Please indulge me a little rant this evening: I would love to see my manuscripts become not just published novels, but screenplays, teleplays, ANY play of any sort, but I am content to just “wait my turn.” All the while, I have seen some rather bizarre stuff hit the bestseller list. Now, I’m not a literary expert, or a marketing guru, or even some sort of bestselling literary Wizard of Oz, but the fact is I consider myself a pretty decent writer, capable of making a good living plying my craft, so I guess I’m just sort of stumped as to the popularity of modern literary products while writers like me continue to struggle and work in the mental sweatshops of content mills, etc.
My stuff isn’t exactly what you would call “everyday “material – it’s a meta-fiction, ripped-from-the-headlines, memoir crossover of sorts. That alone makes it a crapshoot. To add to this, I’m a person who tends to write in tangents, so following the storyline can be tricky and I have had to, on multiple occasions, reconfigure my plots so they don’t look like you are taking a trip through Candyland via the Mousetrap, Duck Hunt and Atari game system. The best way I can think of to describe my literary sensibility is “fast paced.” That said, I guess I just can’t quite get into “pop fiction” the way so many others have. Still, I know the value of my product, and I know that whoever decides to give it that “one shot” will be very, very pleased with the results.
Not to sound elitist, because I’m far from that, but I’m still at a loss as to how erotica become so big in the first place. Ditto for the vampire fantasy craze, though that particular niche tends to ebb and flow with years. I kinda get the fantasy medieval stuff, and even George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame languished in obscurity for many years before striking gold with the cry of “Winter is Coming.”
I suppose all literary trends are cyclical.
Does this mean I fault one group of authors for hitting it big? Not in the least. If you find a horse that gets you to the front of the line to win the Kentucky Derby of prose, then, by all means, ride that yearling into the dirt. Still, I guess I’m trying to figure out what sort of a writer I am really in the process, and the waiting game can be a little maddening. Am I a blogger, a content mill hack, a novelist, or a genuine literary producer of different works, ranging from compelling fiction to relaxing, imagination-capturing poetry? Time will tell, I suppose.
I’m thankful I have such an understanding agent, and more thankful my family has put up with me through the myriad highs and lows. To say that trying to get published is like walking through hell while wearing shoes with thumbtacks for insoles is an understatement. I would rather have sulfuric acid injected into my urethra, then have my buttocks flash-frozen with nitrogen and then shattered with a clawhammer! Still, this has made me stronger, I suppose and, should fate decide to actually toss me a fair hand for once in my life and not think of me as some karmic charity case, maybe, just maybe, I will be doing a book signing at a store near you.
There, I feel much better now!