On Writing Romance – by Roberta Capizzi
In a time when vampires, werewolves, action, mystery and hot, steamy sex stories turn writers into billionaires, why should anyone bother reading plain romance? And why should an author bother writing about romance if nobody is interested in it anymore?
Well, as a person who’s always swum against the tide, I’ve wanted to use this attitude in my writing career as well, and yes, I’m guilty: I chose romance. In a recent post in my blog, I listed the five reasons why I will never be a best-selling author and to summarize them all in one the main reason is because I want to be true to myself. I believe in romance and happy endings. Is that a crime?
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever been so engrossed in a book that, when you reached the end and returned to reality, you felt totally lost, as if you’d just lost a friend? Have you ever finished a book and kept thinking about that world even after days had passed? Well, that’s what happens to me after I read a good romance book, and I’m telling you, it’s not easy to find books that can stir such strong emotions in the reader – at least in me. But romance books do it.
Now, tell me: can that happen to you if you read a paranormal or a mystery or a fantasy book? Hmm…I doubt it. I mean, I absolutely loved Twilight, although I’ve never been a fan of vampires, but when I finished it, I didn’t go around fantasizing about bumping into my personal Edward Cullen because it was just a story!
Well, after reading good romance books (let me give you a couple of examples: Rosamunde Pilcher and Nicholas Sparks) I realized that those stories could as well be true, that they could actually happen to me, too. Sure, why not? The heroine was an ordinary girl, went on a holiday to visit some relatives, met Mr. Gorgeous, and they fell in love. Happy Ending. What’s so impossible with that?
Well, in case you’re wondering: no, the meet-cute hasn’t happened to me yet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not likely to happen like in a book. Am I a dreamer? Yes. But I’m also a romance writer.
Which brings me back to the theme of this post: writing romance. So, why would I bother writing romance when I know it’s not so trendy anymore? Because, well, in a world where happy endings rarely happen, and Prince Charming became extinct some time during Ice Age, all we’ve got left are dreams and good books that can take us on an emotional journey, a journey that will touch our hearts, make us smile, bring tears to our eyes and, if we’re lucky enough, change our lives for the better. I believe a good romance book can do that, unlike other genres; when I’m finished reading (or writing), I feel hope building inside of me that, even if only in our dreams, there’s still hope for a happily ever after.