Dilemma of a Modern Writer – Is this possible?

For many years and many centuries women fought for equal rights and equal opportunity.  It wasn’t all that long ago we finally achieved our dreams.

As a writer, I believe we must read, read, read – not only to understand what is good and the ‘how to’ process but to study what is popular (or even fads) of now.

Unfortunately the most horrible book became a best seller and I foolishly bought it.  Fifty Shades of Grey became a best-seller, so much garbage I couldn’t read it.  Life is much to short to waste my time on garbage.

I cannot expand on the most entertaining, accurate review I have ever read by Katrina Lumsden on Goodreads.  She gives Fifty Shades of Grey a one-star review.  I wish we could give negative number reviews.

Christian (the supposed hero) is jealous, a stalker, cruel and doesn’t have a single attribute that should be considered appealing to a modern woman.  The heroine is meek and unbelievably weak for a woman in modern times. In the real world she would seek counseling. Any ‘real’ man would have rushed to her defense and squashed Christian like the bug he is, then built her self-confidence.

This story depressed me – if this is what the modern woman wants I can’t produce it.  I considered my romance novels,  Melisa Hamling (author of Twenty Weeks) said that Wade in my One Dance with a Stranger – was hotter than hot.  I was pleased with the review.  But now I wonder is Wade too nice to be a hero? Will he ever attract a modern woman.  He doesn’t beat women, he doesn’t ‘force’ women and he certainly doesn’t try to control women. But he is strong, sexy and very fun to be around. He also allows a woman to have a brain to think for herself.

One Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. ForbesThen I know I can never create a monster like Christian.  I can never create an unbelievable heroine like Anastasia – so meek and submissive for no apparent reason.  If women today want a dominating, cruel, horrible man then I can only say…


Dilemma of Modern Writing – Personalities

No one argues there aren’t fads in writing and novels.  But what happens to a writer when the fads conflict with a writer’s personality? When the popular stories are vampires/zombies/witch-craft and you find it silly can you write a novel using them?  I would use the example of 50 Shades of Grey. Why is it popular?  I have heard since I was young – sex sells.  In Romance novels (other than Erotica) sex is very ‘tame’ – even with explicit scenes. There is a purpose and it intends to develop a loving relationship – not a thrill.  I personally have no interest in submission or even S & M.   I think women fought too hard to become equal to now destroy that accomplishment.  So as an author trying to sell books to make a meager living do I follow fads or do I write my ‘dreams’.  My dreams may never sell.  But riding on the ‘coat-tails’ of a popular novel might.

I have been recently discussing the possibility with Jumbled Writer of people being born with a negative personality or a positive personality.  (Cup half full/cup half empty). Although the thought entered my mind, I have done no research on the topic.  If we are (I feel my ‘theories’ are just as good as other ‘theories’ that some take as reality), the next question that comes to mind, can you change personalities?  Is it as harmful as ‘they’ say to have a negative personality?  Could it be possible that you are harming rather than helping a negative personality by trying to change them?  Is it intended that there be both personalities in a balanced world?

Then relating it to writing – can a negative person write an uplifting novel and a positive person write a sad, depressing novel?  Should they try?  I am optimistic even when confronting horrible situations.  I know the feelings of depression, sadness which I use in my writing – but I can’t seem to end a story on a hopeless note.  So then I question how a pessimist is able to end a story with hope.  I think there is room for both and there are people who want to read either or both.

Hawk's Gift by Mary M. Forbes

Hawk’s Gift – a story of almost insurmountable conflicts where love conquers all.

My signature is ‘Happiness without Guilt’.  But can a negative person feel happiness without feeling guilty?  I do believe that writers write from their perspective of what they believe the world is all about.  Often a writer must cross the lines but the outcome is very different.  I have heard there is no happily ever after like romance genres portray and I know there is.  Many, many couples are happy, even in their old-age.  The story of romance is how they deal with conflicts throughout the story, showing they are meant to be together.  You then, as a reader, assume they will still deal with future conflicts but it will be together and they will be happy together.  Can a negative person believe this? Is a happily ever after story a fantasy?

I always say – be true to yourself – write what you want – regardless of what the fad of the day might be.  It may never make you rich but will give you peace and a happy life.  Good luck regardless of who or what you are.  Be true to yourself.