I write romance. I try very hard to get out of it, but it never works. Not the kind of physical attraction romance, or the off-to-the-side romance in action stories. I write the hard core love stories. The stories about princesses, or at least the kind of love princesses always seem to find.
I write romance because it appeals to me, because no matter how many times I try, my life will never follow the classic love story lines. I’m never going to meet someone who’s going to care about me because I’m me, and I’m never going to meet someone who cares enough to break through all my barriers.
One key aspect of all love stories, even if never directly mentioned, is being honest and being able to trust the other person. I’m not always honest, because I naturally don’t trust people. And when I meet someone that I feel I can trust with anything without any reason to, and sometimes even if they’ve given me reason not to trust them, I tend to hold on to that person. And then I get hurt. Which is part of why I don’t trust them.
Look at the great love stories of the world, Romeo and Juliet, any Disney princess movie, and they all share one thing: a beautiful girl. I can write about beautiful girls, or girls that through the course of the story become beautiful, but I myself am not. I know where I stand on the scale, and that doesn’t bother me. Usually. I try to look past what someone looks like into who they are, which puts me in some strange situations, but I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.
How can someone write a love story? Easy. Fall in love. And let it be the classic, shortness of breath at a slight touch, a quickened heartbeat at their smile, a shiver up your spine when they hug you, a genuine smile when you see them. All that classic stuff, that no one actually expects to find in a relationship. I’ve felt that, and I let it walk away. Because I loved him enough to respect his decision to leave. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. It was all there; the breath, the heartbeat, the shiver, the smile; all of it. And I let it just… walk away. That still haunts me. But because I’ve felt this, I can write powerful love stories, because I know from experience what it feels like to have the classic feelings of love, then to watch them walk away. I also write a tragic breakup scene.
I’ve tried, multiple times, to draw away from the love stories, the romance, but I can never seem to get very far. Fantasy I can’t write, my fanfics always ended up being romances, my poetry… We won’t even go there. I just can’t. I can’t even write straight fiction without romance becoming a driving force. So I’ll stick to writing love stories, because that’s what I know. And that’s what I read, among other things.
I’m not saying writing romance is bad, I quite enjoy getting caught up in the emotion of it. I’m just saying that I wish I could write something without romance becoming a part of it. One of the many tragedies of being a writer, I suppose.