Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Theory on My Writing

The other day in my post You Got Romance in my Suspense!, I mentioned how I don't read much romance because I have plenty of romance in my life. Well, I did say that was a whole nother post, so here it is.

Throughout a large portion of my life, there's been no romance. (And sometimes, the romance I had was piddlin' poor.) During these arid wastelands of romance, I inhaled romance novels. Harlequins, Silhouettes--all the big name houses--I was there and I was buried up to my eyeballs in romance. Looking back, the theory is I needed to read about it because I didn't have it. (I'm just talking about me here, so if your life is full of romance and you still read them by the dozens, good for you.) When I had romance in my life, I didn't have the urge to pick up those types of books.

Now my life has romance. I think I read one old romance last year, and I only picked that up because I wanted something short to read that wouldn't tax my brain too much. (Romantic suspense I read by the bushel, but only for the suspense parts.)

I think this is also why I've had problems writing the romantic scenes in my current book. The well-used phrase in writing is 'Write what you know', right? Well, for me, not in this case.

Back when I had no romance, I wrote romance. (I wasn't a writer yet, so they never got finished.) Not that I wasn't writing what I knew, but more a case of I knew what it was, I just didn't have it at the time. Trust me. And I wrote some pretty darn good stuff, if I do say so myself. I think those early attempts at writing filled a gap I had in my life.

No gap, no need to write about it.

On the other hand, right now my life is not exciting. (Interesting and on occasion irritating, but not exciting.) So what do I write about? Suspense. Excitement. The future. Oddly enough, I'm reading the same types of books.

Just postulating on a theory here. Well, rambling really. I'm wondering if perhaps the stories I write are somehow subconsciously driven by things that might be lacking in my life. *shrug*

Do you ever wonder what drives you to do the things you do? Why do you write what you write?


WordVixen said...

I tend to feel the same way. I do read romance on occasion even though I'm very, very happily married. Mostly when I'm between fantasies and chick-lit (I do have an obsession with humorous anything).

However, my WIP is somewhere between chick-lit and sweet romance. And I think one of the reasons I'm having such trouble with it is because my attitude toward everything is common sense with a dash of c'est la vie. Somehow, an attitude like that will not move a plot along, or provide interesting reading even if she does get the guy. Argh. I find it very difficult to think in a manner that lends itself to excitement.

I wonder if my attitude is why I'm craving some good non-fiction?

Kristen Painter said...

I write what I write because my head is full of stories - and the stories that come out are the ones that populate my brain.

I also think the stories I write were created by the stories I read growing up. The sci-fi, the fantasy - those stories gave me some of the crazy imagination that I currently have.