Thursday, January 12, 2006

Finding Romance

My aunt wants me to write romance novels. She thought I would laugh at her, but the truth is that I’ve started two on paper already, and I have two others stewing in my brain. Really. I have actually thought of writing one of those cheesy love stories that people say they don’t read. I read them. I like some Nora Roberts’ stories. She strings together whole families, multiple generations even. That’s cool stuff there. That’s creating a world.

Here are the ones that I have actually put on paper. The first is a Regency period piece. I started this one due to my love of Jane Austen’s novels. It’s a bit scattered and has a theme that just won’t work, but I won’t toss it out in case I feel like I can rewrite it to something better. Pamela Aidan has already written the books I wanted to write. The final book in her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series is finally out. This is the Pride and Prejudice story from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. It’s very well written and gives you the same roller coaster of emotions from the original novel.

The second one on paper, but only just outlined, is a Viking era story. The intent of this one is to have a biological component in it as well. Why biology? That’s my strong point in knowledge. I particularly like the female hero, as she is a strong, almost outcast character. I really should do more with that story as it enters my dreams now and then.

The other two are swimming around in my brain. Well, there are three actually, but I’d have to get my sister’s permission for one of them. That one is just a concept, but I think it would be the easiest to write. It would be the one that so many of you could relate to easiest. The story takes place entirely on a train as the two sisters are traveling together in Great Britain. Their conversations to pass the time between destinations take the reader into the past, where one sister meets the person of her dreams, except she has never really been in the same place as him. I want to write it, but I have to ask my real sister for permission since some of it really has happened. She’ll never let me publish it if I ever get it in that type of form.

Another of the swimmers always enters my dreams after I have watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have always imagined that Eomer had a lover that he didn’t give up when he married for political reasons. With this woman he had three children, all girls. This was his happy life. So, I guess this would not be a romance novel per se. My plot is convoluted and full of strife between his lover (unnamed as of yet) and Lothiriel of Dol Amroth, his wife.

The last of the mental stories is modern day. It’s the tale of a young journalist turned romance novelist who takes time off to research her family’s genealogy. Her mother had always wanted to find out the true story of a fabled aunt, a purported “Black Widow”, who was married seven times, but was unable to complete her quest after dying of cancer. The journalist is fulfilling her mother’s dream and also hopes to find inspiration for her next novel. She makes a rule for herself that she will not get romantically involved, as her last one was a disaster. Of course, she meets a man but keeps him as a friend. The novel is just as much about her research and discoveries as it is about her relationship with her friend. I’ve really thought this one out. I have to start writing this one.

So, do I actually do this? Do I take the time to write a real story? Should I beg my sister for her approval to write a story based on events in her life? I don’t know. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of what my children may think when they grow older. Is this a leap I want to take?

And for the poem, well, I’ve always thought this sounded like the end of a romance novel where the hero and heroine have finally overcome all obstacles and come together for a happy night.


By Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.


Maverick said...

Murphy always told me that someone would write a book about me someday! Go ahead write it. As for what your children think, I know you and your husband are extremely good at explaining all of the various matters that happen in life. Love has always been written about - Helen of Troy, Ivanhoe, Gone with the Wind, etc. Tell your children that this is a love of yours, something you always wanted to do, and you are going to do it.
And as I always say, risk nothing, receive nothing. So it doesn't get published, that isn't failure; just means you try harder, find a good editor, and work. So what if it never gets published, you tried and you can never say "What if?" That hard to do I know, but trust me you can do it. It is like the first year of law school, when professors ask you so many what if this and what if that questions, you are so afraid of not knowing the answer and you don't want to say "I don't know." But come your third year, you realize that the lesson they are trying to teach you, is just that, say you don't know when you don't. So when a question is asked, it is easy to say I don't know. And then get into a dicusssion about what you should think about and research so that you can find an answer.

Kuky said...

I say write. Let the creativity flow.

Anonymous said...

I love the ideas about the Black Widow etc. The research as the book develops would reveal many twists and turns. Also maybe the heroine should have romance included. The plot and characters of this book should just fall into place.

Liz Self said...

If you are at all interested in other author's follow-ups to "Pride and Prejudice," try "Conviction," which was written by a UVA grad student. It's good -- mainly about Georgiana's search for love, and/or "Mr. Darcy's Daughters," which is good, too. That author of the latter has another book that's more of a departure from the vein of Austen's original novel. Some were good, others were better, but all were fun to read after P&P. Will look for the book you mentioned, too.

Trixie said...

I have a book that you can write. I could never write it being to close to the truth about it. When you are ready for another story idea, let me know. It is powerful stuff.