Wednesday, 1 July 2020

On being improbable

First - with an update on last week's post, there is now no dust under the sideboard and I have 34 pages of heiroglyphics otherwise known as the first draft of Riviera 3 - probably about  10,000 words. Sadly today I have to tackle the kitchen.

But now - back to being improbable. The deadline for submitting claims for PLR was yesterday - that's the payment that writers get for loans from libraries -  very welcome, and sometimes more than my annual royalties!  As another housekeeping exercise I just squeaked in with books I had not managed to register. Hunting for appropriate details I scrolled down my entry in a certain e-book seller, which included reviews - and the word 'improbable' jumped out at me. 

Yes - I will own up to that. My brain has a habit of throwing scenarios at me with a flourish and a demand that I 'Get out of that!'. Unfortunately often I cannot resist the challenge, hence the improbable. Actually, in my own mind I would define the things I write as fantasy - but these days that means elves and wizards, so it's a no go. It is though - a book creates a world of its own, and often that world is an escape from reality, and I don't see anything wrong with that. I mean - if you're going for improbable, look at Shakespeare! I'm not Shakespeare, but he's a fabulous role model.

Romance books often get a bad press for presenting a rose coloured view of love. This may be true, but I would give readers more credit for knowing the difference between what happens in a book and what happens in real life. Genre fiction, like popular TV, is larger than life and only shows a small part of it. We know that not every village in England has two or three murders happening every week - Midsomer Murders, I'm  looking at you - but we still enjoy watching them.  If you haven't caught up with Caroline Graham's books, from which the series began, by the way, I highly recommend them. Different from the  TV, and well worth a read.

Genre fiction is meant to entertain, to provide escape, to foster relaxation, to amuse, maybe to scare, if that's your thing. It is not real life. Suspension of disbelief is required. Plots might be improbable - yes alright, mine are - but within that, genre fiction requires is an examination and portrayal of emotions - and those - well, they are real - but that's a matter for another post.

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