So I’ve been thinking for a while now that I should probably get into writing romances. I’ve already started falling into the abyss of romance books (seriously, there are so many on my Kindle right now…) and I do enjoy the stories for the most part. And I know that as a writer, it’s one of the most successful genres. (Says me, painting with a wide brush and probably lying.) So it makes sense that I should think about writing in it.
I used to joke that I never wrote romance, because I’d been thinking about the two prominent stories I’d been working on–REVOLUTION, which has a character who actively avoids romance, and KARANTIRI, where there is romance, but it was never a Romance Story. Then I actually looked at all of my works and realized that I was a Big Fat Liar, and I actually wrote almost exclusively romance. Well then.
But what I’ve noticed in the popular romances I see–or at least the ones which float past on my Bookbub–are ones which all have something in common: usually a place, or a family. Melissa Foster is a perfect example of this. She’s got a million books out (I’m only a little sure that’s hyperbole) and they’re all grouped into families. This is Family A, with five sons and two daughters. Bam, seven book series. Add in anyone they might meet in the books, and bam. A whole new set of stuff. That’s where the places start to come into play. You may have five families to play with, but if even two of them live in the same town, you’ll have overlapping secondary characters. And there’s a whole new set of stories to write.
So I’ve been trying to come up with a family, or a town. The trouble is that any time I try to think of a family, it’s something I’ve already written, and thus my mind doesn’t want to change it up. The closest I’ve come is the project I have tentatively titled OFF THE RECORD, which features a middle son from a family group I set up in a roleplay setting ages ago with a dear friend of mine. But that family has ages of baggage along with it (so much baggage. I’m so not kidding.) that even if I tried to work them into something like this, my mind would rebel against me and it would no longer be my beloved characters. Could I just take the concept and make a new family? Probably. But I’m kidding myself if they wouldn’t just turn into slightly off-center carbon copies.
So I need a new family. This shouldn’t be hard. I’ve always prided myself on character creation; it’s my favorite part of writing, and it’s what I wrote my undergrad thesis on. There is literally no reason (that I can think of) why I couldn’t just sit down and create a town.
I do think I know part of my problem, and that’s a whole topic for another blog, but at the end of the day, it’s all a game of figuring out what you want to do, and how much of it you are willing to make time for. Determination, dedication…these things are key. And they’re things that I seem to do either really well with, or really poorly with. But that’s my goal for 2019, isn’t it? Being determined. Sticking with it. So it’s one more thing I’m putting on the list.
That list is going to be an interesting part of this year. But again–that’s a task for another day.