Thursday, July 7, 2016
Six Clues You Are Not Cut Out to be a Romance Writer
You can read about what that promise entails right here.
Now I'm just going to put it on record that I am a wholehearted advocate of romance fiction. I want those happy endings to be realistic and believable, yes, but as someone who has been successfully and satisfyingly married for thirteen years (and managed to stay friends with my previous partners) I know for a fact that "Happy Endings" are believable and realistic for grown-up people willing to put the necessary work in. It doesn't matter what your orientation is -- seriously -- the work -- and it is work -- involved in maintaining healthy and happy relationships with other people (lovers or friends or family) is pretty much universal.
Romance fiction is the single best-selling and most lucrative of genres, which is why it attracts a fair share of writers who don't actually care for Romance fiction but figure it's easy to break into -- and a guaranteed way to make money writing.
(This is where the experienced romance writers in the audience smile sardonically.)
Naturally when this notion of easy money through romance writing turns out to be untrue, there can be frustration and disappointment on the part of those writers. Therefore, in an effort to save the rest of us from having to read any more angry, tearful blog posts, I've devised a quick checklist for writers toying with the idea of turning to romance.
Six Clues You're Not Cut Out to be a Romance Writer.
1 - You do not read romance novels.
2 - You think romance novels are too...romantic.
3 - You've never had a long term relationship with a member of the same species. Also you hate your mother. Or maybe it's your father. Anyway, you hate more people than you like. Let alone love.
4 - You do not understand the need for Happy Endings. Or even Happy For Now Endings. What's so bad about Tragedy anyway? Death and Disaster happen!
5 - You spend hours redefining the genre in very long blog posts. When not redefining the genre, you like to write hostile reviews of more successful authors in the hope of showing readers the error of their ways. (That would be the error of these other authors' ways, though clearly the readers are also on the wrong path.)
6 - Romance readers don't like your books.
If you answered YES to two or more of the questions above, you probably need to rethink your writing career strategy. Which is actually A-OK because a lot of mystery readers don't like romance muddled in their murders. And what could be more satisfying that gruesomely knocking off thinly-disguised characters based on people you don't like? Happy Endings are not required in crime fiction. In fact, the more ambiguous and bleak your endings, the more you will be respected by your peers and even some readers.