci-Fi COULD be interesting to women and I’m just the one to revamp the entire genre for the UK public!” I know. But you gotta have a big ego in this biz to cope with the knockbacks. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
So, I found out the hard way this week that it’s no good coming up with stuff you think OTHERS will like: you’ll be second guessing and the Genre Geeks (sorry boys) will smell it a mile off and bay for your blood. Really. It won’t matter what your characters, dialogue, arena, whatever is like, even if they’re good! They. Will. See. None. Of. This. All they see is THE IDEA. If that idea is a cliche then, all you need is a taxi for one to REJECTIONSVILLE, proving that concept is all at the end of the day.
You have to believe in what you write – but that doesn’t mean you CAN’T write genres you’re not keen on. You absolutely can. It’s finding that “in” that’s the problem: you need to access the genre through your own interests. I don’t like sci-fi… But I like philosophy. Hmmm. A lot of sci-fis have some quite deep stuff behind them if you choose to view them that way. Suddenly I’m getting a lot more ideas and I’m not second guessing anyone. I’m even enthusiastic about my new storyline – something I wasn’t particularly before.
You live and learn…