Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To Thine Own Self Be True Part 2

I'm one of those incurable romantics. I'm a sucker for romantic movies (as long as there's a happy ending!) and when I was in high school and college (and heck, even after I was first married), I devoured romance novels.

Of course, this spilled over into my writing. My first novel was a Regency historical romance and my second was an inspirational romance set at the end of World War II. My third, however, has moved away from the traditional romance formula and is more mainstream. But...it does have a prominent love story. I don't define myself as a romance writer because I typically do not follow the genre's formula.

But while plotting my fourth novel (Gasp! Fourth? Have I really written three complete novels?), I was having trouble establishing the conflict. Rene knows I am terrible at this sometimes, but I think the reason why is that I try too hard to be "different." This isn't being true to myself and harkens back to the post I wrote last week about writing what -I- want to write.

Once I established the potential love story within my new novel, however, things fell into place. Quite quickly, in fact.

What does all this mean? That relationships, and stories that have people falling in love, no matter if it is a side plot or the main focus, will probably always play a role in my writing. Now if the story doesn't call for a romantic element, then I won't force one into it. But making a concentrated effort not to include this aspect is doing myself a disservice.

To thine own self be true.

15 comments:

  1. Good post. Gotta write what we're led to. (Watched Breakfast at Tiffany's again this weekend.) :)

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  2. Angie, would you believe I've never seen that movie? I need to change that!

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  3. I think all story's have elements of romance in them, be it love between two people, love for a goal, love for a feeling, and even love for a pastime. I think all stories need an element of romance in them because there are always things that people care deeply about. Even if it's just an ideal.

    Anyway, I'm glad you're being true to you. It's the best thing you can do for your writing. =]

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  4. I'm a sucker for a bit of romance and enjoy writing it too, so can't imagine writing a book without any in it at all.

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  5. I think we all long for the happily ever after and want to be swept away it in what we read--at least I do!

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  6. I have to put some romance in, it finds its way there whether I come up with it or not. :) Usually not a traditional kind of romance, but more of a snarky sarcastic or unobtainable relationship that turns into something. I'm not one for flowers and fluff, I like more of the real life thing. And nothing in my real life experience has ever been fluffy!! :)

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  7. There's no getting away from it - if we try to FORCE ourselves to write something with which we're not comfortable, it will show in the results.

    Paraphrasing (and translating) Voltaire (from Candide) - we must each tend our own garden.

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  8. The conflict between two characters is always compelling. I'm not even sure that it comes from being an incurable romantic as much as being fascinated by the emotional clashes between two people. Plus, happy, romantic moments or even sad romantic moments give us pleasure. We like to see people connect. We love to watch that bond develop and grow or even shatter.

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  9. Oh, I hear you on this one!!!! A lot. I have the same thing. I just can't write a story without that relationship. It is such a basic human element to how we react and live with each other. There is no way around it for me. No matter how much action or whatever else is going on, that love must be there, pushing things forward.

    Thanks for this post! It's fantastic to know I'm not alone in this...

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  10. On this third book of mine, I was trying hard to not add a romance and there it came no matter what I did. But like you, we can add elements and still do our own thing.

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  11. In the end - despite believing in that biological expediency thing - heart-thumping, even sappy, love alway wins, although I go kicking and screaming to it. But then, in the middle of writing about it, I still get that delicious fluttery feeling.

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  12. I like the fact you don't hem your ideas in, but I love a little romance in my entertainment :)

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  13. I like the fact you don't hem your ideas in, but I love a little romance in my entertainment :)

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  14. Glad everything fell into place!

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  15. I write what I want to read...which is a good way to stay true to myself. And I have to be enthralled with the story in order to stick with it, which means there has to be LOTS of conflict.

    Right now, I'm hankering for a big romantic read, so that's where I'm leaning in my current WIP. ;)

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