Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Writing Romance

Many of you know that in addition to writing paranormal novels, I also write YA contemporary romance. Well, on January 22, my first novella in the Game. Set. Match. Heartbreak series releases through Swoon Romance. Yay! So I thought I'd talk a little about writing romance.

Here's what I learned while working on the GSMH series. First, you can't write emotions without feeling them. I had to become sixteen again to write Love All. Why? Because that's when I first fell in love. First loves are incredible. They are all-consuming. You feel like your heart will stop every time your boyfriend (or girlfriend) walks out of the room. I had to tap into those feelings and relive them.

In Love All, Meg has a great boyfriend named Ash. He's the kind of guy you want your first love to be. But here's something you should know about me. I've been in a few love triangles. I hate to admit that, but I'm an open book on this blog. My involvement in them stemmed from my own insecurities, and so does Meg's. Meg's past, complete with a cheating boyfriend, has left her with little confidence. I've been there. I've felt that heartbreak. Yes, I cried a few times while writing this series, but I had to.

So here's my advice to you. If you want to write a romance, be prepared to relive first love, heartbreak, infatuation, attraction, longing... The list goes on. It's not easy to make yourself that vulnerable, but you can't write a good romance without being willing to go there.

Do you agree?

56 comments:

  1. I completely understand what you're talking about. It's true that if you want to write a YA contemporary romance, you really need to get back to the time when you felt like that yourself. That's the best way to get into a character's head. I also understand where your MC, Meg, is coming from with a love triangle based on her own insecurities. I was like that as well at a time, and I think more teens struggle through this than they'd like to admit.

    Thank you for the open and honest post. Have a Happy 2013!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Majanka, sometimes I wonder if I'm too open on here, but I can't help it. I am who I am, right? Meg and I don't have that much in common, but the initial set up did feel a bit familiar, even if it didn't happen that way in my own life.

      Delete
  2. When I write my YA fiction, I have to remind myself how I felt as a 14 year old. Immortal and willing to take the most ludicrous risks to get things done. It's simply amazing that I made it to adulthood alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. It's amazing any of us made it to adults. ;)

      Delete
  3. I think it goes for writing anything -- you have to be there emotionally to write about it. Good post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Totally agree. You have to write truth or it just doesn't do the magic a book can do and the book will flop! I am glad you are willing to go there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to be willing to go there. Otherwise, it's just words on a page.

      Delete
  5. So so true. I'm much more comfortable writing about crushes than about actual romance, but maybe one day I'll be willing to make myself that vulnerable. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does take a lot of vulnerability. Definitely!

      Delete
  6. Yes, it's a lot like method acting, isn't it? Not just in writing romance, but any great character.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh thanks for sharing this. I too am exploring writing romance from a YA perspective and am working on another one coming out this summer and it's really caused me to dig deep and think about how I reacted or how friends felt and everything. The hardest part for me is writing the boy's perspective, so I've asked my teen son his thoughts and reactions to help me develop the teen male voice. It's been fun! And I can't wait to read your new YA romance :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, LM. Good luck with your YA romance.

      Delete
  8. A great reminder to tap into those feelings. I agree whole-heartedly, whether you're writing romance or not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's true. You have to tap into the feelings whether you are writing romance or not.

      Delete
  9. I had this prob with one book I wrote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was it that you couldn't relive those emotions?

      Delete
  10. I'm not into YA romances, but when I think back in the day on my first, omg, I still would like to kick myself in the pants! I do love the Harlequin romances, well, use to. I tried to read a couple of the modern day ones, but I always pick the wrong ones. If I read romance, it has to be an alpha male. I can't stomach the emotional, whimsical type of guy.

    If you have any recommendations based on that, I'm all eyes! I could use another romance. I'm trying to get the latest King story out of my brain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. My romance coming out has an alpha male and a more emotional male.

      Delete
  11. To me the fun in writing romance is going back and reliving those feelsing and experiences. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's fun and heart-wrenching at the same time for me. ;)

      Delete
  12. Absolutely! Good romance always involves a little heartbreak, and you are so correct that the best way to write that is to write it from the heart and from our own experiences. I've certainly had my fair share of high school drama and trauma to draw from.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's clear to me that to write well in a genre you have to be an avid reader of that genre and be open to immerse yourself in its reality. No doubt you do, and how gutsy to go to that place again, the one of teen do-or-die love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teen do-or-die love<--I like that. Very true!

      Delete
  14. I'm not a romance writer, but I appreciate those who do it and do it well. Here's to success writing about those intimate moments of youth.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have been thinking of writing a YA romance for a change. Usually I just write MG and YA adventure or fantasy stories. I usually have to ride the emotions in my books when I write them, so I'm not surprised to hear that romance will likely be the same. I will have to draw on college though, in high school I was not interested in romance but focused/driven on my academic goals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck to you if you do decide to try writing romance.

      Delete
  16. It all seems so very long ago now........ :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've had a hard time writing romance since I was always anti-romance growing up. I told my mom I was NEVER going to get married (I think she's kept a signed contract of me stating that). I didn't waste a lot of time on boys in high school. Getting into the YA romance mindset has been a challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see how that would make it a little difficult for you, Nickie.

      Delete
  18. I have tagged you on my blog, it is a questionnaire in regards of new upcoming books. You can repost and pick 5 writers to pass it along. :)
    http://authorjtbrown.blogspot.com/
    Enjoyed reading through your post. :) Great topics. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Simple advice and so true. Two-thirds of the way through my current MS I realized I was writing romance, much to my surprise. It was an interesting adjustment but I have to admit the more I got into it, the better it got - IYKWIM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't funny how the manuscript can turn out to be something you never intended. :)

      Delete
  20. Emotiion - so very true. Best with 2013,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are awesome with emotion, Brenda. :)

      Delete
  21. When I was drafting my MG novel last year, I did feel all the old insecurities coming back to haunt me. And I thought maybe they never really left. All-consuming, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They never really left<--That could very well be true. I never looked at it that way, but I think you're right.

      Delete
  22. You're right. But I'm still young, and it's not that big a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I get emotional when I write. I have to tap into the past to get things right in a manuscript.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. I'm a very emotional person.

      Delete
  24. Yes, definitely. It's been so long since I was a teen I have to really search my memories for that moment. One thing I know, you never quite forget your first love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you never do. Luckily, my memories of my first love are good ones. We ended as friends and still talk every once in a while.

      Delete
  25. So true. I first tried to write a romance into my series when I was about fifteen years old, but it didn't work at all because I had never been in love. These days writing the romance is much easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's tough to write something if you haven't felt those emotions.

      Delete
  26. While my solo writing is squarely in the thriller genre, I've been co-authoring what's definitely an adult romance novel. Completely different fields.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Excellent advice. I like how you put it too.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I will have to get this book. I am dying to know which one Meg chooses. Or if she chooses either one...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Only a few days left until you can find out.

      Delete

I love comments, but not spam. All spam will be deleted.