If you’ve read my tagline, you will know I’m probably the last person to be writing this. If there’s one place my writing talents don’t extend to, it’s the world of romance. Not that I don’t read romance, I do. I read Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown, Susan Wiggs etc. But I always roll my eyes at the end (it’s a purely reflex action, I assure you) Happily-ever-afters are just not my thing. That doesn’t mean I have not attempted writing romance, I have.
My first attempt was at the age of thirteen and I started with the description of my heroine, specifically her eyes. I wrote that she had ruby colored eyes rimmed with emerald, they had amber flecks and shone like agate. She was also a princess (hey, all those fairy tales I read had to surface one way or the other). I wrote that looking into her eyes was like seeing heaven (thinking of that now makes me cringe – I actually wrote that???!!!) And of course all the men were in love with her and wanted to marry her, even her dad, if not that she was already his daughter. Okay, before you crucify me for that, remember I was thirteen a long time ago in an era when thirteen year olds had never heard the word Pedophile or the name Yerima.
I cannot remember how the story ended but I remember forcing my whole family to read it. Thank God for the family I have, my dad diplomatically said “She has pretty eyes” and my mom hugged me and declared I will soon give Carole Mortimer a run for her money. Looking back now, I can say with all certainty that my mom sucks at soothsaying as much as I suck at romance writing. I will never ever be a threat to Carole Mortimer, or any romance writer for that matter.
My second romance writing attempt was in my second year in University when my boyfriend (now ex) urged me to write a story about the two of us and the happily-ever-after we were destined to have. With love as my motivation, I launched myself into the project with zeal. It started well enough but by this time I had discovered Stephen King and he had snuck into my head without me knowing. The story ended with my darling discovering I was a reincarnated Egyptian slave who had been buried alive with her Pharaoh and who returned to earth every century to exact her revenge on the men folk. I wound up draining the life essence out of my brand new hubby on our honey moon few minutes after he realized I had no shadow.
Now, I’m not a hundred percent certain about this but I suspect the story had something to do with why he broke up with me. I mean look at the timing, I presented him the story as a birthday gift and twenty-four hours later, he announces we are not compatible. You do the maths.
The third and latest attempt was early this year. I had been working on a collection of short stories and as usual, they were the spooky, evil at its best, nothing-ends-well kinda stories. I was midway through the fourth story in the pack when my boyfriend (still current boyfriend) suggested, “Why don’t you give this a good ending? Something romantic will be a nice difference” Well, he caught me at a lovey-dovey moment, you know those sweet, everything is well with the world moments immediately after . . . . . . . . . . . .
Anyway, I agreed. A few days later, I proudly gave him the completed story and watched while he read. Finally he raised his head and went, “Ah, this is really nice but maybe you should write it the way you originally intended before I suggested otherwise”. I cannot begin to tell you how close he came to becoming my latest ex at that moment. As it is, he is still on probation.
I have not given up on romance writing, not yet, maybe not ever. One day, I will post a romance story right here on this site. I have to warn you all though, anything less than a “WOW” comment and I will make good on my threat to join the Romance Writers Group. Believe me, you don’t want that.
So, for my ‘how to write romance’ advice, well, you can start by not giving her ruby colored, emerald rimmed, amber speckled, agate shinning eyes. It will also help if her father doesn’t want to marry her!