Someone once told me that “being in love…is like marching through knee-deep mud.” “Wow!” I answered (with compassion), “that’s a great piece of dialogue for a Romance novel!” As you might imagine, my friend rolled his eyes at me and shook his head. However, he didn’t “march away” mad. Instead, we spent the next couple of hours weeding through his reactions to his girlfriend’s actions in an attempt to clearly understand what was happening. I won’t delve into that specific situation here; however, I will say that my opening statement, “Love can be messy” is not an understatement.
There is also a parallel statement that must be recognized when writing love stories. LIFE CAN BE MESSY. In dramatic fashion, my friend’s parting words that day were, “I don’t know if I can live without her.” Oh, that’s cliché you say? Maybe. However, it is also the way many people feel when experiencing a messy relationship. In steps, the Romance Writer who develops characters, scenes/settings, plots/actions demonstrating how “real” (fictional) people can not only survive rocky relationships, they can become stronger and mentally/emotionally healthier.
I was introduced to one of my favorite Romance and Historical Fiction authors Francine Rivers when a student of mine gave me a copy of REDEEMING LOVE. It is set in the California Gold Rush days. The heroine, Angel, becomes a woman in the midst of “life’s” messiest of circumstances—sold into prostitution at the age of eight. The cruelty of men (basically all the men) in her life is heart-wrenching. Then Michael comes into the story and falls in love with Angel. This author moves readers through realistic bitter/sweet, happy/sad, emotions that speak the truth of how sincere, honest, real love conquers all ills.
I’ve included an illustration of this book to point out the statement highlighted in the beige inset: ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD! And, it’s still selling! What are some of her creative writing secrets? Here are a few of the best interview excerpts I’ve found.
- Research! Research! Research! Details about time periods and events are crucial.
- It rarely works to develop a fictional character using all the specifics about a “real” person. Trying to bend actions/events around them will keep you from developing enough drama and conflict to make the story interesting to readers.
- Imagination NOT “speculation” shapes and develops characters and events. Some readers think it strange to say that fiction characters take on a life of their own. But they do—in our imaginations. When their stories begin to move in unexpected ways, that’s when writing becomes really exciting!
- Don’t be afraid to TELL the TRUTH. Bad things happen. Ugly things. Sad and malicious things. There is also the TRUTH that good people make a difference. Their concepts of love, Faith, values, and doing what is right because it is right will make a difference in the plot, too.
SO…I leave you today with these encouragements. This author is an excellent example of what you can do, too. If you’re not already deep into typing your novel, BEGIN TODAY!
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|