Every writer has their favourite genres to work within. Mine, for example, is fantasy, though I also have a special place in my heart for horror.
But, the flip side of that is we all have genres that we don’t much care for. Genres that we have trouble connecting with when we try to write them, or that we simply don’t enjoy writing.
Or, at least, I do. And I have my suspicions that I’m not alone.
All it takes is one read-through of each of my manuscripts to figure out what that genre is. It’s lacking from every one of them, even the ones that should have some form of it. Stories that have married couples, or friends who believe they could become more.
Have you figured out what the genre is yet?
That’s right, it’s romance. I’m terrible at writing romance, even in its smallest forms.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve written about two or three couples (secondary characters, I may add) whose relationships last until the end their respective stories. But all of my main-character couples? Their love stories end in divorce, or death, or just general heartbreak.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why. I enjoy reading stories whose main characters not only survive their love stories, but flourish in them, so it’s not that I’m against the idea.
Figuring out the reason why will only get me so far, though. If I want to be able to write romance, even as only a sub-genre, then I need to improve the skills required to write it.
I’ve largely been doing that by incorporating small bits of romance into my stories. Like those happy secondary-character couples, for example. With them, I can play around with different romantic elements to see what works best for me. I can try writing the flirtatious talk, or the drawn-out kisses, or the passionate fights. I can try just about any element I need to, and it doesn’t need to affect my main story line as much as it would if I were trying it out on my main character.
Not that I don’t have them affect the main character. There’s often a bit of jealousy on their part, maybe some longing. It sometimes even encourages them to try a little harder with their own love interest. And then maybe, just maybe, I manage to add an extra little dose of romance into their story line, too.
So, yes, it’s a round-about way of practicing my romance-writing skills. And maybe it’s not the best way to go about things. But, it’s the method I’ve found that works for me.
Now, tell me about your own genre troubles. Is there one that you have particular trouble with? And what have you done to try to remedy that?