Friday, January 02, 2009

And The Unsurprising Moral Of The Story Is : You Actually Have To Care About The Story And Characters

Browsing through my new-ish copy of Writer's Market the other day (no, I really was), I noticed that Mills and Boon publish 600 of their romance-oriented titles every year. That, a quick calculation reveals, is about 12 books every week - which kind of surprised me; I knew they published a lot of books, but almost two a day? Crikey.

Anyway, I idly started thinking about submitting something to them, and wondering if any of the stories knocking around the attic of my mind might be dusted off and polished to a Mills and Boon-y shine. Of course, in the way the universe has of making events converge, last night on BBC4 there was a programme called How To Write A Mills and Boon - the BBC iPlayer link is here.

It's worth a watch - regardless of whether you're thinking of sending stuff to them - as the novelist Stella Duffy has a go at writing a book for them, and despite having had about a dozen novels published, she finds that it's not actually as easy as you might think; like writing for comics or soap operas, it shouldn't be looked on as something that's easy or somehow beneath one's dignity. Writing within any confines is, after all, a challenge.

2 comments:

AndrewT said...

Maybe you need to get 'in the zone' and think like M&B author Barbara Cartland - don a feather boa, lie on the couch with a pooch in one hand, choccies in the other and start dictating to the nearest typist.

John Soanes said...

I fear my level of productivity would be more like that of Dame Sally Markham...
J