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Welcome to Chloe Harris' Blog

"Chloe Harris" really is the pseudonym for two writers, Noelle and Barbra, who've joined forces to write intriguing and sexy stories. A quintessential eccentric southerner, Noelle seems to find a story in almost everything. Ever ambitious to change her stars, she has a degree in Communications. Barbra lives together with her cat ('Princess Mimi'), who isn't very happy that she is spending so much time on writing. But this folly of the living can opener with opposable thumbs is mostly tolerated.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Here Comes The Sun - But Where Are All The Good Stories Hiding?

by Barbra

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, being prolific. I honestly admire prolific writers. Writers who, for example, can write an 80k word novel in three weeks despite suffering from migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, partial deafness and other things. Really admirable in my humble opinion… if that doesn’t go along with an extreme loss of highly original ideas – which it usually does.

However, I understand that a little. If you found the secret to success (boy meets girl, something awful stands between them so that they can’t find to each other then maybe add a little mystery to the mix before they finally come together and pledge their undying love for each other) why not go for it again and again? You may have a template ready, changing names and places and... presto change-o... you have a new NYT bestseller.
If people fall for it and don’t look for something – anything – new every now and then in the books they buy and read, why not?

On the other hand, prolific writers might want to try something different and suddenly they find themselves in a new pattern they can’t escape from – which is equally sad! Take this writer for example: Despite the heroine that had too many flaws and that wasn’t likeable at all, we put up with her simply because she had the hottest vamp in town drooling after her – or others stuck to reading the books because of the pathetically moody and broody werewolf she also dated. This writer tried her hand at something new... and see what came of it! She even lost me as a most loyal reader – and I’m not that easy to deter. But buying a 400 pages book in which 300 pages deal with absolutely hysterical and unbelievable sex (I'm not prude, don't get me wrong) is simply… well, I felt cheated and wanted my money back. She used to write good mysteries, though, didn’t she?

So, either prolific writers tend to not have original ideas but stick to the one and only pattern they’re good at or seemingly capable of, or they drown in the new pattern they try out. Either way, they’re doomed in my point of view. It’s a shame, really.

Which leaves only one conclusion: I need to find something new, something good. Another great writer I can add to my list of favs, which has changed dramatically since I posted the last list.

Common mistakes that make me throw a book against the wall are, for instance, reading one and the same thing over and over again. As a writer, I’d never insult readers by assuming they’re stupid. I have a high opinion of readers. However, I do understand that you need to make all the conflict, motivation, intrigue and scheming you thought up clear. But not every chapter. And surely not three times each chapter.

Also, I’d never insult a reader with shallow sex scenes that don’t even feel like “making love”. You get technical descriptions in a “how to do it” book, but I don’t think you should get them in a romance novel.

Moreover, I strongly believe that the hero and heroine pledging their undying love for each other should come at the very end of a book, so that you close the book with a smile on your face and a sigh on your lips.

I honestly feel cheated when I read such a book and I want my money back. But since that's out of the question, I throw the book against the wall. Thank goodness I'm not expected to be a role model for any kids! ;-) I just have to look out for where the cat is lying in order not to hit her by accident.

Personally I’m on the hunt for a good summer read these days. Do you have any suggestions?


Noelle said...

I hear you! I wish I had something new to suggest but I haven't comes across anything great lately.

Samantha Kane said...

The best new books, to me anyway, that I've read are Kresley Cole's, both her paranormals and historicals. Well, I've read one of each. But I liked them both. But I hear you. I've hated the last four books I read. Not sure if that's because the authors are writing too much, or just not well.