Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Steep Curve of Romance

I'm extremely bad at writing romance for two reasons.

First, my dad is a writer and everything I write has to go through him once. Every time he reads about love or crushes or even descriptions of attractive guys, he seems to get kind of awkward. I think he believes all my work is inspired by true events, and he, like any father, is afraid to think I might be falling for some tall, dark, handsome school boy. I want to tell him that's not the case, but we are a close but conservative father-daughter duo. We don't talk about boys. Whenever I try to work in some romance into my stories, I can't help but imagine my dad breathing down my neck, looking over my shoulder as I decsribe fluttering in stomachs and skipping of heartbeats and warm, fuzzy feelings.

Second, I've never been in love. You can't blame me, I'm just eighteen. The closest I ever came to love was this really sweet guy I knew in high school. The last I heard of him was when our final results came out and I found out he had done extremely well. I think he's planning to do go to engineering college or dental school. But the problem about taking inspiration from this sweet little crush is that I was the studious girl. Given how busy I usually stayed with school work, extra-curriculars, writing and painting, I devoted perhaps a grand total of two hours to thinking about thins guy. Basically, my personal experiences with romance is so limited, I have to rely on sappy romantic comedies for inspiration.

For 'Unexplained Disappearances', I do have a romantic plotline. It's buried under layers of suspense, drama and gunshots, but it's there.  Needless to say, I'm struggling with the writing. I get squirmy every time I launch into a romantic scene. I'm planning a great conclusion for this romance towards the end of the novel, and that should excuse any flaws in the preceding chapters. No, seriously, the conclusion is going to be great!!

So tell me- how do you deal with writing romance. Do you shy away like an inexperienced teenager (egro, like me)? Or do you have enough memories o draw ideas from/ Plus, who is your favorite literary couple? My vote goes to Carmen and Win from the third intallment of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series? The have a tiny subplot and Win doesn't even show up in the following book, but their story was so cute and funny, I go back to the novel every few months just to read their scenes.


  1. All of my novels have romantic elements but this year I wrote my first YA contemporary romance. My mom beta reads all my manuscripts (she's tough, too, which I love) and I had to reassure her that none of it was autobiographical. LOL. I was so scared for her to read it. And the manuscript before it had some pretty intense scenes that I was terrified to have her read, but she loved it. It was her favorite of my novels.

    I say, don't think about your dad reading it. Just write the story. You can assure him later that none of it actually happened--even if it did. ;)

  2. I've found most guy readers to be impatient with emotional parts in books and romantic scenes - they mostly only want to know what happens next. My books only go to people I know read the genre I'm writing in. I have writers in my family, but I don't let them read anything of mine. Try to write what you're comfortable with and take Dad's reactions with a grain of salt.