Why I Write Romance

Why I Write Romance


Why I Write Romance

I’m standing at the bar. My feet are killing me. I need a drink. Now. The mirrored wall behind the counter confirms my need. Flat hair, washed out make-up.  It’s been a long day, people. This is a dangerous situation.

The lone barman is dealing with a bimbo who does not know what she wants. Now remember, my feet are throbbing and I am thirsty.
Inevitably, my fellow patrons start making conversation. I smile. I nod. I look vague. They persist.

“So what do you do?”  My worst question ever, but I smile.
“I write.”  I telepathically reach out to the bartender.
“Really, what do you write?”

My second-worst question. Did I mention I hate talking to people in queues, in shops, in bars? I don’t talk. I observe, I eavesdrop, and then I write stories about them the next day. I make their lives horrible, their spouses mean and their jobs administrative. But, he is eager. Waiting for my reply.

“I write books.” Feet throb, throb, throbbing.
“What kind of books?”
“The ones without pictures?” I don’t say this out loud. Sad, I know.
“I write romance.” His eyebrows pop up. Smile widens. It is coming.
“Why romance? Don’t you have enough romance in your own life?” He says this while waggling his eyebrows. And then I just die, slowly, with a self-impaled stiletto in my heart. Not really.
Instead, I mumble something about happy endings and rugby-tackle the barman. Because I know what he is going to ask next.
“Do you base your sex scenes on your own experiences?”

Generally, I burst out laughing, but with my feet feeling the way they do I might not be that magnanimous. Next time I will say I am unemployed. No one seems to think writing is job anyway.

Why I Write Romance

Do I Need Experience?

But seriously, do I have to kill 20 people in a ritualistic fashion before I can write a book about a serial killer? Do I have to have a sex change before I can write from a man’s point of view? Do I need to eat my team mates before I can write about survival on a cold mountain?

Of course, first-hand knowledge is amazing. The authenticity will give you an edge.

But, I am a writer. I have an imagination. And I have Google. That said it isn’t easy not to write about yourself, especially if it is a topic or a story that you are very familiar with and especially if you are working on your first or second book.

I don’t know if E.L James had hands-on experience to write 50 Shades. I don’t think Stephen King has ever met any of the creatures he has created. And I don’t know when Ian Fleming would have had time to write, while he was being a super spy.

I don’t write memoirs, people. I write romance, because I like romance. Anyway, I am not nearly supple enough.

TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a romance, sign up for our online course, This Kiss.

If you enjoyed this post, read:
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This article has 12 comments

  1. Diana Heuser

    This comment “I observe, I eavesdrop, and then I write stories about them the next day. I make their lives horrible, their spouses mean and their jobs administrative.” had me howling with laughter.

    I don’t feel like such a stalker anymore 🙂

    Di

  2. Michael

    Next time, quote Stephen King when asked why do you write what you write; “Do you think I have a choice?”

  3. Devika Fernando

    one word: BRILLIANT 😉

  4. Inn

    I really love this entry. Yeah! some people will ask did i write based on my experience? I know nothing about lots of things. Well…i read, i observed, i watched movie, i listened to people story. I googled. I put them into words. Long sentences that becomes book. Put emotion in it. Not easy. but i love it anyway. I love, love story

  5. Monique' Being True'Thomas

    This article was awesome! As a romance writer myself, I thank you very much for voicing my frustration.

  6. SE Hudnall

    Oh, this is funny! I love it! I write romance, too. But I do tend to call them “love stories”. Just seems to be what flows out the tips of my fingers. 🙂

  7. Cecilia Clark

    Loved this article, I chuckled and chuckled and chuckled and i too am writing a romance. I loved the stilletto through the heart imagery. Throbbing feet, flat hair and that ‘Oh no they are going to tell me the story I should write” feeling. I got the blank, ‘oh my god she said she was a writer can I pretend I have a dentist appointment and run’ roll of the eyes but when I actually tell them the stories they are glued to every word. Go figure.

  8. Jerrica Knight-Catania

    This is HILARIOUS! I *hate* when people ask me what I do, because I know I’m going to have to answer lots of other questions that I don’t want to answer. I once had a snotty Green Peace kid on the street ask with disdain, “Why romance??” I so wanted to punch him in the face. Needless to say, he did not get my donation.

  9. Regina Kammer

    Love this! Except I have the opposite experience: When I tell people I write erotica their blush is followed by an uncomfortable silence…

  10. Marcena

    Thanks for this post Mia. It is hilarious, a laugh I needed today. I love reading romance and hope to capture it in my writing.

  11. Anne Hagan

    Next time, with as serious a tone as you can muster, when they ask what you write, tell them, “I write stories about the people I meet in bars (queues, checkout lines, etc.) putting them through all sorts of torture until their story has a happy ending. You’d be telling the truth and they’d be quiet and leave you alone because they wouldn’t want to be next.

  12. Mia

    Thanks Marcena! I love romance. Happy writing.

Comments are now closed.