Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Badge

     My dream wasn’t to write romance.  No way!  I wanted to write “serious” fiction, maybe even horror.  So, how did I end up writing romance?

     Like most writers, I started writing at an early age.  Poems, short stories… whatever.  Then, “real life” set in and I knew that I had to pick a career so I chose another artistic endeavor…graphic arts.  I was lucky enough to work with a great team for 15 years, and I enjoyed every moment of it.    

     When my son was born, the time came to say goodbye to that lovely group of comrades.  Soon after, I enrolled in some online fiction writing classes from Gotham Writer’s Workshop.  One of my instructors noticed a pattern in my work and suggested I take a class in Romance Writing.  Huh?  Me??  But, I like to write “serious” stuff!  Still, I took her suggestion and signed up for Romance Writing 101, and I’m so glad I did.

     Romance was the niche I was looking for.  All of my stories already had a common thread of romance in them, but I hadn’t thought of myself as a romance writer.  Don’t most stories have a romantic element to them anyway?  Well, yes and no.  I found that with “romance” writing there was a definite pattern, a common story arc.  In romantic fiction the story revolves more around the characters than the setting or other elements.   Themes like learning to trust and love are common, and something that I find fascinating and uplifting.  Writing romantic fiction is like writing stories where, against all odds, the underdog always wins.  And since I always root for the underdog anyway, it seems like a natural fit.

     Thus began a sickness.  A sickness?  Yes, writers are a bit sick in the head sometimes!  We have characters vying for our attention 24/7, begging for their stories to be told.  We are way too critical of ourselves, and we sometimes forego food and water if we’re on a roll.  Sounds like a sickness to me.  But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve always thought I was odd, now I have a badge.  My badge says “Romance Writer”.

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