Saturday, 28 July 2012

So You Write Romance... Can You Write Anything Else?

I've been writing for three years now. And yet, it wasn't until halfway through last year that I started making it public. And if there is one question I find that gets under its; 'Oh. You write romance. Can you write anything else?'

To be honest, it's one of those questions you should never ask a writer. It's like asking J.K. Rowling to write the weather report. Writers write what they love to write. You force them into something else and you mess with their muse.

But in answer to this question, yes, I can write in other genres. But Romance is where my heart lies.

Currently, I am writing a philosophical collection of four narratives that address feminism and Romanticism. There is no romance in those, but if there is one this I am finding is that theses stories will remain short stories. I will most likely never turn them into novels. To be honest, I like them the way they are. My muse agrees with them to but as always my current romantic WIP is calling me back to the world of sexy Irishmen and Sassy Aussie women.

As a lover of fiction, I have dipped my pen into all types of fiction. In high school I was expected to write a number of short peices and that is where my push to write started. But the day I decided to write, I knew I wouldn't write Scifi or mainstream or philosophical. I was a writer of Romance and my love of rural life was there to push me into Rural Romance.

So, if there are any lessons to be learn from this post these are it:
- If you've going to ask a writer if they can write anything else, prepare yourself for a verbal shut down.
- And secondly, all you Romance writers out there, don't be affraid to write in the genre you love just because some people you know might consider it of 'lower quaility'. And if you find yourself needing some proof, hand them a pen. 'You, the fool who thinks they have a right to criticise me, take this pen and write a romance. You have 90 000 words and six months. And you have to get it published by the end of the year.'
See how many will step up to the challenge and fall.

You see, it doesn't matter what you write. It's how much you commit yourself to it. If you hate the genre, you're clearly not going to write in no matter how many people will buy it just because they love the genre. The genre will not sell you. You sell yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, who's going to believe you?

And here I jump into the art of pitching. You cannot convice an editor to request your novel if you yourself have nothing to love about it.

Now, I see I have broken the rule of short, punchy blog post, but I do hope most of you kept reading.
Always believe in what you love writers. And always keep working on achieving your aspirations.



  1. A great post, Whitney. You hit the nail on the head :)

    1. Thank you, Junita.
      I wasn't sure where it was going but I'm a pantser by nature. It all just came to me.
      Thanks for popping by.

  2. Great post Whitney! For years I found myself stuttering over the word romance when people asked me what I write. I felt like it wasn't enough but then I had to tell myself to get over it. People think what they think no matter the spin we put on it. I love romance novels and I don't care who knows it =)

    If someone asked me if I can write anything else, I would just say "Yep" and leave it at that =) Why would you want to write about anything else?

    1. Exactly. It's not about what the people around you want you to write. I am still very young and most people are shocked when I tell them I write romance. But just yesterday I had a customer come in and one second I was talking to her about suitcases and the next the RWA conference and the organisation itself. RWA has definitely help me come out of my shell and as I get further, I have come to be more open about it.
      Like you said. You love it. And wouldn't want to do anything but what you love.
      If you're someone who likes to working out in the open, you're not going to set yourself up in a dingy office just because it 'looks better' to those around you. :)

      Jeez... Here I go again. This comment is a blog post lol

      Thanks for commenting, Bronwyn.

  3. Maybe it's because I'm old and I no longer care what random strangers think of me I quite happily tell them I'm an unpublished writer of Romance. If they are particularly obnoxious I look very innocent and tell them my favourite part is the sex scenes. If I'm really bad I might say that my DH loves to help me with research. One day I might write something that is simply erotica so when they ask 'Can you write anything else' I can say 'Oh yes I write erotica as well.'

    1. Fiona, that's brilliant.
      Love your logic and your humour. :)


  4. My daughter proudly told her new creative writing class at uni that mum writes romance and her first book is coming out soon. What can I say! So happy that she's proud of me.

    But I won't tell my munchkins at school that's what I write. For a similar reason, I write under a pseudonym as I don't think it's appropriate to share this aspect of my life (and I'm sure the department would frown if I did).

    Good post, Whitney!

    1. I am in a similar situation to your daughter, Sue. Except I'm also in the same boat as yourself. Whilst my class members know, my teacher doesn't. She knows I write on the side, but doesn't know the genre.
      The literary buffs can get a little... not sure how to put it. But most are cynical of the genre.
      My year 12 teacher was and I have often had a giggle when she mentioned anything about it lol.
      I imagine the look on her face if she saw a post or article on me in the future would be priceless.
      Thanks for stopping by.