Thursday, August 28, 2008

Writing Romance

If you are writing a thriller do you write your novel without a crime of some kind? Do you write a family saga about someone living alone without a family? Would you write a western where the cowboy doesn't have a horse? I can hear you all screaming, what is she on about, has she gone mad? Well perhaps I have.

I have been reading romances that are not romances, that's is why I ask. So many people seem to think they can write a romance about any old thing. I would like to advise them, you can't.

Romance is a genre that is just as specialised as any other kind of writing. There is a craft to it and the main ingredient is ROMANCE. There has to be two main catalysts who are generating sparks. They might initially be sparks because they rub one another up the wrong way (no pun intended) or she might fancy him and he not her and vice-versa. Their conflict is what keeps the story going. Sure other things are happening but the romance is the central theme. This is a world where things are going to work out, no matter how difficult those things become.

Funnily enough my dictionary does not give a listing for romance, but it does for romantic - "involving sexual attraction accompanied by loving feelings" That just about says it all, doesn't it?

So - you are writing your romance - HE - SHE - SPARKS - lots of other things happening but you have to keep going back to those three very important things.

Hope it all works out in the end - I mean it should do, shouldn't it?



Kathleen said...

Well put, Margaret. Who wants to read a romance without verbal sparing and sparks -- think Mr. Darcy and Lizzie. Great blog and good reminder to never forget electricity and conflict

Sarita Leone said...

As always, your observations are right on target! Romance would be so flat--unromantic--without the sparky bits. :)

Debbie Wallace said...

Right on, Margaret! Good blog:)