A few weeks back I posted some YA clichés, this time it’s the turn of the rom-coms. This goes for books mainly, but also movies. Please feel free to add some of your own in the comment box!
Some romantic comedy conventions:
1/ A chase – especially an airport chase.
2/ The ‘cute meet’ – the main characters meeting somewhere sweet – pet shop, zoo etc etc
3/ boyfriend/hubby going off with a best friend/sister – a la In Her Shoes
4/ Arguments in restaurants or other very public places (so much more interesting than arguments in private!)
5/ Girls who work in publishing/bookshops/magazines
6/ Girls who are florists, event managers, wedding planners, cooks/bakers
7/ The Mr Darcy syndrome – hate turning to love
8/ The gay best friend – more in movies than books funnily enough
9/ The quirky best friend (often with red/pink/bleached hair)
10/ Meeting while walking dogs – see no 2
11/ Interrupted conversations/kisses
12/ Guys who are doctors or lawyers
13/ Ugly duckling turned into swan girls
14/ Mean girls who get their comeuppance
14/ Embarrassing/whacky families
15/ Awkward heroines – Bella Swan syndrome
16/ Cinderella stories – tough past, rosy future
17/ Boy next …
I’ll have to be quick today as I have a book waiting to be line edited, another which needs a first edit, and yet another which needs to be written. But I’ll do this first (see how much I love you, people!).
There was an interesting piece in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post about journalism – Romantic journalism is dead and gone by Aileen O’Meara. In it she says: ‘To be on top of the game, an newspaper journalist now has to be effectively be a multimedia producer . . . surf the net, update a Twitter account and a blog, offer an audio version of breaking news and self-podcast what happened, and carve out a career as a good performer on both radio and television panels.’
It got me thinking about writers, and what they are now expected to do.
Multimedia – check. I’ve written about this before – websites, blogs, social networking – all useful ways to stay connected with your readers.
Surf the net – looking for ideas for blogs and to keep up to date – check (along with reading the newspapers, keeping an ear on the radio and an eye on the television).
Update a Twitter …
(A short piece written partly in the form of notes – sorry, busy week! But the info should be of use I hope!)
Recently I’ve been asked this question a lot by new or about to be published writers: should I have a Facebook page? What’s the point of Twitter? What should I blog about? Should I have a website?
And the answer is yes – but only if it suits YOU as a person.
Here are the pros and cons of each as I see it. This is mainly for newbies to all this – it’s all pretty standard and I don’t pretend to be an expert or even proficient at any of it (as David Maybury will attest). But I do my best – and if I can do it (and I’m useless with computer stuff), then the good news is – you can too!
Seems to suit children’s authors and popular fiction writers the best. It’s a heady mix of personal bits and bobs, funny stories, jokes, photographs and general information. It tends to be less political (or work related) then Twitter.
A lot of children and teenagers are on Facebook and love being a ‘friend’ …
One of my lovely readers, Amy F, found this on a blog and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s by a writer called Rosemary Urquico.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. …
Just Like Starting Over – Knowing When Your Book Just Isn’t Working (and what you can do about it)
Last week I was going great guns on my new book, The Shoestring Proposal, the second book about two sisters called Julia (Jules) and Pandora Schuster. So there I was, typing away happily, 10,000 words in when I started to get this niggling feeling that something just wasn’t right. I soldiered on and finished my day’s writing. Then I read it over and started swearing under my breath. Nope, it really, really wasn’t working.
So I spent all evening thinking about it. Why wasn’t it working? And then I figured it out. I’d planned to book to revolve around Jules, the younger sister. But when I was plotting it in my notebook (yellow naturally), I realised that Jules was on the outside, looking in at the problems and tribulations of her sister’s life and not in the thick of action, which is a no no. So I started again and threw some almighty problems Jules’s way instead.
But the problems I’d given her didn’t quite sit right. And besides, I’d given her such a rough ride in the previous book that …
Today I have no heating. We ran out of kerosene over the weekend. The nice Topaz delivery man arrived this morning and filled the tank, but for some reason I can’t get the boiler to re-light. So the house is pretty cold and Ben (my partner) who is the practical one in our house is working in Chicago at the moment, so I can’t ring him yet and ask his advice ‘cause of the time difference.
But we’re lucky it hasn’t happened during one of those cold snaps. I keep thinking of that poor girl who died from hyperthermia recently in a council flat in Dublin – it really is like The Little Match Girl. May she rest in peace. Appalling stuff.
And today my daughter is off school with a virus. She’s currently sleeping in my bed behind me (I work in my bedroom as there’s no distracting internet connection up here.), snoring lightly. None of this is very interesting, but there is a point to it all I promise!
I’m very, very tired. She didn’t sleep at all well last night – insisted on climbing into my bed and tossed and turned all night. So I got very …
I was prompted by a feature by Catherine Heaney in today’s The Gloss (The Irish Times magazine) to write about agents. The piece is mainly about Irish agents and I’ve often been asked why I don’t have an Irish agent. I’m represented by Lucas Alexander Whitley, LAW, and in particular Philippa Milnes-Smith and Peta Nightingale. They are based in central London.
Catherine’s piece mentions the Irish agents Faith O’Grady, Marianne Gunn O’Connor and Jonathan Williams who was the first agent in Ireland (he set up in 1986) and last year received over 2,800 submissions. He says ‘the standard hasn’t necessarily improved. I think the sad fact is that there are more people writing than reading.’
Claire Kilroy is also interviewed. She said she went to London to meet with several agents before deciding on Simon Trewin at United Agents. She says ‘I went with the one I felt I could speak most openly to, and who spoke most openly back.’ Simon also represents John Boyne.
Also mentioned are agents Peter Straus (who represents Colm Toibin and Hugo Hamilton), Ivan Mulcahy (Hugo Arnold and Domini Kemp), Ed Victor (Edna O’Brien and John Banville) and Derek Johns (Sebastian Barry and Paul Murray), …
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