Monday, July 31, 2006

Daydreaming

I should be doing work right now and I really plan on it, I swear. It would help if I could stop daydreaming about the stupid Macbook. (Shh! don't tell it, I said that). I just want to love it and kiss it and type on it. If loving the Macbook is wrong, I don't want to be right. I'd just like to stop loving it from a distance.
My friend Lisa and I are seriously considering writing a "romance" novel together. A). Because they're huge sellers and generally not as complicated to write and B.) they're hilarious, which makes the prospect of taking on such a task, much for fun than daunting.
In order to get a feel for them, we've been reading them. Holy shit. Some are certainly better than others and we've really only been reading the "best selling"/ "award winning" books so far, but still.
They are crazy and the more I read, the harder I actually think writing one will be. The stories are simple, but not too simple. The characters are cliché, but not too cliché, so there's really quite a fine line.
Interestingly (or not so, if you actually know my husband, who is about 10 million times more "highbrow" than myself), Lars has been reading classics lately. He recently finished George Eliot's, Middlemarch, which is a phenomenal book and it got me thinking that the great divide between "light" literature and great literature is tragedy. Romance novels may very well begin in tragic circumstances (a failed or abusive marriage, poverty, etc...) but, the book's purpose is to tell the story of the end to that tragedy, whereas classic literature tends to tell tell the tale of the tragedy itself. Middlemarch, for example, ends well enough for at least one of the protagonists, but it takes some 700 pages to get there and as a reader you're wiped out (deliciously wiped out, but it's exhausting to watch characters make devistating choices time and again).
It seems to me, that the exact opposite purpose is true of the romance. As a reader, you are never meant to feel pain, only antisipation and satisfaction. It's truly a strange genre.

1 comment:

jimbly said...

I think descriptions of curtains blowing can clue you in that you're reading a Harlequin-caliber romance. For example, if you come across the phrase "the curtains billowed like..." then you're reading a mass-market paperback romance.