OK, that's not entirely true. My new original story has managed to pass 17,000 words in a week, including the chapter and a half I got written today. The thing is writing itself. It just gets me to thinking, though...
I love to tell stories. I think I'm halfway decent at it most of the time. Once in awhile, I fall madly in love with one of my own characters. But I wonder if I'm really suited to writing romantica? I see some of the stuff that sells well, and it boggles my mind. Where's the story? Where's the character complexity? Do they even know what a comma is? Characters are thrust into the most absurd of situations, just to get them into having sex ASAP (if I see one more story synopsis about some woman being forced to have sex in order to satisfy some curse/get a promotion/escape blackmail, I think I'll throw up), and I wonder where the emotional development is. Isn't romantica supposed to be about the emotional connection in sex?
On the other hand, I don't think I could write a story *without* putting a romance of some sort in it. Even the plottiest of my ideas has a love story at its center. Do I just stop caring that I don't comfortably fit into any of these niches? I don't write nearly as much smut in my stories as the vast majority of people. I had *1* sex scene in my 15,000 word story I submitted for the LSB competition, and the rest of it was about emotional connection. I'm on chapter 7 of my current novel, and they haven't even kissed yet!
It's weird, because although I love to write my stuff, I find very little stuff e-published that I would want to read. Most of the time, the lack of a serious plot kills it for me. I certainly don't read what probably qualifies for romance in the print world, either. My one exception to that is Diana Gabaldon, and I think of hers as historical novels just as much as they're romantic. The stuff I read is usually thriller based (surprise, surprise). Jonathan Kellerman is the single author I go into a bookstore and buy without knowing what the new book is about. But I don't think I can viably write the stuff without putting the romance stuff in, which, again, screws me on marketing.
That's probably why I'm embarrassed to admit that I write it, even having a book published online now. When Chains showed up on Amazon, Craig was showing me off all around his office. He's so damn proud of me. All I could think of was, oh my god, they're all going to think I'm a ho for writing vampire smut. One of the managers asked Craig what it meant by labeling my story as erotica. Craig gave his usual response. "Sigrid writes porn. With plot, yeah, but still porn."
sadbhyl listens to me whinge about the marketing side of the business all the time. I did it at Phauxcon, too, and denny_dc was kind enough to help me try and understand it. I still don't, but I do appreciate the effort. I just feel like such a ho doing it. I *hate* to pimp myself. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I want the quality of the work to stand on its own. If it sucks, then that's fine. Sales should reflect that. Yeah, yeah, I know I live in a rose-colored world. Business just doesn't operate like that. Advertising is key, blah blah blah. Still sucks. Mediocrity *should not* be rewarded. I have huge issues stomaching success if it's not deserved. I also resent the hell out of people who subvert the system in order to make themselves look better.
OK, this is getting too tangential even for me. :) My point is...I'm a square peg in a round hole that just so happens to be bigger than me. I fit, but not well, and my corners are starting to chafe. I can ignore it most of the time, especially when I can vent like this, but it's a work in progress. It just takes time. :)