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  1. x_raichelle_x
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    x_raichelle_x Contributing Member

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    A dilemma.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by x_raichelle_x, Jun 23, 2009.

    I don't know if this is in the right place, so apologies if its not.
    I'm wanting to write a story about a twenty-something woman, but the trouble is a lot of the books that I have read or read excerpts from where the MC is in this age group, they are all so similar.

    They are all young women with good jobs in publishing or advertising or something along those lines, well paid and hard to get into, they all have flats or houses in places like London or Exeter, and can afford expensive handbags and lunch dates, they have a 'Mummy and Daddy with a house with a big garden' etc. They are like British versions of Carrie Bradshaw (& as much as I love Sex & the City, its not the most realistic or gritty of things).

    I want something gritty - my character will be in a dead end job, bills which are way too high, clothes from H&M & George instead of designers, and I want her to have real life struggles in there along with the main plot. However I'm worried that if I send this off for publishing, because there's a high chance the editors or readers who get this are one of these lucky girls with nothing to worry about, they'll dismiss it and think of it as being depressing. Although its not depressing, its just real-life.

    Any ideas? I don't want it being turned down because my character doesn't fit in with this cookie-cutter thing publishers seem to have going on with female twenty-something MCs, but I don't want to give in either.

    Sorry this has turned into a bit of a rant =/ didn't mean it to! & if any of you are one of those women that I mentioned, I'm sorry, I'm just jealous =P

    xxx
     
  2. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    A redemption story or self-actualization story would be publishable, I would think. So take a story about a young woman who has a tough life but then grows through her challenges. If she just wallows in her hardships, though, that would be depressing. Good luck.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Some (sub)genres are very formulaic, and in fact the publisher guidelines will lay out the formula in detail. Certain romance niches fall into that category.

    Happily, most markets are more flexible. So the main consideration will be whether you have a story that will interest people and make them want to read it.

    However. And this is a big However. No one wants to read a story that just depresses them. Well, maybe some emo who is fighting off pangs on looming joy. But in general, people want to be inspired, or entertained, or at least to feel good about the character.

    So there had better be something heroic about your character, something that demands respect.
     
  4. wt6869
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    wt6869 New Member

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    I personally like to read stories about real life.
    I say write the story. If it has a good plot, good theme, and good writing, it'll get published. I don't those women who have the good publishing and editing jobs would pass on a story because they don't identify with the character. Those women make their money by selling good books(they even make money selling not so good ones).
    So write your tale. Edit it wisely and see where it goes from there.
    I can say with certainty that it won't be published if you don't write it.
     
  5. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also, the books you described sound like chick lit. But it sounds like what you want to write is realistic fiction, which is different.
     
  6. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    At the end of the day, do you want to write to be published, or write for yourself? Which would be worse for you, not getting published, or getting something published that wasn't really yours, as you had conventions and formula's to stick to?
     
  7. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Don't ignore your fears, but don't allow them limit you either. If you have what you believe to be a decent premise, with a plot that will allow your character to develop along her journey, then I say go for it, and good luck with it, too.:)
     
  8. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you actually want to write this story, then just write the story. If you send it off to a publisher and they accept it, so much the better. If you want to get published, then write what you think publishers want.

    For what it's worth, if your writing is good enough and you've got the requisite amount of luck, it will be published by someone. Maximise your chances by doing some research - send it to publishing houses that have a history of publishing this kind of thing, not to ones that publish the standard chick-lit. Most publishing houses have a niche; you've just got to find the right one.
     
  9. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Publishers jump on anything they perceive as original. If its successful, which realism usually is in certain situations, then they'll keep it up.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Publishers care more about how good the writing is than how "original" it is. Publishers holding out for "original" would quickly go out of business.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if your story is compelling enough and the writing is professional quality, no one will care if your protag starts out in a dark place... the thing is, she'd better find some way out of it, in the course of the book, if you want it to sell...
     
  12. Taino
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    Listen to Mammamaia. You have a character with great potential for growth! At the end of your novel, she can be whatever you want her to be.
     
  13. x_raichelle_x
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    x_raichelle_x Contributing Member

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    Wow thanks guys =] I'd thought about it some more after my rant & realised I want her story to be written, if it ever gets anywhere near a publishers then thats just a bonus. Now there's just the tricky bit of writing it well...lol.
     

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