Friday, September 23, 2011

I still say contemporary romance is the hardest genre to write

I just finished a contemporary romance, which after all the dark YA and urban fantasy I've been reading lately, felt a but like a palate cleanser, light and frothy and fun. At least for the first half, and then for the second half, I lost interest.

The characters were still engaging, it's just the scenes could only progress so far, with the way the author had set it up, and the conflicts could only be hashed out so much before they felt repetitive. I know my own limitations, this is the point where I would have thrown a murder mystery at the wall, simply to add wordcount and I commend the author for not doing so. But it's why I still feel like this particular genre is so hard to write.

How do you come up with compelling internal conflicts and external conflicts that aren't life and death, keep each scene moving forward and keep the reader invested through 90,000 words?

Paranormal, fantasy, suspense, all have life and death, a strong external plot to pick up the slack when the internal starts to feel repetitive. But not contemporary.

And this is where I write my ode to Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who never seems to have this problem. She keeps me engaged and voraciously reading all the way through, without ever throwing a dead body into the mix.

Molly does this as well, which is why we drunk writers are so in awe of her contemps and so excited for them to be released on the world.

And it's why I could never write one. The urge to kill someone on paper would overcome me.


Maureen McGowan said...

I'm with you, Sinead. So tough. Admire people who do it well. So much.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm with you Sinead... someone always has to die.

I wrote a 70,000 word single contempt and still couldn't do it without killing someone.

Eileen said...

I know! I'm completely jealous of their ability to get to that depth and breadth of emotion.

Alexander said...

You are right. I totally agree with you. Great post – I’m going to Tweet about your blog.

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