I had a challenge to write a short-short story on giving up writing and why we shouldn't. It should be heartwarming, they said. Riiiiight. If you know me, I do action, sex, humor... but a sweet heartwarming story? Uh... *scratches head* Not...really. With that dilemma in mind, I wrote about how another writer might handle a similar assignment. Enjoy.
Every day, I get up and I look in the mirror, and I say, "My name is Kris, and I'm a writer. Today's the day, baby! I'm gonna be famous." As you can see, I don't just talk to myself; I lie to myself too.
Yeah, well today, I quit. No, not lying. Duh. As if... No, I gave up writing.
Why? The last line of my editor's email said, "Make it more heartwarming, and it'll sell."
I'll give him heartwarming! How many hours did I sit here, at his suggestion no less, staring at the screen, trying to come up with ways to increase action? Okay, so now you've got your slam-bam action. There's a crisis on every page. And he wants "heartwarming."
I'm an action writer. Heartburn is more like it.
My hero's a player, smart, in great shape, face and body like one of those models from New York. He can do anything. Problem is, he's all mouth. You know the type. Knows everything, and makes sure you hear about it. Here's one of his lines. "I'm so much more intelligent than most of my friends that they don't seem to like me. Apparently, they have ego problems."
How do you make a guy like that heartwarming?
He's a spy. Carries an arsenal in his pants, in more ways than one. Kills for a living. Crude and rude. Think Dirty Harry meets James Bond. What does this editor want, Dirty Harry meets Love Story? Cute little warm fuzzies all over the place? My poor hero would puke.
I can see it now: "Love means never having to say I'm Bond. James Bond."
My friends would laugh themselves silly. Hmmm. Wait a second. What if I made it a comedy? I could do comedy. Dirty Harry meets Love Story... I could call it "Dirty Love Story." Yeah... I kind of like that. Maybe the hero's got a thing for love stories. Reads women's erotica on the sly, to find out what women really want in bed. Yeah! That could work. That's heartwarming, isn't it?
I gotta get my laptop. Today's the day, baby! I'm gonna be famous.
Anyone care to share a similar misdirection from an editor or when looking for kind of book -- you end up buying something totally different from what you expected?
Oh, and btw, yes, that pic is of Adam Lambert, one of the final two contestants on American Idol. Hey, it's my blog today and I can post what I want. GO ADAM!! Ok... back to your regularly scheduled blog. =^_^=