After casting around in the wilderness for a while, tinkering away at the second novel – the one I began during last year’s NaNoWriMo – I have belatedly realised that I don’t want to continue with it. Not at the moment, anyway.
On the premise that we should write about what we know, I had set this second novel in a television news studio, like the first. It’s my work background and I’m familiar with this environment, although I no longer work in television. I hoped that I had managed to prevent the technological workings from intruding too much on what are essentially romances, but I haven’t found a publisher for the first effort yet. And a couple of comments from agents made me doubt the wisdom of continuing a novel in a similar vein, if they were unsure where to place the first. So I have shelved the second installment, as it were, until I get some interest in the first.
What I really want to do is start something completely different. Using a plotline that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time, this new work concerns three women and three secrets. In a complete departure from the other novels, two of the three main protagonists in this story are woman of my own age. Menopausal women with an abundance of experience and humour. Working title, Middle Age Spread.
Warning voices have advised me that there is no market for this type of work: a novel about old ladies. I want to prove these gainsayers wrong. I’m a woman of a certain age who enjoys reading about men and women in a similar flush of middle age. I can’t be the only one, can I? I feel confident that there are plenty of people out there who want to read well-written, provocative stories about their own age group, who are experiencing the same doubts, fears, work and lifestyle changes and who conduct themselves with (mostly) charm, good humour and understanding.
So, I have wound up my cast of clockwork characters and set them going to see where they take me. I have established my circle of motivation and I know roughly what the destination is. There will be adventure, confusion, suspense and perception interspersed with grief (unavoidable by this stage in one’s life), a smattering of pure nastiness, comedy and hopefully, satisfaction.
I have begun.
If we don’t write about what we want to write about, then there would be no enjoyment in the process. Yes, we want to write marketable fiction, but if a product is good, there will always be a niche. I recently saw the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” Wasn’t a huge blockbuster, but it carried its own. And most of its cast members were over 60!
Thanks for the support – at least I’ll know that my readers will understand my cultural references! 🙂
As a reader, I don’t care how old the characters are as long as they’re interesting and believable and taking part in an enjoyable story. Carrie has gotten me started on Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway mysteries. One thing I don’t like is the tone that, at 40, Ruth is OLD. Not by a long shot in my book!
She’s a mere child, but I hope I’m not being condescending or patronising – quite common traits of the middle-aged, or so I’m told! 🙂
I want interesting memorable characters and they can be any age at all. I am reading a book at the moment and my favourite character is a 90 year old woman. Go for it.
A lot of my favourite characters are old – dotty aunts, ageing politicians – all with plenty to say.
Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂
Yes. Do write it.
Thank you, I will.:-)
Too late to stop anyhow – the birth throes were painful, but it’s off and running. No going back now.