Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I have crossed oceans of time to find you. Or whatever.

So, honestly? I don't know anything about romance novels. At all. Romance to me is, "I don't think he farted on me in his sleep last night". And while that's pretty fantastic and whatnot, it's really not what people want to read about. Unless that's your thing. I won't judge.

The whole story about why I'm now writing a romance novel is a very hilarious and profoundly painful one so I won't get into it now (or ever, probably) but somehow I found myself agreeing to try. Trying doesn't hurt anything, right? And if it's an abject failure, well, what else is new? Obviously the fear of failure has never stopped me before.

I haven't read very many romance novels. I can actually think of zero that I have read cover-to-cover. I think someone had given my mom a box of them at some point ("Your daughters like to read, right?") and they existed in that dusty cardboard out in our storage shed for quite some time. At one point I opened one and it said something about heaving bosoms and I dropped it and slinked away, mortified. I think I was ten.

Now that I'm presumably an adult and smart enough to know you have to do research on things I hauled my ass down to McKay Used Books and loaded up my basket with 25 cent mass market paperbacks. I was going to read them, learn from them, and by God, write one of my own.

But yeah. Not so much.

Because I'm apparently still a fourteen year old boy and when seeing the words wet, moist, and throbbing in print I dissolve into giggles. This can also explain why I have so very, very much trouble in relationships probably, but I honestly can't help it. It's my cross to bear.

Once I got past that, though, I gotta tell you. Some of the stories were really excellent. I loved the plot lines, I loved the twists and turns, and believe it or not, I actually thought a lot of the romantic parts were really sweet.

I never thought of romance novels as inferior literature, I just always thought of them as something that was not for me. Now, I'm not so sure. I mean some of them I'm not going to like...and that's no reflection on the work, at all. It's just the same as any other type of book. People castigate me when I admit I've never read Twilight and couldn't get into any of the Harry Potter books because those are some of the most popular books of all time. I guess it makes me weird, but not bad. I just have different taste.

But some of the romance novels I read were great stories. I was rooting for some of the characters, hoping they got together, hoping they worked it out. It was really eye-opening for me.

I've always said I need to write the script for my own life, so it wouldn't go quite as craptacularly as it seems to go. Maybe this will give me that chance.

But I'm not using the word "manhood". You can't make me.

14 comments:

Jenski said...

Or maybe you should use the word manhood and have the main character follow up with a laughing fit? :-)

Tiffany said...

I will read about anything Steph! Im not a huge fan of the murder books...my mom loves those...but i like books about the characters lives...
I am with ya on the romance thing, I dont like the hardcore heaving bosoms ones,they just dont do anything for me,but there are alot of great ones out there that fall into the romance category that arent yucky like that. I love anything Janet Evanovich writes,especially her Stephanie Plum series and some of her others are i think she calls them screwball romances and I enjoy those alot...
Keep reading and Keep Writing :)

cuteellaisbold said...

You should check out Jennifer Crusie! She's a riot.
http://www.jennycrusie.com/books/fiction/

celi.a said...

How about the word 'tumescent?' That's a good one.

insomniac ellen said...

let's all chip in and get Steph a thesaurus.... cause I don't think the publishers are gonna like "peen"

M said...

You'd better email me about this romance novel shit. BTW once upon a time I wrote a shitload of them. Well..starts to them. Into my early 20's even! Then I had kids and started to hate all main characters in them.

have seriously considered writing one again despite not enjoying reading them anymore. Sometimes? It's amazing what we will find interesting out of our general reading zone. Frightening almost. :) (Like my liking twilight! I swore I wouldn't get into the hype...then I did to appease someone and *gasp* I LIKED IT!!!)

Anonymous said...

Ever consider that you are just with the wrong guy? Maybe the right guy would inspire you to romantic notions...just a thought.

Danielle said...

I'm not sure this is technically a romance novel in the sense of how you are doing research, but "Bridges of Madison County" is the most romantic book I've ever read. My mother sent it to me in college & said "I know it sounds corny, but you can actually feel the love." Did you read that one? The movie blew.

Nicole said...

Please also add to your Do Not Write list:

--throbbing member
--netherlips (or nether-region, or any other reference to female anatomy with the prefix "nether")
--kernel of pleasure
--soft folds
--disco stick

Kthx!

NinjaMom said...

I've read my share of romance novels. I think I'm too old to care now. Is that bad? :)

Oh, "member".

Little Red Hen said...

I always found “Pulsing Shaft” a particularly hilarious term. Whatever you call it, it all ends in a “hot mess” *wink wink, giggle giggle*

Catch the Kids said...

My mum loves romance novels. And I read anything with print. So I grew up on Mills and Boons. My Sister calls them "Thrills and Spoons" My husband calls them "Dills and Goons". But I quieten him with the comment that Louis L'Amour Westerns are just Mills and Boons for boys...Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/

I LOVE this website for good romance recommendations.

Dot said...

I used to read some of the racier romances years ago. My favorite phrases were "throbbing manhood" and "mound of femininity". I would read passages to my husband and we would laugh like school kids. Then we'd have fun re-enacting some of the scenes....there's your "research" for you ;-)