Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Notable Lack of Romance in my Stories

This is something I've been thinking about for some time, but I was inspired to write a post about it after reading one of the blogs I regularly check in on (regarding society and its expectations of people).  Even media is big on reinforcing many kinds of things.  If I ever get my work attended-to in any professional or famous way, I have a feeling that *my* media will be different.

Here's why:

I suck at writing romance and thus avoid it.

The Static-Lands experimental stories on this blog are a good example.  I write all kinds of relationships, opressor / opressed, parent / child, friend / friend, mentor / student, peacenick / warrior, artist / zombies...  yet I haven't gotten into the lovey-dovey romantic pairs stuff.  I have an idea for a story where I might do that in a non-tradtional way, but I'm holding off on writing it because it's one of those stories I'm not sure I'll do right and I'm not sure I'm "allowed" to do given my position in life. I feel like I need to ask people permission to write it but am afraid to even ask.

Another example of my lack of romance writing: my novel-length works that I do not publish in entirety (as yet) online. 

Okay, so I have one novel where the protagonist and the friend he made get together at the end (though she is a werewolf...) - but, yeah that happened kind of organically in a story that's an adventure-tale and not a "romance." Still, that one doesn't count. 

My other novels?  Let's see... I have a novel where one of the major themes is "If you find just *one* person whom you can trust and give your heart to, you're lucky." - The catch?  The protagonists who trust and love each other are a woman and a gryphon and it's not romantic. They have an adoptive mother-son relationship that's cultiavated throughout the novel.  (In other words, if any fan ever makes porn of them, I'll go "Sigh, fandom," but also privately twitch. A lot).

My most recent completed novel stars a teenage girl and a teenage boy who go on an amazing journey together.  They are best friends (and if fandom pairs them together, I won't twitch) - but I will gleeflly point out that it's not canon.  In the epilogue of the story (which shows them growing up and growing old), the male protagonist falls in love with another girl and they get married while my female protagonist never quite settles down and enjoys the (non-sexual) companionship of her spiritual guardian.  The two protagonists do remain best friends to the end of their days, though.  One of the things I conciously wanted to do with this story is to elevate the idea of close friendship. I honestly thought of doing the predictable thing with this novel and pairing the two, but decided against it when the writing told me that they were better off as friends.  The characters just presented themselves that way to me.

One thing I've learned about fiction writing is that the writer never has full control over the work.  The characters and their world will tell me what to do after a point.

This lack of romance thing even crosses over into my fan fiction (and anyone who's ever been into reading or writing it knows that it's romance / pairings central).  Even when one's tastes gravitate away from the porn-fics, pairings and scmoophy-romance are served up hot and in abudnance.  Also, Sturgeon's Law.  I'm a gen-ficcer and I *like to think* that my fan fictions are in the "other 10%" at least most of the time.   I feel like I'm one of the few fan fiction writers (for any fandom) who doesn't do a lot of romance.  I like to do adventure-tales and philosophical-introspective stuff, oh, and horror. 

When one of my fan fictions ends with a major-character pairing, it usually took a long road to get there in a story that's mostly about an adventure or some worldbuilding fill-in-stuff-the-canon-world-makes-you-wonder-about stuff.  One of my recent long fan fictions ending with a pairing I don't even like a great deal just because that's the way the fic went - the organic writing.   A few of my fanfictions are attempts at romance from the get-go, but they usually wind up being about something else or have some other kind of mood to them.  One of my pairings/romance stories wound up being about the constructed politics of another world  Another of them was a tragedy about one lover trying to get the ghost of her beloved to stop lingering around and go to the afterlife. 

In other words, if you want me to write anything for you, please, for the love of puppies don't ask me to write a romantic-comedy. 


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