Posts Tagged ‘nooky’
I remember plowing through the stacks of Harlequin and Silhouette books Mom would bring home from the library, secured with a rubber band. (Apparently, the library thought bundles were more appealing.) My couch potato self spent many a lazy Saturday devouring two or three category-length titles in one sitting.
As I got older, the romance reading continued. With each book I finished, so did the conviction that I needed to be writing romance. I’d close a book and think, “I could write that. I could write something better than that.”
Ah, the overconfidence of the uneducated. Turns out that writing one — a good one, at least — is much harder than it looked.
But once I started trying, I never looked back. I moved from Indiana to Arizona in 1999, and in 2001 won a radio station’s “dinner with a romance writer” contest. That’s when I met Rita Rainville, then a member of NARWA. I started attending the group’s meetings, joined RWA and discovered just how much I had to learn about writing romance.
Finally, in 2011, I snagged the coveted title of Golden Heart finalist … a sure sign I was mastering the craft. I was on the verge of the big payoff — publication. Still, it eluded me until this year.
Nowadays, it seems that I spend most of my free time writing romance instead of reading it. Whenever I get a few minutes not consumed by the dreaded day job, I feel the need to devote it to writing.
But August is National Read-A-Romance Month, not Write-A-Romance Month. That begs the question: “Why do I read romance?”
When I started reading them in middle school, I most likely read as a way to pass time. There’s not much to do in rural Indiana. I’m sure I also read for the sex ed. So much more fun — and informative — than health class. (Am I the only one who wondered what the guys were learning when they were sent to another room while we girls watched the same damn menstruation movie three years running?)
Of course, I could have passed time reading any kind of book. And did. I read a lot of Stephen King as a high school freshman. Then, my sophomore year, I discovered Anne Rice and devoured everything of hers I could get my hands on.
Still, I kept going back to romance. Those are the stories that draw me in and leave me satisfied. I’m not happy unless the characters get the ending they deserve. That’s one thing that drove me crazy when I read Gone Girl. The book was a real page-turner, but no one got what was coming to them in that book. (Link takes you to my weight-loss blog.)
Romance offers that happy ending. It allows the characters the happily-ever-after ending they need. I’d much rather see folks I’ve come to know and love get what they deserve.
Kristan Higgins, one of my favorite writers, put it much more succinctly in her post Monday. We read romance for the hope.
Most people in life don’t transform, don’t have a clearly delineated character arc that blossoms in the space of a few weeks or months as the outer goal is accomplished. That’s what makes a romance novel so gratifying, and uplifting…and hopeful. They did it. They’re our role models, and it doesn’t matter if they’re fictional, so long as they walk the walk of someone who was stuck, and afraid to try something different, and risked it all for love…and triumphed.
Do yourself a favor and read her entire post. It’s excellent — and just another reason to love Kristan.
I still remember the few minutes we chatted in the elevator at RWA Nationals in NYC in 2011. Me, a nervous first-time conference attendee, wearing my GH finalist ribbon and completely overwhelmed by the whole experience. Her, lovely and gracious and …
Okay, I mostly remember that we were staying on the same floor. I told her I loved her books. We commiserated over how the experts said rom-com is dead and declared we actually wrote funny contemporary romance … or something like that.
Long live the funny contemporary! And long live romance. May it continue to offer everything readers need.
Remember the trouble I was having getting Kenny and Kristi to do the deed?
Well, I finally managed to get them into bed — yes, I was writing @ Starbucks at the time — and now I can’t seem to write them OUT.
A NaNoWriMo write-in begins in less than 20 minutes at Barnes & Noble, so I’ll do it … but it might not be pretty.
I added only a couple hundred words to my total on Friday. (Took the day off to run errands and do my usual payday shopping. Hit the new Super Walmart after work last night … at 1 a.m. it was super silent and empty. I got to browse to my heart’s content!)
Isn’t that a song title?
More importantly, it’s where my NaNo novel is as of tonight. Yes, I crossed the 25,000-word mark … important because 25,000 is half of 50,000. See, Ma? Even though I’m a writer, I can do math! 😉 That’s important because it means I’m halfway finished.
My stats, so far:
- Words Written Today — 2233
- Suggested Daily Word Count — 1667
- Cumulative Word Count — 25164
- Current Day — 11
- Suggested Cumulative Word Count — 18334
- Average Words per Day — 2288
- At This Rate You Will Finish On — Nov 22 (Oh, if only I could keep up this pace and finish before Thanksgiving!)
- Days Remaining — 19
- Total Words Remaining — 24836 (less than I’ve already written …) 😉
- Words per Day to Finish on Time — 1308
Pretty nice, eh?
I keep comparing this year’s experience to last year’s, though. In 2009, I signed up for the NaNo for the first time with the intention of writing 40,000 words to finish my 90,000-word manuscript. By the end of November, I’d only written about 25,000 words.
While that was 25,000 words I didn’t already have — and I finished that MS a couple of weeks later, before Christmas — I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped.
Tonight, I sit here having already written as much as I did all month long last year. It’s a heady feeling, but a little worrisome all the same.
Is what I’m writing now any good? Or am I writing too quickly, meaning I’ll have to go back and throw three-quarters of it out when I start editing?
Maybe my speed has something to do with starting with a blank slate. Sure, Kenny and Kristi have been bouncing around in my head for years, but I only wrote one scene in which they made an appearance — and that was told from someone else’s POV (Kenny’s brother Brad, the hero in my first book).
Or maybe I’m just in better (writing) shape this year. I have been putting in a lot of practice since January. (More than 120,000 words written since Jan. 19 — and that’s without my NaNo count.)
On the plus side, Kenny & Kristi finally did the deed today. (And yes, I wrote the scene @ Starbucks. Oh, if anyone peeked over my shoulder at the screen, they would have been embarrassed … Or maybe I would have been embarrassed. Someone’s cheeks would have been cherry red, for sure.) 😉
Sometimes, the timing’s just not right.
After trying again — unsuccessfully — to get Kenny and Kristi to cooperate with my plan, I decided they just weren’t ready yet.
I moved past it, getting them off the couch. Now the story’s flowing right along. I already have 1,000+ words for the day. Hope to get another couple hundred before bed tonight.