Saturday, 4 September 2010

Ramblings About Romance

I am currently reading Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance.  Probably a little late as I'm going to enter the Mills and Boon New Voice competition - starts 6th September!  I got talked into it by my writing buddy, and I had a story idea that could be adapted, so that's what I've done.  (My Writer's Bureau coursework - assignment 6 -  is on hold for the time being). 

I suppose, like the lottery, you've got to be in it to win it.  There is no point dreaming about publishing and prizes if you don't enter. 

I've put off reading a non-fiction book, just because I know I can be slower at reading these.  But now as I only have 9 books to go to my 40 target and with writing a romance I thought I'd take it off my shelf (as it's no good there) and start. 

I'm going to try and read a chapter a day (which reminds me I need to get today's in) to allow each chapter to sink in and maybe, if I can juggle two books, read a Mills and Boon, too.  (I was supposed to do that this morning, but real life took over and I found myself engrossed in housework.  Funnily enough it's a Kate Walker novel - Their Baby Secret). 

The 12 Point Guide has exercises at the end of each chapter, which I've flagged and will go back to.  I don't think I have enough time on my hands to do those too, although I do read and think about them.  

People may scoff at a Mills and Boon romance, but I agree with Kate Walker.  They may seem formulaic but it doesn't mean they're easy to write.  Apart from one book, where I felt there was a lot of telling and not a lot of showing, and I didn't really feel for the characters, I've usually read these books in a couple of days. 1) because they are quite short (200 odd pages/50,000 words) and 2) because I can't put them down.  They do take over.  I want to be the heroine and I want the hero to sweep me off my feet.  

You know they're going to be happy ever after at the end, but it's how they get there that's the fun part.  And the tension, emotion and sensuality that drips off the page.  And if it's a saucier version, like Blaze, gosh they're sexy!

Kate Walker talks about emotion.  And so that's what I've really got to try and get into my story.  I've decided I'm going to write it now, whatever the outcome with the competition - I'm not holding my breath that it will go past first stage if I'm honest.  And while reading this guide book, hopefully I can apply to it what I learn.  Right?

It's possibly safe to say that I will be a romance writer, if and when I am successful to get something published.  I have a lot of story ideas buzzing around my head, and all of them contain romance.  Even with my fanfiction I naturally strayed into romance with my characters.  That's what I enjoyed writing.  That's what I want to explore.  Whether all my 'bunnies' will be suitable for a Mills and Boon novel is another thing.  Some have more complicated plot lines that I just don't think 50,000 words would do it justice.  I just hope I can do them justice - one day.

Best get back to my reading...