Diary of a Romance Writer 1

Saturday, 6th September 2008

My new writing project began on Saturday with my attendance at a romance-writing course. My recent writing projects felt flat and uninspired and I knew that if I didn’t do something to inject a bit of fun into my writing day that I was going to have to seriously reconsider by decade long focus on the craft.

I arrived at the course knowing nothing more than that I wanted to dumb down the literary falutedness that had crept into my work as a writer. I was eager to break away from the precious aura of the writing MA that I’d been awarded in 2007. In plain English – I wanted to enjoy writing again.

The course facilitator, welcomed all the participants with a beaming smile and a relaxed attitude that ensured that everyone felt at home. The course participants were mostly women of different ages and were really responsive and that helped to create a worthwhile day of learning.

The course is interactive, which is how all courses should be structured – a little bit of learning and a little bit of practical application. What I didn’t expect was a whole lot of fun.

It’s true, it’s true, romance writing is formulaic. The hero is always TD&H, the heroine is always his inferior – not as rich, not as successful. (Sorry feminists, I didn’t make the rules!) The man always gets the girl and a whole lot of other stick-to-rules in between that absolutely have to be adhered to if you wish to have your romance novel published.

My initial idea of setting the novel in South Africa waned when Anthony suggested that failure to adhere to the preferred locales of the publishers would see your query returned; I decided to have fun but to strictly adhere to the rules to improve my chances of publication. I fell asleep with my mind churning with alpha males and male-esses and exotically wealthy lifestyles…

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