Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Respect for Romance Writers?

Wow! Did you hear? Tough guy Larry Brooks has a new-found respect for Romance Writers. He calls us "killer smart."

In his April 3rd article on StoryFix, Larry explains that he was a guest speaker for a roomful of romance writers from the RWA and came away from it with a promise to refer to the genre with a capital R. He says, "Romance deserves more respect than it gets outside of the club.  The novels are legitimately difficult to write.  They demand mastery of the most challenging of all the Six Core Competencies (characterization).  They have expectations and 'rules' that are unique to the genre, and it’s a crowded market."

Perhaps, because romance is perceived as "formula" writing, it loses respect from the "big guys." I mean, everyone knows when they pick up a Romance, they're going to get a story of two people eventually uniting and living happily ever after. Basic structure: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back. That's it.

What folks don't consider is that Romance authors have to develop story lines in which to fit this pattern. Once that is realized, brows go up, light bulbs shine, the aha! moment hits: yes, we as Romance authors face the same dilemmas other authors do. We have to have goals and conflict, gripping hooks, enchanting characters--you name it, we need it just as much as authors of any other genre.

Let's forget the idea that Romance and its various subgenres have the lion's share of readership, or that it is the biggest money-making genre on the market, or that it grows annually. The fact that Romance authors have been able to take the same basic format and turn it into a new story time after time after time is worthy of respect.

Who woulda thunk that respect would come from former professional baseball player and current best-selling author and mentor, Larry Brooks.

Wow! Thanks, Larry!




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5 comments:

  1. Isn't Story Engineering great? Judging merely by the market, I think there's no question romance authors are getting the job done - and definitely deserve their fair share of respect for that.

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  2. I'm one of Larry's fans. His structure booklet helped me quite a bit with Cat Lady.

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  3. I read Larry's post about that. It sounds like he experienced more than he bargained for at that conference. He says he's going to write a romance now... hmm...

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  4. @Pat: we do appreciate his kudos--and yours!

    @Pegg: Yeah, it does sound like he got more than he bargained for. Frankly, I think I'd like to see a romance from him. Should be interesting. :D

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