Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Romancing the novel...

The question often arises how a male writer can write a female main protagonist and do it well. Or vice versa. Female writing male. Now, this doesn't apply to my series but two questions do, which are along similar lines.

First off, how can a s#x*&$-something writer have a 30-ish year old protagonist? Is the memory that strong that the writer is able to truly remember how it feels to be that age and, how the protagonist should react? Also, times have changed. (Tell me about it!) At 30, I didn't have a computer; no cell phone; not even a portable phone. The answer of course is, we're writers. Deal with it!

Now, the second authorial question I'm faced with is this romance my protagonist, Lizzie Turner, has found herself wrapped up in. This is not meant to be a true confessions, but how does one write realistic romance scenes? I'm not talking sex scenes, either -- this is a cosy, after all.

We're coming up to Valentine's Day...perhaps a good day to write all of these scenes. When newspapers, magazines and other media are filled with ads about passion and romance. Who can't help but be caught up in it all. That should develop the right mind-set. So you write like crazy, save the pages, turn off the computer and then...is that all there is?

Or maybe watch back-to-back episodes of Castle until the brain is saturated with sexy one-liners. Inspiring, yes. But too great a chance those sexy one-liners on your page won't really be your creations.

Maybe going back mentally in time, to those days of being 30 and in love would do the trick. Wrong. Never go back, only forward is my motto. And hopefully, in doing so, you don't repeat your mistakes. Or maybe you do, which would make the written word so much more realistic.

Actually, I think I've got it. I'm a writer. Lizzie Turner is my protagonist. I've given her back story which should determine how she'll deal with situations, including romance. It's all up there in the "little grey cells". The proof is in the writing. To make whatever she does with this romance, believable. And true to Lizzie Turner. That's what a writer does, isn't it?

And of course, there's at least one murder along the way. That should spice up any romance!

So, what works for you? Or are you writing an autobiography?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase