Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023
Wednesday Reading

I listened to a cute romantic comedy audiobook titled, NORA GOES OFF SCRIPT by Annabelle Monaghan. The heroine was a romance channel (think Lifetime or Hallmark) screenwriter and did well enough to take care of her family but not really hit big. Her jerk of a husband leaves her, and she writes her breakout script. Then she falls in love with the famous lead actor in the movie when it’s filmed on her property. Okay that’s all fairly standard stuff and I liked it. What made me laugh was her take on writing romances — there’s a formula and she can make any scenario into a romance with some tweaking. Her new boyfriend gives her a heroine and a career and she turns into a plot in less than a minute. A lot of us who write romances play this game. Wizard and I play it. So this was familiar and amusing to me.

I enjoyed her humorous and straightforward take on it. She was in no way degrading romance because there is a formula. The talent comes in with voice and execution and she had that. What was funny was she accidentally lost her way after her divorce and wrote a darker book without the happy ending. Then she tried to go back to her bread and butter romances, and couldn’t do it. I related to that! I often struggled with staying within the formula of whatever genre I was writing, while my heart was always trying to make the book bigger (for lack of a better word). Nowhere did I feel it more than when I wrote the Once A Marine Series. By the third book, I was busting the seams of that formula, unintentionally creating problems from the publisher. And that was on me, no one else (I am NOT blaming the publisher, they had clear guidelines). I came to admire even more the amazing writers who work exceedingly hard to write book after beautiful book following the formula. Many of them can do it very fast too. Of course, there are those petty jealous types who will call them hacks and other names. They are NOT hacks. What they are is so talented that they can make the same formula for each book interesting and engaging each and every time. That takes real talent and hard work.

Anyhow, this book reminded me of all this in a fun and positive way, making me laugh and nod along. It made me want to sit down and write again, which is a nice feeling. Not something I’m acting on at the moment, but so nice to feel that desire! And to laugh with a character struggling to write within the formula the same way I have struggled.

Right now I’m listening to a Women’s Fiction titled I’LL BE YOU by Janelle Brown that’s holding my interesting but it’s too soon to form an opinion.

What are you reading or listening to?

7 comments to “Wednesday Reading”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    August 2nd, 2023 at 5:51 am · Link

    That sounds like a fun book. I probably wouldn’t identify with it as much, though. I wouldn’t even know what the formula would be, let alone try to use it. I’d probably end up summoning a demon or creating a really fine substance for polishing goldfish. ;o)

    I’ve been trying to read my own books in hopes that it will spark a desire to write again. When I was up visiting the family, my brother asked me when the sequel to Song of Storm and Shroud would be out, and all I could so was shake my head. Unfortunately, I have as little time to read right now as I have to write (or do much of anything else), so it’s slow going and I don’t even have a glimmer of a spark yet. =o\

  2. Silver James
    August 2nd, 2023 at 7:51 am · Link

    Writing is such a complicated process. LOL Even when you have the formula right there in front of you. I’m so glad that writer “gets” the romance genre. There have been too many books AND those RomCom movies that use a romance writer in the plot and make her (or him) into a cartoon. I’m like you. I can write to formula but I find myself wanting to mix genres and fall down rabbit holes and both agents and editors are like scratching their heads and I’m like never mind I’ll just self-publish and hope someone out ther buys one book and “gets” it. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 (And there’s an editor out there right now have heart palpitations over that sentence. ;) )

    I am glad you’re at least thinking about maybe writing again. I totally get the hiatus. Trust me! It’s a struggle–daily. But honestly, I enjoy your voice and your plots and characters and settings, so there ya go.

    And Happy Birthday! For some reason, I was thinking it was yesterday, which was the first NOT the second. Derp. Monday was Aug. 1st all day. I totally skipped July 31st. Soooo ready for July to be over. :roll: Enjoy your day! 🎂🥳🎈

  3. Silver James
    August 2nd, 2023 at 7:53 am · Link

    Oh. I’m doing a marathon relisten to Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changling series, inserting the novellas in chronological order. New audio book drops on the 15th. See? Rabbit holes! 🤣

  4. Viki S.
    August 2nd, 2023 at 3:14 pm · Link

    The book sound like a fun read.

    That is so neat how you can relate to the story and the way each genre is written. I had never thought of how there is a certain way or script for how each is done.

    I’m about to start TUCKER by Chadwick Moore.

    I sure hope you are enjoying your birthday!

  5. Jenn
    August 2nd, 2023 at 5:37 pm · Link

    B.E., summoning demons is part of the fun or writing :-) But I totally know what you mean. And I’m generally resistant to formulas, except when I’m baking, so my writing issues are pretty standard stuff for me.

    I hope you had a great trip to see your family! And yeah, not having the time to read, write or just thing and plot, definitely makes it harder for you. I hope things can slow down a bit in your life when you’re ready and you can read and write again if that’s what you really want. At this point, I think we should be doing as much of what we really truly enjoy as we can.

    Hope you’re having a good week!

  6. Jenn
    August 2nd, 2023 at 5:47 pm · Link

    Silver, yep I’ve seen those rom coms that use romance as the joke. I didn’t take this as a dig to romance but more about how to break down plots, and also that she was good at it…until her life changed and she needed to write something else. Creativity can be like that!

    Thank you so much for your nice thoughts on my writing. I miss it but the struggle was/is both mental and physical. However I’m thinking and letting myself just think, especially with the stuff going on around us this year.

    Thank you so much on my birthday! LOL on mixing up the days/dates. I do it all the time.

    I always love Nalini’s Psy-Changling series! Enjoy!

  7. Jenn
    August 2nd, 2023 at 6:02 pm · Link

    Viki, it’s fun when we read a book we can relate to in some way.

    Thanks on my birthday. we’re going out to dinner when I’m looking forward too.

    Hope you enjoy the book!

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