I’ve learned something in trying to write blog posts. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t have that breezy, conversational style that is so ubiquitous on the internet. I’m not all that pithy. I’m not clever for clever’s sake. I’m not light and witty and funny.
I have four or five blog post attempts that I actually can’t bear to read. I have such big hopes when I first begin one…usually along the lines of “this post will help me clarify my thoughts about x.” But then I get into a muddle and realize why my thoughts weren’t clear in the first place. Because “x” isn’t simple, and there isn’t any clarity to be found. A blog post is like a public diary entry, and most of my diary entries don’t come to a point. I always knew I wasn’t an essayist.
So, I decided I should just tell you about what I’m writing about, like a status report. This morning I worked on my “Regency Magic” story. Beth conceived the Regency Magic series after she wrote an entertaining story that takes characters from a famous Regency-period novel of manners, extrapolates their plot line, and inserts comical magic touches. She did a good job with it—keeping the light Regency tone, using believable language, and finagling a happy ending with only one or two “pools of blood.” (Beth always has a pool of blood in her story. It might not last until the final draft, but there’s always one there in that first draft.)
Since it was going to be one of Luminous Creatures’ signature series, of course I had to try my hand at a story for Regency Magic. Now, I’m a fan of Regencies; I like the way a Regency romance has wit and lightness and detailed dress descriptions. I like that I don’t have to worry about whether everything is going to be resolved in the end—I trust the ending will be happy, and I find reading a Regency stress-relieving because of that expectable Happily Ever After.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I can or even really want to write one. I learned this by trying. I had a nice little housemaid going to her new place of employment. It was all supposed to be very funny, very witty, very light, with just a touch of paranormal telepathy. Furbelows and curricles and manners and the ton, with a sprinkle of pixie-dust.
Well, let’s just say things got very dire very quickly. Wagers were made. Cruel men ruined young innocents. Greed prevailed. Bad Things happened. I stopped writing, once again appalled by what I’d created. Me and my little Frankensteins. Beth has pools of blood, and I have lurid horrors.
I saved the story in its own folder and buried it several files deep below my desktop.
I took it out again this morning after two weeks off to see what could be salvaged. I thought it might require a total do-over. It certainly wasn’t the light Regency romance piece we were shooting for with the Regency Magic idea. It didn’t have anything to do with a book by Jane Austen. But instead of deleting anything, I just began writing my heroine and hero’s back stories without reading over the piece. So, that’s what I did this morning—1600 more words, and I decided to stick with the story, even if it is dark.
As one of my characters says somewhere, “We aren’t afraid of a little darkness.”