Destroying the myth

Posted on Posted in The Writing Life

When I tell people that I write for Mills and Boon often their first reaction is to say – but those books are all the same, aren’t they?

I then have to launch my marketing speel that things have changed a lot in the last 20 or 30 years since your mum read the Mills and Boon titles published in those ‘old days’ and there is now a huge range of lines covering every taste in commercial fiction – and that is what has made Harlequin the largest publisher of womens’ fiction in the world.

But one thing does tickle my cross spot. The implication that any person can simply ‘join the dots’ to ‘churn out’ something ‘trashy like that.’

For those of you gentle folk who do have not met me in person, I am tall, of robust northern farming stock and mostly Irish descent with green hazel eyes and short auburn brown hair.  With a higher education.

And I take my writing seriously.

Taunt my talent and hard work if you dare.

But of course they miss the point. All creative output for commercial gain has a form. Music, theatre, poetry. All created to a classical form. When I listen to a symphony I know that there are going to be movements. When I hear a sonnet I know that the poet has worked on a classical form.

The reader/the listener/the performer expects form -it structures the entertainment response so that they can immerse themselves in the emotional experience – but within a framework where they have a preconceived idea of what to expect.

So here is a treat to prove my point. Alan Rickman reading a sonnet.

Shakespeare wrote this piece in iambic pentameter and it follows the the AB-AB/CD-CD/EF-EF/GG rhyme scheme. Form. Still amazing after several hundred years. Hat tip to Galley Cat  for the link.

As for the taunters? Bring it on baby. Bring it on.

And yes, my caffeine intake is a little high this morning. Be not afraid. :-)

One thought on “Destroying the myth

  1. LOL! Are you ever tempted to tell them to go ahead and try? Getting an R would be a good, character-building lesson for them.

    Although, I suppose that would be punishing the editors… On second thoughts, a good thump might work just as well =)

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