When surfing through my email this evening, hunting for interesting blog articles and writing world news, I came across a blog post from the Smashwords blog posted on Friday, August 3rd (I get over 50 blog posts in my email every day, so I read my subscription emails by random chance). The author of the post, Mark Coker, writes about attending the 2012 Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference. Check it out at http://blog.smashwords.com/2012/08/the-future-of-ebook-publishing-at-rwa.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Smashwords+%28Smashwords%29.
What I found most interesting, however, is that he gave this little tidbit of advice: "Even if you write thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy or even horror, your books will probably get better if you study romance. Romance writers are among some of the finest storytellers of interpersonal relationships. If you want your readers to care what happens next to your characters, study the masters."
This thought had never crossed my mind before, but suddenly, I was wondering why it hadn't! He hits the nail on the head, romance writers have the most experience in trying to convey human nature. They have to make their readers feel the sparks in new relationships, connect with the hearts and minds of their main characters, and genuinely care about every happening in the character's lives. The biggest success for any romance writer is to have their audience walk away feeling that they have lived another person's life.
For many writers of different genres, the characters can be the hardest part. Not only do the descriptions have to be just right, but how in the world do you make them seem real? How do you give them depth without having to divulge every thought and every emotion they feel? How do you focus on their inner workings while advancing the plot and keeping the reader entertained?
Well, writers, Mark has given some great advice. Romance authors have a huge fan base, with many readers consuming books faster than any other genre. They are obviously doing something right, and it has to be with their characters and those characters' relationships. So next time you are feeling stumped about how to show sadness, excitement, or anger, take a few minutes to sit down and read a romance novel. I'm sure you will find inspiration and a bit of wisdom in between the lines.