September 24th, 2004

good mris pic

Solemn Fiction Face

I just got another rejection letter that said that they didn't want a story because it was "too much fun."

Well, for heaven's sake, I can understand that. Who would want it to be fun? Fiction is a Serious Business, after all. This is me making my Solemn Fiction Face: ... oh, right, I don't have any photographic record of my Solemn Fiction Face. Well, trust me, it's very solemn.

This just sounds like something some loser would post in his journal: "They reject me because I'm too much fun for them, maaaaan! They're just too uptight for my funky fiction groove, maaaaaan!" But it's what they themselves wrote, and, seriously: what kind of person can write that with a straight face? Now I know, I suppose, and will attempt to only send that editor fiction no one could possibly have any fun with.

I've told several of you this: when I was little, I thought I didn't like fun. No thanks, no fun for me! I'll just go over there and have not-fun. I thought I didn't like it because every time someone's mom said, "Oh, come on! It'll be fuunnnnn!", I ended up miserable. But I grew out of it and figured out that the problem was with their definitions, not the term itself.

This book is a pretty serious thing. It has moments that I think are pure fun, because, hello!, I do not write castor oil. A few of my first-readers have talked about how they felt like they'd been kicked in the stomach after reading The Grey Road (that's my second book, for those of you who didn't buy the souvenir program at the gate), but it still has moments of people being wry or sarcastic or just silly at each other. Because that's what people do, and because I like that stuff, and because it belonged in there. I'm the author, and sometimes that means it's my job to make you smile while I'm kicking your solar plexus. You can thank me later.

Writing for adults, I'm telling you. It's for the birds. Don't know why I do it, except of course that this book right here, it is not a YA, and it's what I had to write. So. Back to Chapter 43, wherein the main character falls over unexpectedly. Unexpectedly for me, I mean. The reader, it is to be hoped, will not be particularly surprised.

Too much fun. Good grief.