Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Romance Challenge 2008

A couple of weeks ago I told my friend Dennis I was tired of working in an office and I wanted to stay home and crank out several romance novels every year instead. I chose this particular genre because I find it formulaic, popular (read lucrative) and intellectually simple. I also imagined that by injecting the occasional period setting, I could happily spend hours and hours learning the details of certain historic and cultural eras.

Sometimes, I'm a snotty bitch.

Dennis is a good soul. He said I needed to set a deadline, show him my first five pages, and in the spirit of good sportspersonship he would play, too. And so was born Romance Challenge 2008. On Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 at high noon we are meeting at Street Side in the back horseshoe booth with the first 5 pages of our original romance novels. The idea is catching on like wildfire among the drunky, boho neighborhoodies -- after all, we have to find something else to do with our hands and mouths now that we can no longer smoke anywhere -- and we're expecting a small crowd.

An unexpected treat is all of the fun we're having pointing out some of the flotsam and jetsam of random conversations that should be used as first lines or titles like, "Sweaty Breasts and Cigarettes" or "I felt like I was riding a very erotic horse" or "I realized she was probably a man, but we had a good time so I asked her out again." (By the way, those are all copyrighted snippets, so no plagery, please.)

But therein lies the crux of Romance Challenge 2008 for me. I want to write a pure, sweet -- hopefully highly readable and intellectually stimulating -- romance novel. I want to be pure to the genre. I realize I've spent this lifetime smothering nearly every romantic sentiment or impulse I've ever had and I think I would be cheating myself if I didn't give in to that strange, stereotypically soft and feminine and foreign mood, at least once. Even if I only do it on paper.

And it's difficult. Everything I've come up with so far smacks of cynical satire. But I will not give in to my monkey mind's desire to protect me from flowering into a silly, vulnerable fool. I will write a fucking love story even if it makes me weep.

Wanna play?


treacle said...

Happy New Year, lady. Hope it brings you everything you need.

JoeC said...

Have you seen the Snowflake method for writing a novel? Great way to outline for those novelists who have to outline to prevent getting stuck on page 50 without knowing where to take the story after all the character introductions. Here's the link: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php

changapeluda said...

Are you going to share your five pages here? i, for one, would love to read them. Unless you wanna make me wait til it comes out in soft porn i mean back

Yay for Sylvia Brown!
Did you know you can go on a psychic themed carnival cruise with her if you got the time and money? So says Hay House. ( i wanna go!)

Happy New Year, Sirenita!
Oh hey! now i can go on that impeachment site since my computer is working like a dream.
Woo hoooo!


La Sirena said...

And a Happy New Year to you Treacle!!! Thanks -- I hope you have a good one too...

Joe -- Thanks! I'll definitely check that out. I need all of the help I can get.

Changa -- OK, but maybe one at a time. You can play, too from your blog. Glad to hear your computer is working -- hope your New Year brings all kindsa similiar and better excitement.

Nigel St.John Regina Smegmatica Howle-Raines said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel St.John Regina Smegmatica Howle-Raines said...

Nah, it's easy:

"It was a dark and stormy night. Up popped Fabio, his hibiscus-scented locks flowing in the breeze. Magically, and despite the rain, the Stud from Sorento was as dry as Bea Arthur. Her wit, I mean. Anyhow, so it rained, and Fabio was there, and there was moisture."

(ed. note: didja see what I did there? Not seepage, moisture.

The End.

Now: where are my royalties?

La Sirena said...

No royalties, Nigel darling, because I am a notorious pinko. Your reward is in going the distance and using the word moisture in a sentence.

Well done!

Pelmo said...

If you write it, I will read it, and give it an unbiased critique.

Knowing you, you can and will do a great job.