I’ve resisted the meta-tsunami that is writing about writing since the beginning of the blog, but in a complete and utter reversal, I’m not instituting a weekly writing post. A lot of the folks who interact with me here are writers themselves, and those who aren’t may still appreciate the insights into the writing process.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
from Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
In the case of writing, the beginning is that spark of an idea that keeps you up at night. My writing is character driven, which means I think of a character that I’d like to write about, usually the type of person that I don’t already see represented in the romance genre.
In my first manuscript, Asking For It, the heroine had been raped. This is common enough in the romance genre (if you read the kind of angst-heavy ones that I do, at least) but I found that they tended to revert to a state of chastity in their fear of men or sex. While that response is common, it is ALSO a common (and valid!) response for a woman to devalue the physical relationship and even become promiscuous.
That heroine very rarely makes it into romance novels. I can think of one or two. Out of hundreds. And that’s after seeking out ones with an abused heroine trope. Yeah, this girl is underrepresented.
<steps up to podium>I think that’s a major disservice and a form of victim shaming – to say that only one kind of response to violence is acceptable and to say that if you react differently, you don’t even deserve to find love</steps back down>
I set out to write this book and have never looked back. Mostly because my naivete and complete lack of writing skills at that early stage is embarrassing now, but still! Onward!
Can you think of any characters who strayed from your own expectations of behavior but managed to win you over anyway? They can make you squirm sometimes, right? As a writer, how do you come up with your ideas?