Thursday, June 01, 2006
so after 2 months of waiting and several attempts to ship it, I fianlly received my AWAI's Romance writing course...I am SOOO excited to take it!
The course itself is moderated by fellow published writers and best-sellers and the whole focus of the first half of the class is to help you finish and fine-tune your manuscript and the second half is understanding the business of writing and getting your manuscript to publishers.
I am hoping that having this course help me will (finally) get the damned book finished.
Now, I started studying the course (with gusto) over the weekend and the first assigment is to read 10-20 romance titles from a wide range of authors, publishers, time periods, etc....and make notes on what does/doesn't work for you and what you would like to try or avoid for your own.
And I realize that it's a totally egotistical and snobbish thing to say but it's actually helped me realize that I can totally do this......because after some of the crap I've read, I MUST be able to do better...
A proper romance book (despite all stereotypes involved is markedly thoughtful, poignant and endearing.
Nothing pisses me off more than reading a romance book and having there be major discrepincies in character motivations, integrity or even worse- choppy and coarse writing.
I was reading one of these unfortunate books on Sunday.
The heroine is proclaimed as this fiery, fiesty and strong young woman who falls in love with her widowed neighbour...but he is having trouble getting over the death of his first wife.
Throughout the book there are these moments when the Hero lashes out with grief -which could be understandable but the episodes are so sudden, with no provocation or underlying motivation...and the things he says to her are SO mean, cruel and hurtful that they're hard to justify. The so-called strong, fiesty heroine justifies not getting angry because she "loves him so much".
He tears her down- with the most appalling insults - and she just takes it! At one point I tried to convince myself that he wasn't meant to be the Hero and that the REAL Hero was going to show up and make her realize how well she should be treated...
The insults and attacks border on abusive and quite frankly I was pissed that she was still in love with him.
On top of that, she starts saying that she knows she loves him -unconditionally and always has- rather early on in the book..and she uses this knowledge to happily forgive him for his outbursts. Then, near the end of the book, she has this 'Big Revelation' that she does in fact love him...she asks the question out loud, "how long have I loved him?'
At which point I freaked. I actually yelled at the book "SINCE PAGE 32 YOU DUMB TWIT!"
I threw down the book and didn't touch it for 2 days. I forced myself to finish it for the sake of the course work but I didn't care anymore. It was painful and in the end I didn't care that they were together.
Nor could I buy into his paltry apologies for his earlier behaviour...there was no sense of true contrition for any of it.
I just kept thinking, "That's right, buy her some flowers and say you're sorry...that'll make her feel better until the next time you lash out.."
That is how the cycle goes, isn't it?
I think the world needs more good old-fashioned subversive love stories.
I only ask that you work in the line: "You had me at Jello." :) Possibly after a particularly wild escapade in front of an open fridge.
And make use of the three b's: buxom, bosom, and brandish. Oh. And make it a full-on epic fantasy cycle. I'm talkin "Der Ring des Nibelungen" style with valkyries, much smiting, and heavy petting. Fuck yeah.
I'm convinced you can sell a million copies with the right spin. Hey, it worked for Dan Brown. :D