Tales of a Fangirl Shipper — November 11, 2013

Tales of a Fangirl Shipper

While I grow tired of the love triangle in YA literature, I’m oddly still in love with it in my television and movies.

Case in point would be Doctor Who, Once upon a Time, and Haven.
Die hard shipper over here. Hopelessly Team Waffles when it comes to Haven. And absolutely head over heels for Captain Swan. And Rose and the Doctor all the way.
All my ships have something in common, too. In each, the man may not be the best choice for the woman, but the woman is the best choice for the man.
By this I mean that the man’s love for the woman is a motivation for the man to be better. He wants to be the kind of man she could love. The woman isn’t trying to change him. He’s trying to change to deserve her, in his mind.
On Once a upon a Time this season there’s been a recurring theme that love is sacrifice. And these three ships embody that.
And living and breathing a ship? I feel in learning all sorts of things I could apply to my own writing.
And, show writers, please “Stop blowing holes in my ship!” (To quote another pirate.)
Relationships in Books and TV — April 19, 2013

Relationships in Books and TV

Yeah, I’m a bit of a TV junkie here. Not as much as I used to be. (But I’ve discovered Netflix so that’s equally as dangerous.) And one thing I’ve noticed is a trend in television away from the absolutely blind to their feelings will-they-won’t-they couple. (Maybe that’s just my term I’ve invented, I don’t know.)

We all know the couple. The ones who are meant to be together but the writers keep throwing up roadblocks in their path to keep them apart.

Quite often the roadblocks become silly. But the silliest one of all is when writers make the characters blind to their feelings. Everyone around them can see they are head-over-heels for the other, but they refuse to believe it. They certainly act like they don’t see the feelings in themselves.

In a lot of YA I’ve read of late there’s been the opposite. The insta-love of two of the members of the love triangle. But the inevitable “We can’t be together because you’re dangerous” (or insert any other contrivance you see fit).

But I’m noticing of late that, and maybe it’s just the few shows I watch, there’s more of an interest (it seems to me anyway) in putting roadblocks but at the same time letting the characters acknowledge to themselves (and sometimes to the other half of the destiny couple) there are feelings there.

I’ve tried to explore different types of entanglements in the books I’ve written. Of course I’ve written the traditional blind will-they-won’t-they couple who date others while they have to grow into their destined relationship. I’ve written classic love triangles. And love rectangles? (One character of one gender, three of the other, all potential love interests.) Yeah, I’ve done one of those. I’ve also done the single love interest romance. That was interesting to do. There were serious roadblocks to their relationship, but having that laser focus on one character was both good and bad.

However, I do like the single love interest. It lets romance be a sub-plot (as my romances always are), but lets it feel natural, not contrived, and lets it develop at the right pace. Rather than thinking about how Character A can be with Character B while Character C tries to sabotage it or get in the way, I can think about A and B growing and developing so they end up deserving one another.

But if I ever write a couple again who are destined for each other but get involved with other people time and again, it’ll definitely be two characters who at least acknowledge their feelings despite the very real roadblocks to their getting together.

Scandal! — March 31, 2011

Scandal!

Um, I’m really enjoying this romance novel that I’m writing.  I’ve just finished the first chapter.

Wait, what did I say?  I’m writing a romance novel?  Seriously?

Before y’all jump down my throat, I’m mostly being facetious here.  I’ve never read much straight-up romance.  There’s always romance in the novels I read and write.  But it’s rarely the sole focus of the story.

At the moment, I’m totally winging my plot.  I’m hoping that something will crop up that is an external conflict (other than the soon-to-come physical separation of MMC and FMC).  And maybe an internal conflict for the MMC.  I know what her internal conflict is going to be.  Sort of.  Maybe.

But I’m totally enjoying getting inside the MMC’s head.  See, I wrote this story as a short a couple years ago.  But it was only from the FMC’s side.  I’m noticing a lot of head-hopping as I go through that short story to find what can be copied over and what needs to remain firmly in the old and not the new.

There are some flashbacks, so it’s sort of a dual timeline story but not.  The MMC and FMC knew each other when they were little, but then grew up apart.  (Reunion story of sorts.  Cliche?)

Experimentation — March 22, 2011

Experimentation

I write fantasy.  It’s as pure and simple as that.  I haven’t been working on When the Star Fell at all in the last week.  I’m a bad ninja for it, I know.

But I have been writing.  And I’ve been writing romance.  There’s this short story that’s been sitting on my computer for a couple of years.  Maybe even longer.  I tinker with it from time to time.  Once I even deleted everything but the first paragraph and started over.

This is a very experimental piece for me.  I’ve written a novel that was romance, but not really.  Very close 3rd POV but never the guy’s perspective.  All from her POV.  The fact that it was pretty much straight up romance without any sort of plot beyond getting those two together was an experiment for me.

I like me some action, something going on besides the budding feelings of attraction.  (One major reason I left every Twilight book so utterly disappointed.  There was all this buildup and then the action was glossed over in a paragraph or two.)

Maybe that’s why the idea of reading romantic suspense pulls at me.  But I don’t want to end up reading something totally blush-inducing because I’m branching out or anything like that so I’ve been staying away since reading my first romance novels.

Now I’m experimenting again.  This short story that’s romance?  Instead of my usual (and the standard) 3rd person POV, I’m writing in first.  I’m writing two first person POVs, the MMC and FMC.  I’m liking the FMC’s voice a lot more right now than the MMC’s, but I think it’s because I originally set out to tell the story from only her perspective.  Then he just sort of stepped up, grabbed the microphone, and just took over.  His parts aren’t as long as the FMC’s yet, but that could just be because he’s got a secret that he’s hinting at but if we stay too long in his head we might find it before he’s ready to tell it.

So, yeah, experimenting is fun.  I’m writing this just for me.  Maybe I’d try to get it pubbed someday, but for now it’s just for me.

And I’m enjoying it immensely.  I’d struggled to get this story off the ground until a couple of days ago and the story took this new direction.

Genre: Romance — May 13, 2010

Genre: Romance

I’ll admit it.  I’ve been putting this genre off for a while now.  See, I blush quite easily.  And I really don’t want to stumble upon something that is going to make me uncomfortable.  So I tend to avoid this genre.  (Despite the fact that the first short story I wrote and the first novel I wrote are both romances.)

This is a short post today though.  Romance can be done in so many different genres that I’m pretty sure I’ve touched on some already and will address more in the future.

Romance
n. a book or movie dealing with love in a sentimental or idealized way

Now, I’m not saying I agree with this definition.  This is just the one pulled from my dictionary application on my computer.

Characteristics

  • Primary, central focus start to finish is on the development of the romantic relationship
  • HEA is usually a must, at least an optimistic ending (but the type of HEA can vary and isn’t even essential sometimes)
  • Types
    • Category
      • Shorter, roughly 200 pages or less
      • According to some sources, has a very short shelf life in bookstores
    • Single title
      • Longer, 350-400 pages (rough guideline)
      • Aren’t necessarily stand-alone titles, they can be part of series

There are many categories, like historical, contemporary, science fiction, etc.

Further reading

RWA definition of romance
Reader’s Guide to Romance

Tips for writing it (and if you’re not following Roni’s blog, I suggest you do.  I’ll wait while you go over there.)

Don’t be corny or porn-y
Amping up sexual tension

What is your favorite type of romance?  Any squeaky clean recs for me?  Who’s your favorite author?

Side note, are you still enjoying these posts?