It is also important to find a healthy, sustainable balance between the business and creative sides of your work, or you can find yourself wasting a lot of precious time on to-do items with low ROI.
External conflict on its own rarely stands up as being big enough, emotional enough or important enough. Yes, external factors are important in keeping a story moving, but internal factors are the driving force behind character arc and development, and our pathways to making two-dimensional, imaginary characters human. Real.
From the outside, writing doesn’t look too hard. After all, I spent eight to ten hours a day on my computer, doing the thing I love most in the world. What could be difficult about that? I get to research unique and interesting things, and tell the stories that I want to tell. It’s the dream job. And it is the dream job, but it’s sure as hell not an easy one.
Why aren’t these books marketed as romance novels and why do so many stories have love-story plots or subplots but scoff at the ones that do so intentionally?
But despite all those things people tend to say about romance, reading it has made me a fundamentally better author, both in and out of the genre. These books are often escapist and fantastical, yes, but I have taken many important writing skills and themes away from them. Here are just a few.
Sometimes I write about important things. This isn’t one of those times. This is one of those times where I stomp my feet and beat my chest and demand that our alpha He-Men are also capable polyglots with an eye for Baroque art and a surprisingly vast knowledge of the erotic language in the Decameron.
When I write strong female characters, I think of it more with the emphasis on strong character, creating heroines and female main characters that are strongly written, fleshed out and three dimensional. The character isn’t strong, necessarily, because of her physical abilities or emotional capacity. She is strong because the characterization is strong and complete.