Monday, February 14, 2011

The UnRomantic Writer

Valentine's Day.  Never a card exchanged in my house.  I hate cards and dying flowers, and unless a box of chocolates has the name Ferrero Rocher on the cover, it's going to have yucky leftovers like Turkish Delight and Strawberry Fondants once I'm through with them.  These things are wasted on me.  I'm not romantic, or sweet, or lovey-dovey.  At all.  Which is why it's strange that on the eve of Valentine's Day, I wrote over 4k on a new story that has a strong element of romance.  Strong.  There may even be *gasp* an intimate scene or two.

There are times when my OH asks what I'm working on, I tell him, and his reaction is um, are you sure you want to be writing that?

Thirst, a book in which the word blood is mentioned a lot.  A word that frequently makes me go weak at the knees.  Yep, just hearing the word has been known to make me pass out.  I'm phobic, what can I say?  I carried on with it anyway because if I didn't, the idea itself would have suffocated me.  For the record, I didn't pass out once while writing Thirst - although I sometimes had trouble reading certain scenes during the editing stages.  :P

Short stories because they often provoke. . . strong reactions. My OH enjoys the likes of Saw (sorry, too sick for me and even newspaper headlines make me cry on a regular basis) but when I persuaded him to read some of my flash fiction a year ago, he was . . . traumatised.  Just for a while but still - wuss.  He, rightly so, tried to warn me that some people might get upset but I went ahead with it anyway - gut reaction to being told something might not be a great idea.

And finally, romance.  Anything that revolves around love or romance or romantic cheesiness of any sort.  This is met with sentences like - But, Claire, have you ever even read a romance?  So I'm not romantic. Love poems/songs make me snigger.  I would laugh in my OH's face if he got down on one knee for anything, ever.  However, just because I'm not romantic doesn't mean my characters don't want a little loving every now and then. 

I'll be pushing on with all of the stories I haven't published yet because I'm uncomfortable with the romantic scenes.  I have a lot of unfinished business on my hard drive.  It only really clicked with me today something they all have in common - I cringe when reading the scenes that involve attraction/romance/love.  Sad for me, I can't judge that sort of thing so it reads as cheesy no matter what I do.  That's if I even manage to write those scenes, most of the time I bottle it and change the storyline to suit the complete lack of romanticism in my nature. 

I see lots of romance novel reading in my future.  And daring myself to go for it with the romantic aspects in my own writing.  The only way to get over it is to get on with it, right? 


  1. I know how you feel! To be specific, we don't do much for Valentine's Day either - I mean, I'd rather be surprised by a potted plant, not get overpriced flowers on the same day as everyone else - and I hardly ever read romance novels (though if you're just starting out, I really really recommend Joanna Bourne. She's a brilliant writer and really elevates the genre) and yet... here I find myself writing a romance and loving it! I'm back to where I started - I used to write romances all the time in high school. Thankfully, I seem to have learned a bit since then [g]

  2. I love plants! I just don't understand bunches of flowers. LOL. Thanks for the recommendation btw.

    I'm excited about trying something new. I feel like I'll learn something and that's always a good thing.


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