I’ve never really considered the reasons why I write what I write. I didn’t grow up thinking, hey, one day, I’m going to write romance and only romance. And I don’t just write romance. I may not post it all where you can see it, or submit for publication, but I do write many different kinds of stories. I always have. In fact, more than anything, I grew up writing fantasy stories. When I was younger, these would have, of course, been considered young adult fantasy, but that was just what I most enjoyed writing. I used to think that I could just create a world and not have to follow any rules except the ones I made myself. That turned out to be more complicated than I’d thought. It hasn’t stopped me from writing in that genre but I just make sure now to take careful notes of my ‘rules’.
When it comes to romance, and especially the stuff I write for Lit, it all started as an experiment to see if I could write something that could compete with what I read on there before. I’d been a reader of the site for some years before posting my first offerings. Let me check… I was a reader starting in 2003, I think. Then I became a member in December of 2006, posting my first story – no longer available on-line – in January of 2007. Since then, I’ve never really looked back. 🙂
Now, moving forward, most things I try my hand at always have a romantic theme to them. It may not be foremost in the story, like in “Body of Water,” but I still feel the need to include it. I don’t know why that is exactly. It’s not because of some lack of romance in my own life, though I hate that misconception about romance writers. I’ve heard that often, that some think we write within that theme because we’re lonely or unromanced in our personal lives. That’s like saying James Patterson only writes murder mysteries because he’s a serial killer in his spare time. No one thinks or says that about those kinds of genres, so why is that the assumption with romance authors???
Sorry, went off on a tangent there. Where was I? Oh yes. I don’t personally write romance because it’s not a part of my own life. I also don’t write it because I feel that I’m a romantic person by nature. I’ve said before how I can view something or hear a story and acknowledge that it’s romantic, but until recently in my life, I’d never gone all gooey at the thought of certain gestures. I also don’t feel the need to write romance or sex scenes just to see if I can. I used to, as I mentioned above, but the challenge has changed to including those things in genres I haven’t touched on before. That’s also something I’ve mentioned before.
Regardless of whether I’m trying something new or not, I do seem to feel the need to include romance or a romantic relationship of some sort in all my work now. Why is that? I don’t know for sure. There are a few different reasons I suppose.
One, because it is such a part of our every day lives. If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to you. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re either defending why you’re not or wishing you were in one. You’re thinking about how to meet someone, or wondering if you can set up your single friends with someone. You wonder how that person could be attracted to that one, or how you could spice up your relationship if it feels that it’s gone stale. Maybe not everyone has romance or relationships on their mind all the time – life does go on! – but you can’t deny that it’s not there, that it’s not a presence in every day life, as I said.
Two, I write within that overall theme because it’s fun. It’s fun to describe first impressions, good or bad. It’s fun to have a couple dance around each other, tease and flirt, and get all worked up about that first kiss, touch and… all the rest. 😉 And it’s definitely fun to throw a wrench into things just to see how they react. Why else would I write something if I didn’t get some enjoyment out of it, right?
Three, it is still a challenge to write romance and all that goes along with it. I think I’ve covered this before but it doesn’t hurt to say it again. It’s challenging to write what is basically the same story over and over again and make it sound fresh and new and exciting every time. It’s difficult to convey feelings of attraction and frustration in a way that hasn’t been expressed before and it’s definitely a new challenge every time I have to hook the couple up in bed for the first, second, third and whatever times. You try it. Try it just two or three times and let me know how you do. I struggle every time I start something new, no matter the genre or story-line. Maybe it’s my own fault, because I’ve posted so much up to now. At this point, I’m going to repeat one thing or another from some story I’ve written before. Not intentionally but it’s just a fact. My brain can only compute so many synonyms for sex and my thesaurus is finite. 😉
I guess, looking back on this, I don’t have a clear answer for why I write romantic stories. I like them. I like to read them and create them. For now, that’s enough to get me motivated.
I’ll leave you now so I can get back to writing one!
Take care and happy reading.