The Women (1939) that I've always enjoyed although it kind of stabs me in the heart, too. If you don't know this film, you need to see it at once:
Edith Potter: Weren't you going to Africa to shoot, Nancy?
Nancy Blake: As soon as my book's out.
Sylvia Fowler: I don't blame you. I'd rather face a tiger any day than the sort of things the critics said about your last book.
Peggy Day: Oh, I wish I could make a little money writing the way you do!
Nancy Blake: If you wrote the way I do, that's just what you'd make.
Sylvia Fowler: You're not a very popular author, are you, dear?
Nancy Blake: Not with you.
Feeling like a very unpopular writer, I am heading off to Authors After Dark tomorrow morning in an attempt to ameliorate that -- at least for my alter ego, as Kit Marlowe will be flogging The Mangrove Legacy there. On Twitter Marc Nash just sent me a tweet saying how his flash fiction averages about 300 hits a day, while his post on the riots received over 3600 visits. Newsworthy topics help. Bloggers who make a habit of posting incendiary opinions likewise tend to get more hits.
The idiosyncratic ramblings including jokes only three people will get? Not so much.
I recently read an Anita Blake novel that was in my gift bag at Alt.Fiction. I read mostly non-fiction, so it's helpful to remind myself what popular fiction that actually sells looks like. I realise once again that all my writing habits undermine any chance to write popular fiction. Nuance, allusions (literary or mythic), drolleries: these have no place in the lean beast that is a page-turner. Of course I want to write what I want to write -- and I always will -- but I also would like to write books that sell more. Not necessarily a bestseller, just a better seller. It's an interesting problem to grapple with, although at present I really need to be doing other things. Like packing, discarding and yes, if all else fails, setting fire to things.
Metaphorically, of course. It's not a riot.