When I was a teenager, my best friend dreamed of singing in a band. She dedicated many, many hours to exploring the music she loved. She was so full of melody that she would burst into song at the drop of a piano chord. The only thing holding her back was her inability to carry a tune.
She overcame this little problem by devoting a few years of her life to singing lessons. Although she has yet to achieve international stardom in the rock ‘n roll band of her dreams, she is now an accomplished singer and is in demand at many local and regional functions.
I think of her often as I begin working on a novel that is outside my typical venue of graphically violent suspense. To be quite honest, what I am trying to write is the direct opposite of my typical mystery/thriller stories. I am undertaking a literary journey along unfamiliar trails.
Yes, this is all new territory to me, but it stems from a goal I set for myself a few years ago. My objective is to write novels within the genres of mystery/thriller/action (two novels completed), science fiction (working on it as we speak), western (I have an outline), horror (several works have been started), realistic fiction (halfway finished), fantasy (outlined and first two chapters written), humor (outline with a first chapter), and romance.
Romance is the jarring discord in the quest for my Writer’s Grail. As a woman, you would think it would be easy for me to write about relationships, love, and passion. I certainly thought writing romance would be a breeze.
I was wrong. It is not.
I truly admire all of my fellow authors who are romance writers. The nuances needed in a well-written romance are different from anything I have written. I struggle to create a tale of love that does not read like a Flintstones’ episode or a Debbie Does Dallas script.
Although I am sometimes clueless about how to make my romantic novel tick, I think I am going in the right direction. A decent tale of romance needs a spoonful of passion, a dash of conflict, a sprinkling of mystery, and a pinch of optimism.
I am excited and nervous about this venture. Even though romance is not my forte, I know that I will be able to overcome that tiny problem. After all, my tuneless friend now sings like a rock star.
J J Dare is the author of “False Positive,”
the first novel in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy