Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Romance?

I was asked the other day (by another writer) why I bother to write Romance.


I usually ignore dismissive attitudes. Life is short and precious, and I don't like to waste any of it on ugly feelings.

This time, however, it was a direct question and merited a response.

Life can be very, very hard. To prove it, spend about ten minutes on local or national news broadcasts. The world can be full of pain, hatred, cruelty, and prejudice. As a teacher, I see the up close and personal results of some of these and I can't always make it better. That's hard.

Personally, I need something else in my fiction. We all have different ways of coping, and reading & writing help me cope with the ugliness that exists. I read a lot of genres (always have), but I've settled on writing Romance.

For me, Romance is about a lot of things.
  • Happiness
  • Self-awareness and self-belief
  • Striving for positive change
  • Trust
  • Love
  • Family
  • Honesty
  • Learning how to cope with setbacks
  • Risk-taking

And a whole lot more. But, most of all (for me), Romance is about Hope.

Hope can change a day around, change an attitude, change a future, and, yes, it can change the world. Hope is sometimes all a person has.

Romance offers that Hope. It reminds us that, with some hard work, we can achieve a Happy Ending.

So, no, I won't apologize for bothering to write Romance, or for reading it.

I won't apologize for enjoying reading and writing all kinds of other genres either. Every book I read (and every story I write) offers something different. Each one changes me a little bit, hopefully for the better.

I hope all writers and readers love the best parts of their genres the way I love the Hope that Romance brings to me.

How about you? What's the best part of your favourite genre? 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Description Woes

As some of you've heard before, I don't include a lot of description in my stories.

I'm not an especially visual person. I'm not able to see a movie in my brain of the action in my story. I'm not able to visualize faces of the characters.

I can see snippets of the setting, although sometimes its more of a map that a 3D visual. I get some scattered images of the places as well. Not many, though.

This is probably connected to the fact, that in real life, I have an incredibly difficult time recognizing people if I haven't seen them in a while. I always tell my students that they'll have to approach me in the future with their names because after a year or two, I won't have a chance of recognizing them, unless I recognize the voice. I will remember them, just not recognize them.

I know that when I say the word cat to a room full of people, some will see a cat in their head, others will hear the meow, some will see the word spelled out in front of them, a few will smell the kitty litter or the cat, another couple will have their hearts warm up because of the love they feel for their pet (or shrivel in fear if they've been attacked), and still more will feel the fur against their arm.

Our brains are fascinating and unique.

So, while I wish I could do the whole visual thing, I've learned to live with it.

It's probably why I skim over descriptive passages in writing (both mine and that of others). I can imagine that once I publish, some of the negative reviews will focus on that. Readers who crave description will give my stories a pass.

But, I can't bring myself to care what style and/or colour of shirt my heroine is wearing or what the room looks like. If it's not somehow relevant to the plot, I don't notice it.

For me, the story is about the emotion. That, I can describe pretty well.

What about you? Are you a visual person? Do you include a lot of description in your writing?