PROLIFIC?

 

 

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
– Edgar Rice Burroughs

 

Prolific. A friend of mine used that word to describe me because in the past eight months I’ve written and published six works, three novellas and three novels. In retrospect it seems like a lot in a short period of time, and I probably won’t keep publishing at that pace – although I might. I get this empty feeling when I stop writing on a project and start preparing it to be put out there. Note I didn’t say ‘finished,’ I said stopped writing. I could take anything I’ve written and do another rewrite – sometimes you just have to stop writing. I bet Melville would have liked one more revision on Moby Dick.

But who publishes a hundred books? One that comes to mind is Nora Roberts. I haven’t looked up how many books have her name on them, but it’s a ton. Another writer like that was Erle Stanley Gardner. Not only did he put out all those Perry Mason books, he also wrote westerns and other mysteries. So, what do those two writers have in common? They often write the same or similar stories. Roberts has a bunch of different series, and they all sound alike: poor girl, rich man (with several brothers, one book in the series for each brother), girl is in trouble, man rescues her, HEA. Roberts also has some paranormal trilogies, same deal except they have three sisters (sometimes they’re cousins). The sisters all have something witchy about them, always derived from their Irish heritage. One book for each sister as they go on a quest. Books one and two have minor triumphs and book three is the ultimate victory of good Irish witchiness over the evil necromancer.

Gardner’s Perry Mason books were the same set-up: poor person accused of murder. Mason gets the real killer to confess at the trial, the killer being some rich guy or gal. I know I’ve read a few of his other mysteries but it’s been half a century or longer ago and I don’t remember them. I will guess it was the same deal, similar stories with different character names. I’ve never read any of his westerns, I think they were all short stories, so I won’t speculate about them.

So, if I am prolific (okay, I haven’t written a hundred books, but I’ve just gotten started) am I being repetitive? Thinking about it, in a way, yes. All but one of my stories has at least one character who has not identified herself as being gay prior to the beginning of the book. Some of these, like Treece in Finding Treece and Alex in Fit for Love, were in denial of their sexuality. Some of the others, like Amy who becomes Alex’s partner, Kat and Nan both in Kitty-Kat, and Emily in Caramel Kisses, thought themselves straight, until meeting the love of her life. Sam, in Girl of my Dreams, was blissfully unaware of having any sexuality, being a thirty-two-year-old virgin at the outset of the story. The exception to this is my latest novella Kitty-Kat’s Holiday, which is a sequel with the same two lead characters.

Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the novel I can’t seem to get written. I mentioned in my last blog that I was 20k words into it and not going anywhere. Thinking about it, each of the lead characters has always thought of herself as gay. Just not my story to tell, I guess. Maybe if I made one of them an Irish witch it would get easier.

Progress Report: I finished the holiday novella. It was 19K words and took me two weeks to write. It went more quickly than the others because it was a sequel and had the same lead characters. Also it’s mostly sex. For some reason it takes me less time to finish sex scenes, maybe because I don’t like writing them. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the half-written story I started last month or begin something new, but my fingers are already itching to get back on the keyboard.

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