Friday, August 01, 2008

My Heroine Habit

So I've set a modest goal for myself and now I'm putting it out there: by three years from now I'll have a new book out there, the one this blog will help me write. To that end, I'm trying to focus on the structure and format.

I can recount little memories endlessly, and I will, but there's got to be something bigger to make it interesting. Blogs are not yet the new books, though the Times and the Atlantic have certainly been fretting about how skimming the Interweb differs from diving into a large, printed volume.

I talked about narrative possibilities earlier in the week, and in looking back at that post I realized they all have a heroine.

This is a good thing, I think; readers root for a heroine to succeed despite obstacles, to find happiness, to triumph over evil and uncomfortable shoes. But if the lead character is me or someone like me, I'm trying to figure out what exactly would makes me heroic.

My transformation from awkward geek to stylish culture-shaper might be inspirational, especially if the inner geek keeps peeking out. The journey from hard-partying slut to religious, monogamous dogmother could be interesting to some, though not really to me.

I do know that as much as some part of me would like to present myself as a glamorous know-it-all who can tell you exactly what you should do with your life, your looks and your surroundings, I don't think that's the right choice for me. It's clearly worked for Kelly Wearstler and Alexandra Stoddard, but I'm not in the style or the advice business, nor do I wish to be.

My problem is that the happy ending keeps eluding me. Because after all, if you've been following your heroine for hundreds of pages, whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, don't you want it all to be tied up in a beautiful, satisfying bow?

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