Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Realizations

My mother has managed to rope me into watching the first Sex and the City movie, and watching it has made me realize something.  I'm not made for romance writing.  My style, and the way I work my characters isn't really the style the people look for in a romance.

That's not to say I'm going to give up on Kitty Malone.  Far from it.  I just need to reevaluate how I market it.  I don't think I can keep marketing it as a modern-day romance novel because it's really not.  Romance has a formula, and Kitty Malone doesn't follow it.  I don't introduce the hero and heroine in the first few chapters, I don't introduce the conflict, and I don't introduce conflict int he middle of the novel that drives them apart for a few chapters before they get back together.  I don't do drama very well either.  I do psychological turmoil well, and family insanity well (what does that say about me, I wonder), but not the clear-cut drama that Sex and the City and other romance novels do so well.  Relationship drama, especially like that of estranged marriages getting back together, loves of lives split apart by misunderstandings and then getting back together, I just don't do well.  I don't know why.  I've read a lot of romances, and I used to write them a lot back in my FanFiction days.  But when it comes to writing them for a large audience, I stumble and fall into pits.

Maisey Yates is one of my newest favorite romance novelists.  I read her novel The Inherited Bride and absolutely loved it.  Her mastery of the subtleties of relationships is amazing to read, and her characters are amazing in their complexities, their interactions, and their growing love for one another.  And her plots are exotic enough to whet fantasy without being too...trite or forced.  She's just an amazing author and hilariously funny.  I wish I had the talent to write romances like her, to write drama like she does.

But you know what?  It's quite all right.  Maybe I'm not meant to be romance novelist, and maybe it's not the way I'll get my name out in the writing world, but it's fun to write and I do enjoy it when I write it.  I have other projects that I'm working on, and maybe one of those will fit me better.  Maybe the WIP novel will propel me into the bestseller's list.  But it's not all about that.  It's about having fun writing and enjoying it (almost) every step of the way.  I enjoy writing Kitty Malone, and I will keep at it.  But I think it's time to let go of the notion that I'm a romance writer.  I'm something else.  Eventually I'll figure it out.



  1. Maybe you're writing in a slightly different genre and just don't know it yet!

  2. Write romance your own way and reinvent the genre! The tropes had to come from somewhere.

  3. I read somewhere recently that a guy invented an algorithm to essentially have a computer tell a story. The creator believes that most stories are 99% predictable, change the names, setting, and plots and you can churn out cookie cutter books, plays, and sitcoms all night long.

    I believe that no one should place themselves in a subcategory and call themselves a romance writer, or a mystery writer, etc.

    Marlena you are GREAT writer - no matter what the topic, or the setting, or the characters - a lot of times we don't have a choice what genre we write in. Instead the genre is labeled by your publisher and your audience.

    Just keep on writing great books. :)

  4. I think that working out where you fit is half the battle :) Maybe they just can't put a label on you! That's always a good thing!

  5. Figuring out what you're good at and what you need to work on is more than half of the battle. I have full faith in your awesomeness!

  6. I love those lightbulb moments where you work out 'Oh! THIS is what I'm writing!' because it frees you to write what you love and follow your passions.

    I hope 2012 brings you loads of success.

  7. Good for you--enjoying it is a huge part of writing. :)

  8. Burst the genres Marlena! Or rather mix it! We enjoy your writing thats all which counts, I'd think!

    Happy New Year!

  9. Sometimes though, it's those out-of-the-box genre-bending books that break the formula barriers that become really popular. Because they're not just like everything else.

    Anyways, Happy New Year!

  10. I don't like the formulaic romances at all. So yours interests me! Keep going. If you do, I'm certain you'll "figure it out."
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  11. Marlena,

    It has been too long and I miss reading about your adventures. Every time I log on to my blog I look down to my blog roll to see if you have updated and for nearly two months now, there has been nothing.

    I truly hope you have spent the last two months busy writing the next great novel or short story. :)

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.


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