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Writing the Great American Novel

I remember having a conversation with a client in my previous life as an attorney, when he asked me what it was I really wanted to do. My response was fairly immediate and I thought obvious: write the Great American Novel, of course.

Who doesn’t want to write this fantastical tome? To be the next Hemingway? (Not that I’m a fan of that particular author, but that’s another story). But no ideas for that bit of Americana came, no words were ever put to paper. I loved to read mystery novels, so I thought, well, why not? I could be the next Dorothy Sayers. I do have a couple of half-finished manuscripts from that foray, but I always got lost in the plotting. When writing a genre so structured, you have to be extremely detail-oriented, and I had enough of that in my legal career. I wanted my writing life to be more free-style, less choreographed.

And, being the complete idiot I was, I thought, why not romance novels? Those should be easy to write. And the romance industry is one of the more profitable ones in publishing. I hadn’t even read many before I decided that was the direction I would head. So, I started my reading list, and with each book I read, was pulled further and further into the genre. Much to my surprise, it became my favorite.

I quickly found out that writing romance novels wasn’t easy – especially the dreaded sex scenes. But, I find that I can ramble my way through a manuscript without the need for extensive plotting. Just a boat load of editing.

So, I’ve stopped dreaming about writing the Great American Novel (maybe), and just try to write entertaining books. I hope all my books are fun and sexy. And I hope people enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it.

(Because anytime I say or write free-style, I think of Peanut Butter Jelly Time, I've included it here for our mutual viewing pleasure.)


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