Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Romance: Not for the Faint of Heart

My first go at writing a romance was brutal. 

BRUTAL.

I've been reading romances most of my life. I've spent years surrounded by published romance writers. Attending Maryland Romance Writers meetings every month. And being the sponge I am, I, of course, starting having ideas. I also believed that since I've been writing books for over a decade, that writing a romance would be a piece of cake.

Wrong.

These books may read as a simple slap and tickle, but I assure you, they are not. My first "final" draft of Checking Yes was hammered so hard that I had to re-write 3/4 of it in 3 days. (That'll be the last time I laugh in the face of a deadline.) I'd made classic newbie mistakes and have since learned from them.

How, you ask? 

Easy. I hit the movies. Time is of the essence, and I have another novella to prepare for another anthology. Plus I'm more of a visual learner. (How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days sits at the top of my binge list as THE perfect example for a romance plot, btw. And I binged a ton of movies.) 

What I've learned is that writing romance isn't unlike writing science fiction. The action may be a little less Michael Bay, but that doesn't make it any less serious. The characters have to be real. Their conflicts have to resonate. Their romance has to be felt. And I, the writer, still have to put the effort into making the writing shine. 

After all that, I still have to put on my spine and hit "publish." And I have to do that knowing I'm going to take negative dings no matter what. Whether that's a review or on the street when someone asks me what I write. (Try dating & telling a handsome stranger you write science fiction. The responses have yet to be positive.) 

No matter the result, I know how hard I worked. 

No matter the varying opinions, I'm proud of every word I write. 

No matter the pre-conceived notions, I am a romance writer and I am not faint of heart. 


Pre-order your copy of Checking Yes & get a bonus first chapter to the sequel Tell Me No Lies, coming summer 2017.

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