This blog follows how a romance novel set in the Borders of medieval Scotland is researched, written and hopefully *hopefully* published.

Join me on the writing journey and get inspired to try writing a little romance into your own life!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Merits of Writing Romance

I'm just getting whapped by some rolled up cosmic newspaper recently. I checked an e-mail account and found out that my first contest entry was rejected. Bummer.

Then my mom called and let me know that the results from her last x-ray/scan were back. She's got tumors in her lungs now. Writing--especially romance--suddenly seemed like such a trite endeavor. Getting a single story rejection was suddenly not important at all.

So, as I'm trying to get myself together for a phone-conference meeting (with a non-profit group I play an integral role in) that I have today during my son's nap, and trying to figure out how I can spend more time 5 hours to the south with my mom, I did some soul-searching.

During my "retreat" I discussed with Morgan the potential implications of me writing romance and someone judging my son based on his mother's actions years down the road ("sins of the fathers" and all that). Morgan assured me my fears were simply the rumblings of my puritanical upbringing and that I should pursue my muse. I questioned the literary merit of romance, knowing my other writing is a bit more acceptable as "worthwhile" to the literatti ;-). Morgan shrugged, romance never having been something he cared to spend much time contemplating.

So last night (after Mom called) I thought harder about the merit of writing romance. Here are my conclusions...
1.) Writing romance may never achieve the literary "nod" that essayists get--or fine poets. But as a wouldbe author, do I need that?
2.) Romances may always seem "too alike" in some ways: boy meets girl, conflict, boy loses girl, resolution, happy ending-- or --heroine tames the rake -- or-- hero shows his true self and heroine learns to love him anyhow--or--Eh, you get the idea. As we all know: "The devil is in the details." So what if there are trends and similarities? Good authors will always sepaprate their work through stylistic and character-based differences.
3.) Romances may not bring about world peace or cultural understanding of our political differences. They may not lead us to true "nirvana." But if they cause a reader to break away from a dull or troubled existence--even briefly--do they not deserve some credit as being more than just economically vaible?
4.) Isn't the true merit of literature and the arts to temporarily remove us from the everyday (through suspension of disbelief), allow us to examine life from a fresh perspective and send us back to the humdrum invigorated and ready to try new approaches? Shouldn't good literature and art give us some touch of happiness? If so...Romance is a winner.

I enjoy writing it, I generally enjoy reading it and I hope someday others will enjoy reading what I've written. Will readers close my novel and go off to save the world? Probably not. But will they be happier for a brief while knowing that love DOES overcome obstacles, and maybe they'll feel richer knowing that.

And that, I think, is the real merit of writing romance novels. Giving a little hope.

Much LOVE!
~Saoirse

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