Today is the RoNA Awards!!!
When I first started writing romance I leaned towards the intense. Lots of drama, angst and suspense.
Not gonna lie… a lot of that drama, angst and suspense came out more like: *insert Captain Kirk voice*: Damn it Janet, don’t die on me now. ..We have to figure out how to save the world – wow, your hair properly reminds me of the low-setting sun.
Um…yeah. Starting out A LOT of my writing was unintentionally funny. It still is when you factor in my own unique approach to grammar!
Being unintentionally funny isn’t like the whole ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ thing. Being unintentionally funny is bad and likely to get you on a publisher’s BuzzFeed list of howlers. Great if you want to be known for being funny. Not great if you want to create stories people will enjoy and remember for the right reasons.
Gradually I learned how to create drama, angst and suspense without making my characters sound unintentionally funny and completely TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).
But here’s the thing: I’d always have to go back through the dramatic, angst–filled, suspenseful manuscript afterwards and take out the ‘funny’ that had snuck in.
I’ve read wonderful dark, gritty romance with lashings of gallows humour that works on both levels, but for me, when I’m writing I’m either feeling light about a situation or I’m feeling serious about a situation – my voice comes out unbalanced if I try merging the two.
The biggest lesson I learned while writing The Little Clock House on the Green, was that setting out to write something funny is the single, biggest guarantee of instantly removing the comedy from Romantic Comedy. Comedians must find this all the time – the pressure to be ‘funny’. Also, comedy is like art anyway, right? Totally subjective. What one person finds dry, witty, or downright hilarious, another person finds bullish, weird or just plain inappropriate.
In the end I had to not think in terms of is this funny/what would be funnier.
It turned out to be way more simple than that. I know! Classic Arty Over-thinker, table for one.
Yep. It turned out all I had to do was just tell the story…
The story of Kate, Daniel, Juliet and Oscar and a clock house in a village called Whispers Wood.
That readers have taken the time to write to me and let me know how much they’ve enjoyed The Little Clock House on the Green and that they’ve laughed out loud (in public!) over a scene I’ve written, is just the best compliment I could receive.
I’ve had some truly wonderful experiences on this rollercoaster writing journey, and getting nominated for best Romantic Comedy novel by the Romantic Novelists’ Association is right up there with them.
A big squishy Good Luck to all the authors nominated for a RoNA tonight – I can’t wait to celebrate this fabulous industry.