Please give a warm Casa welcome to International Bestselling women’s fiction (and fellow Sourcebooks) author, Jill Mansell—who has something to gripe about…
Hello, I'm going to go off-topic and have a grumble about the T word! Last week I was clearing out the spare room and came across a screenplay I'd written 15 years ago. Now, nothing ever came of it but I absolutely loved writing it at the time and thought the premise was the most interesting I'd ever come up with. Basically, when I'm working on a book I always think it's dreadful, but I thought my screenplay was by far the best thing I'd ever written.
So when I found it again, I was thrilled. Surely all I had to do now was give it a few tweaks, make it even better, then I could start sending it out again! And, of course, start choosing my Oscars dress...
So I sat down to read my magnificent screenplay and realised within the space of a few minutes that it was never going to happen, thanks to the thing I'm here grumbling about.
Because the T word is... Technology. Wonderful in so many ways, but not so much when it comes to plots. For those of us who write contemporary fiction, for either the page or the screen, technology can in fact be a royal pain in the bottom.
In this particular case, the central mystery underpinning pretty much the entire plot of my screenplay could nowadays be sold in 10 seconds flat, thanks to the invention of a little thing called the Internet.
Because that's the drawback of the Internet. It knows everything. It's a right clever clogs in fact. And the kind of books I write tend to rely quite heavily on certain fictional characters not knowing vital information about other characters. Secrets are becoming harder and harder to keep. Consequently, coming up with interesting plot-lines is becoming equally tricky. Finding long-lost relatives used to be all but impossible in the good old days. Now a few clicks on your computer can zap them up onto your screen within seconds.
As a writer I'm starting to feel the walls closing in as the storyline options decrease. Is it just me or are other novelists experiencing this same problem?
… And the answer appears to be yes! (I just asked them on Twitter – shush, I know, technology can be useful in some ways!)
Oh well, there appears to be only one way to get round it. I'm just going to have to start writing historicals... What do you think of writing in an age where things are so readily available? Does it make things harder, or easier?
Jill’s latest US contemporary women’s fiction novel, Staying at Daisy’s, is now in US stores. Thanks again to Jill for stopping by!!
STAYING AT DAISY’S BY JILL MANSELL—IN STORES MARCH 2011
Life is Easy, It’s Men She’ll NEVER Figure Out…
When hotel manager Daisy MacLean meets cocky sports hero, Dev Tzack, it’s a now brainier—stay away. He is arrogant and sarcastic—but also incredibly sexy. Daisy tries her best to steer clear of him, yet soon comes to realize he is the one guest she can’t bear to see leave. Thens he learns a devastating truth: most peope are not who they seem to be, for better or worse…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jill Mansell is the author of over 20 women’s fiction novels, with over 4 million books sold worldwide. Compared to Jilly Cooper and Jane Green, Jill currently lives in Bristol, England, with her partner and their children, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats gum drops, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marveling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write. For more information, please visit http://www.jillmansell.co.uk/.