Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I would like to welcome Susan Schneider to Kritters Ramblings. We are lucky to have a exclusive guest post just for us, so here it goes . . .

Ambitious Women, Yay or Nay?

The main character in The Wedding Writer, Lucky burns bright with pure ambition. At first it seemed that this would be a problem with selling the book. My agent loved the writing, but she didn't love Lucky. "Gee, can't you make her just a little nicer?" she asked plaintively. So I did - but not enough for my editor at St Martins. "Nope," she said. "Lucky isn't sympathetic enough." I saw their point - Lucky is a tough cookie - but then I was in a dilemma. How could I make her more likable but keep true to the kind of character I knew she had to be?

I decided that I could deepen Lucky so that the reader could understand her if not want to invite her to brunch. I wanted readers to see where Lucky was coming from, how she got to be the person she was, and so I worked really hard on a section about her visit to her family in Christmas. I wanted the reader to think "Ah ha, now I get it!" Overall , I'm glad I rethought Lucky, because I myself ended up liking her (and understanding her) a lot more.

I admit she isn't the easiest character in the world to warm up to; however, after working for many years in women's magazines, of which bridal is a very big part, I know that you have to be tough, especially if you come to the industry without connections. Then you have to fight even harder, and you have to steel yourself to take disappointment on the chin. And this s truer more now that ever, when jobs are scarce and getting scarcer.

Having said this, I still think that people often have a problem with ambitious women - even in these post-feminist days. As a single mom, I've been plenty torn about it: how much did I give to my job and how much to my daughter? And hey, how about me?

I've been Lucky myself and I've been the opposite of Lucky. But I admire my girl's ambitions, if not all her methods. I see where she's coming from. Sometimes my heart really goes out to her - I hope that when she finally reaches the top, it won't be too lonely. More than that, I hope she has a second chapter filled with love.






Check out my review yesterday of The Wedding Writer here on the blog.

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