Seems I’ve gotten into a routine of sorts. Tuesdays have become blog days. Easy enough, since I travel to KJ’s for a coffee and breakfast sandwich. Tuesdays have always been one of those lost days of the week, when I know that little will get done. Today one of the dogs has a vet appt and I’m getting my hair trimmed. Rather than try to visualize a storyline and get it down, in between the in’s and out’s, it’s easier to just spend an hour or so connecting with anyone willing to read the post.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the romance novel. It’s one the classifications I check-off when submitting my work for publication. Some days I wonder why because in my mind my books are contemporary women’s lit with a little romance thrown in. When it comes down to it, my storylines follow the two basic tenets required: it’s a central love story with an emotionally satisfying ending.
But, in my opinion, they’re so much more.
I like a story, with strong characters, a good plot, human nature revealed in a variety of ways. A confectionary dusting of romance is welcome, because, well, love is an emotion everyone can relate to. My first editor taught me a lot, but she was way too into sex scenes. She always thought more was better. We disagreed. She no longer reads my stuff or gives counsel. My new editor gets me. I prefer the romance, nuanced, building over time, and yes peaking in a scene or two, but not taking over the whole story. I go more for a story about personalities, characters with flaws, who have things to learn or recover from. Deep, layered characters, who come alive on the page. Constructing these kinds of characters is one of the things I love about writing. I read biographies, in order to understand what motivates people, how certain individuals cope with trial and tribulation, to get to know real people who’ve persisted and triumphed. I use what I learned in my psychology courses, (and all the articles I read in my subscription to Psychology Today) to create a core need, and find a way for the character to heal.
Like I said, so much more. I love digging in, learning something new, helping someone navigate life, even if it’s only on paper.