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:~: Friday, July 27, 2007 :~:

Say What?!

I finally had someone say it to me this week. To be sure, it almost knocked me off my feet, but I held it together and didn't laugh aloud when he said it.

"I thought writing a romance novel would be easy."

Or words to that effect. I also know, because I know the person who said them pretty well, that they weren't meant in a disparaging way.

But, oh, am I thinking the poor dear is misguided!

But, y'all, I really did want to laugh -- both at the irony and at the idea. Okay, we have to acknowledge up front that in many ways, the romance novel is still the unwelcome bastard child of all things literary. I won't bore you with the sales statistics, blah, blah, blah.

But really, is any novel easy to write? I don't think so.

The gist of the conversation was that the speaker has been thinking of writing a romance novel. Has been looking at H/S guidelines. Has really no clue what's involved in writing a romance novel, let alone selling one.

But you know, that's okay, because Lord knows we've all been there. So I thought about all those people who helped me when I was starting out and said or did misguided things. I thought about the authors who are ahead of me in the publication game and continue to help me in various ways.

And I didn't laugh.

I paid it forward.

Because while it may not be easy to write a romance novel, it's very easy to extend someone a helping hand along the way.



Blogger Joan Swan said...

That's good kharma (sp?), Lin, and it will come back to you.

I've found that the writing community in general (at least the romance writing community, because that's the community I'm familiar with) is very helpful and willing to offer a hand.

I've never had anyone say they thought writing a novel, romance or any other, would be easy. I've always had everyone say they couldn't even begin to try because they were sure it would be too hard.

But I have noticed something interesting that relates to this in an odd sort of way. I've noticed that many writers want particular information. They seem to think that getting one element down will be the ticket to perfecting their writing--i.e. they write contemporary romance so a speaker on the dealings of the FBI or the way a killer thinks wouldn't be of any use to them.

IMHUO, when it comes to writing, there is value in ALL knowledge. It may not look like it immediately relates to your writing, but I've found, 5 years and 7 novels and umpteen revisions later, the more your know, the better off your are and the more texture comes out in your work.

Ok -- off topic a little there. Sorry. Maybe I'll write about that on Wed. :-)

6:41 PM  

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