By Keith Fisher
Fair warning! I’m going to talk about romance again. "Oh no!" you say. "When is he going to give it a rest?" I promise I won’t make fun of the genre, because well, if you’ve followed my blog recently, you know, my new work in progress, although I intended it to be general fiction, has turned into romance.
I’m sure no one is more surprised than me about that. While looking at the Deseret Book catalogue, I saw the new books by Anita Stansfield, Rachel Ann Nunes, and Josi S Kilpack. I suddenly realized if I pull this off, if my book does well and I follow it with another and another, I could someday be counted as one of their contemporaries.
Is that a scary thought for you? Considering, I set out to become the next Dean Hughes, it definitely gives me cause to think. But then again, have you read his new book, Promises To Keep? It's a romance.
In the course of plotting my book, I discovered hidden talents. I think it surprises my critique group as much as it does me. They point out my usual bad writing mistakes, and show me places where I must learn to think more like a woman. The ladies continue to tell me to get into my character’s heads, because I’m writing for women, and the audience would like to experience the feelings. It’s a difficult balance to write like a man but make it intriguing to a woman.
It’s frustrating sometimes, but they’re right. I know it, and I’m grateful for those four ladies who have unending patience with me, especially, when my natural inclination is to argue. To be truthful, however, I am getting better, and they deserve a medal, but let me get to the point.
Back when I was more righteous, I served a mission in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The schools up there had a program called French Immersion. For a period of time the student had to speak, read, and do everything in French. The other day, I noticed the marquee at a local elementary school referred to a Spanish Immersion program.
Like the programs above, I think my mind is immersing me in romance. I’ve noticed a change lately in the things I read, and the movies I watch. This was not a conscious effort, I assure you. I have been revisiting movies I watched years ago like; You’ve Got Mail, Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle, Key Largo, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, and Murphy’s Romance to name only a few. I’ve even been reading Nicholas Sparks. I catch myself analyzing character motives and feelings.
It seems my mind is determined to turn me into a romance author. It’s taking me into a new realm. I guess if it has its way, and if the ladies in my critique group keep having patience, I might end up as a contemporary of those ladies above . . . well, maybe someday.
We all know, one of the rules of good writing is to read, read, read. Especially the genre we write in. I never really read a lot of romance before, and you might laugh, considering what I’ve said in the past about romance, but this story has a desire to be told, and I’m learning as I go.
Good luck with your writing---see you next week.