Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What is your reality?

Posted by Susan

As I’ve mentioned more than once, I get hooked on reality shows. Lately it’s Project Runway. I’m feeling a little confused about the whole thing because I’m watching season 3 on Bravo and season 1 on DVD, so the designers are getting twisted in my head.

I love the creative nature of the show. I love watching the designers sketch and shop and then lay out their fabric and trim. There’s nothing there. Nothing I can see. Then they begin to cut and sew. In two days, their time, or ten minutes, my time, an outfit is born.

I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how they see something in their minds and then create something beautiful from that vision. Being able to sew probably helps.

I used to do crafts. I did needlepoint and in high school I actually sewed most of my own clothes. Except for zippers. I could never do zippers, so I would collect three or four things and take them to a friend’s house where her mother would put in the zippers for me in about fifteen seconds.

I don’t really do that sort of stuff anymore. I’m not sure if I don’t have the patience or if all my creativity is used up in the writing. Although I know many writers who do crafts.

I am in awe of those who can take nothing and create something beautiful. The writing isn’t like that. My goal isn’t beauty, but emotion.

There are writers who are such exquisite wordsmiths that I want weep when I read their words. That and throw my computer out the window because I simply don’t write like that. No one is ever going to pause and admire the pure beauty of my writing. Which is okay. That’s not my goal. Instead my goal is to grab your attention and your emotions and not let either go until the very last word of the book. I want to make you laugh and cry and laugh again. I want to make you impatient, turning the pages frantically because you have to find out what happens next.

People complain about the blank screen, but for me the screen is rarely blank. The story is there, in my head. I might have built it or have had it appear fully formed in my mind. Either way, it is waiting for me to release it.

I suppose I do have something in common with the designers. We both have a vision of what we want in the end. There are times when we have to make a mess, when the final result seems impossible and things get worse before they get better. The designers face a runway show and critics. Writers face an editor and reviewers. Then, ultimately, it is the public who decides who is in and who is out by whether or not they buy—the book, the garment. Those of us who create have no control over that part of the outcome.

Are we all living our own reality show? What would you call yours?


At 9:35 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

My reality show would probably be called Woman Pulling Hair Out and it would only stay on air as long as my hair holds up.

Which, at the current rate, would not be long!

I see a blank screen, Susan and work desperately to fill it with creativity, laughs and tenderness. Not the easiest job in the world, but certainly the BEST!

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

See, I never could sew a decent zipper either. They would always come out with lumps in them, crooked. And I only ever sewed to get the finished product. My sister took *tailoring* for heaven's sake. My mother sewed all the clothes for my bride doll when I was wee tyke. I'm talking skating outfits, drum majorette costume, you name it...

Sheesh. Can't sew--and certainly can't design an outfit. Can't play a musical instrument...

Er. What was the question...?

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Okay, I remember.

My reality show would be Live Your Dream. In it, I would be able to sew and also play the flugelhorn...

Oh, yeah!

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

I like Project Runway, too. Watched a couple of reruns and the latest show last night! I'd like Michael to win but I think Laura's stuff is the nicest, and Tattoo Neck's stuff is very cool but I can't get past the, well, tattoo neck.

The good thing about this particular reality show is that my husband will watch it. Thank you, Heidi Klum.

My reality show would be called Reality Show Junkie.


Post a Comment

<< Home