Authors Answer 67 – The Challenge of Writing Romance

I nearly wasn’t going to write this post today, because I had a cat on my lap, and everyone knows it is impossible to type with a cat on your lap. However, said cat was also being annoying (back paw in the boob, trying to insinuate her front paws into my armpits), so she can fuck off. Let’s be on time two weeks in a row, yeah!

And then I saw the question. Challenge? Bwahahaha, the challenge for me is not writing romance.

Okay, for the record, this is the full, unabridged question: Valentine’s Day is coming up. How do you handle the romantic aspect of writing in fiction?

Seriously, I have never yet managed to write anything that didn’t (d)evolve into a love story. I have tried, gods, have I tried, but eventually I gave up and just let it come. If my characters want to have everlasting love with lots of explicit sex, why should I try to stop them?

I seem to be doing okay at it too. I don’t really consciously push my characters in any certain direction, and I do my best to twist any cliches that crop up into something you might not expect if you’re familiar with regular romances. For instance, my protagonist in my first book severely dislikes her love interest at first, but I have done my best to seed in bits that make her start to like him, so that you don’t end up with this sudden ‘I hated you for the first six chapters, but now I suddenly love the socks off you’ bullshit.

So here’s the real challenge: this weekend I wrote 1400 words in one night on the origin story of my new hero (this is a big deal – 1400 words is more than I’ve probably done in all the past six months together), and while I do see a romance in his future, this will be way way way down the line and – and this is the big thing – it will not be the dominant factor in his storyline.

Okay, I do need my friend Hillary to supply me with plot for that, but that’s why this will be a collaboration.

So yeah, Erica Dakin not writing romance. Watch this space…

Original post on Jay Dee Archer’s blog is here.


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