More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Writing with the bedroom light on.

It's cold. I'm tired. I'm stressed. How can I write a romantic scene while trying to pry a 3 year old off my lap and serve a 1 1/2 year old his third serving of hummus and crackers? I can't. Even my Darling Hubby has stopped asking if he can help me "research". My purple prose has gone black and it has brought me here to wonder:

What the hell happened to me?

I have these cartons full of my writings from when I was a kid. My influences are sadly obvious; most of the romance novels I read (and therefore mimicked) were the classic bodice rippers of the 1980's. Remember those? Women were subjugated to all sorts of un-PC situations, often raped, abused, mistreated--and the heroines were okay with that. I know better now. I know a lot of stuff better now (see description of toddlers above). This is the crux of my problem: Do I know too much?

Jennifer Hart wrote earlier this week that authors should write what they know, and I agree, but I find that when it comes to romantic moments in my heroines' lives, all of this knowledge may have hurt my ability to fantasize. When I was much younger, writing romantic scenes based on only what I could imagine it would be like to kiss someone, I had a sense of the truly romantic. My imagination was boundless because I didn't know any limits.

Yeah, I know my limits now. I demand more from my characters. I demand more than a sweet innocent first kiss, or a hero who forces the heroine around the book. I demand my hero to rise in my heroine's esteem, usually as she is trying to save the world or her own life. It's not about flowers and candy and jewelry. It's about making realistic connection and believable situations that my characters grow in.

I have become high maintenance. Don't tell my Darling Hubby.
I know, I know. I haven't really lost my ability to fantasize. I still do. I still love to write about the first kiss, the first physical meeting of the two lovers. I have a feeling that a good (full) night's sleep and 25 minutes of uninterrupted time with my own lover (clothing optional) will help my fantasy writing ability come back full force. In the mean time, I guess I'll just write some snarky fighting scenes.

5 comments:

Deborah Blake said...

Hey--at least you've HAD sex sometime in the last few years :-) I keep having to think, "wait, how does that work, again?"

Wrote a fight scene last week. This week is the sex scene, if I can get past the December-stuff to writing again.

Gail Hart said...

I think you've explained very succinctly why so many romance books END with the wedding! ;-)

Hang in there kiddo!

Jennifer L Hart said...

This made me think of a radio talk show I heard awhile ago. The topic was human nature and how it is only natural to cherish the things we worked to achieve or acquire.

In other words, easy come, easy to let go. Don't worry if the scene doesn't jive right now, or your love life either. Anticipation only makes the heart beat faster. Focus on what you can accomplish, editing, promoting or just enjoying the time with your family. Take a break. You are entitled

Now I'll take my bag of muddled clichés and be gone ;-)
Best of luck to Gail and Saranna today!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Writing what you know is good. Writing what you LOVE is better. Dig into your heart and translate what's there into your character's lives.

And uh....sex? That and severe autism = no go because someone had to be with DS1 ALL the time.

But some day I'm gonna be on that man like white on rice. And *that's* where I find the heat in those love scenes.

(And for the record, I think you're doing just fine!)

SarannaDeWylde said...

Seriously, there comes a point in your life where your fantasies are more about sleep, chocolate that your kids don't try to steal, and sex isn't as appealing as a back rub and quiet time.

It happens. To all of us.

But it doesn't have to happen with our characters. They don't know any of this crap and they don't have to.

And I still like a bossy hero. I am an Alpha female but I want a man who gives me my way because he wants to, not because he fears the almighty and far-reaching wrath of the Amazon Goddess.

I'm not afraid to admit that I have a bodice and my pillaging viking husband is encouraged to rip it whenever he has the chance!

You'll be ravished back into the groove in no time!

Deb, if you've forgotten how it works, you need an intervention!

 
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