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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I look at Amazon's bestseller list, and it makes me wish I could write romance novels. Romance novels are huge. For a while, I was seriously trying to write a romance novel. I even wrote an outline and a few chapters. But there's just one problem: I hate romance novels. I don't even like romantic movies. I just don't get it. Every word I wrote, I kept thinking, "Is this romantic? What's a romantic thing for this guy to say? If I have him say this, is that a turn off? Would this make the heroine unlikable?" Eventually I decided that it was pointless to try. My genre is adventure and scifi, and I could imagine what kind of novel someone who hated scifi would produce: crap. But I still wish I could get some of that romance pie.
 

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As you said, somebody who felt this way about adventure/scifi would produce something that...well, you would be able to tell that it is not something the author likes. I think if you forced yourself to write a romance, readers would know you did not enjoy writing it, and romance readers especially are a fickle lot. (I would know, ha!)

If it makes you feel better, I write romances but they do not sell considerably well. Well enough to brag a little about to family, but not enough to pay many bills on. It's a genre that takes a while to get your hold in anyway. Probably true for most genres, but I find it especially true for things like romance.

I often wish I were a YA (or NA now) writer. I see all these other writer friends of mine having huge successes with just ONE title, and everyone else bites at the chomp to help them promote everywhere. Me? I have zero interest in those genres (if you want to call them that.) Not interested in reading them, not interested in writing them. I like my characters 40 and cynical. But sometimes I joke with my editor I should write one anyway for "quick cash", even though we all know that's not how it works.

There is a very dedicated audience for your genre(s) out there. If you dedicate yourself in turn, you will amass loyal readers who will boost your career down the line.
 

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If there is no joy in the writing, it will show in the writing.  Do something you enjoy.
 

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I agree with the others. There's no point in writing something you loathe. Not only is it difficult and unpleasant work, but your dislike for the genre will tend to shine through. Best to stick with what you love, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hildred said:
I often wish I were a YA (or NA now) writer. I see all these other writer friends of mine having huge successes with just ONE title, and everyone else bites at the chomp to help them promote everywhere. Me? I have zero interest in those genres (if you want to call them that.) Not interested in reading them, not interested in writing them. I like my characters 40 and cynical. But sometimes I joke with my editor I should write one anyway for "quick cash", even though we all know that's not how it works.
I wondered if anyone else had that experience of wanting to write in a different genre. Glad I'm not alone
 

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That's what would happen to me if I tried to write scifi, or most other genres for that matter. I write romance because it's what I know and love. I've read thousands of these books over the years and it's helped me to understand the genre so I can produce the best quality product for my readers. Trying to cash in on what's hot never works. My advice? Stick to what you know and love. The proof will be in your writing.
 

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Don't write for the money. Write because you enjoy writing.
I've begun writing outside my primary genre to challenge myself and see if it's something I would enjoy. So far, I've delved into the romance genre, and it's not too shabby. If anything, it's taught me new writing tips and techniques that other genres don't teach you. I'm all about learning new things and I like to keep my mind open to new challenges.
My romantic short story isn't a best-seller, and I doubt it will ever be compared to books of the more established romance authors, but it was fun to write, regardless, I'm able to publish it and share it with the world, and that's all that matters to me.
 

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I've never had much interest in romance until I stumbled upon a writer I'm now friends with. Her m/m romance books is what got me trying out not just reading but also writing the genre last year. I still don't know all the ins and outs of it, but I like to try and play with the conventions.
Right now I'm working on a urban fantasy romance trilogy.

I've never had much interest in straight romance because I haven't found one where I can identify with the heroine and it makes my skin crawl thinking about most of the blurbs I've read for straight romance.

Don't try something you don't like, maybe try something closer to home? There are a lot of cross genre books that are great and have a good following.
I used to write sci-fi and even have some fantasy book outlines. Though my main genre these days in gay fiction (cross genre to urban fantasy or slice of life most of the time).

But I think it's great that you tried it, trying something new can be quite rewarding, but not all the time ;)
 

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Don't write for the money. Write because you enjoy writing.
Yes and no. If you have no interest in money at all, you might as well just give your books away. I write for the joy of writing, but I also want to make a career out of it, which means trying to maximize my earnings. But writing stuff you don't really have a feel for is not the best way to do that.

I've never had much interest in straight romance because I haven't found one where I can identify with the heroine and it makes my skin crawl thinking about most of the blurbs I've read for straight romance.
I'm not exactly sure what it is that makes your skin crawl about the blurbs you've read, but romance is a huge genre, and there are all sorts of different straight romances out there. Could be you just haven't found a subgenre that suits you yet.
 

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I think you should open yourself up a little bit and gradually push your boundaries.  Ok so you can't write a gushy HEA romance novel.  what about a sci/adventure novel with romantic elements?  What about love stories without HEA or without the gushy loveliness?  Most of Hemmingway's novel revolved  around love and its foibles.  Even Fitzgerald, (his female characters suck), his novels all centered around romantic love. take Nicholas Sparks, his career is built around love stories with sad endings. kindleboards George Berger wrote his non-raunchy lesbian YA romance.

I guess my point is you should find where the boundary of your like and dislike is and push further a little. Not too much.  Go hunt down male writers of romance(there are more of them than you think) and see if you look like their stuff.  Go read contemporary fiction by male writers that center about love and stuff and see what you like. You like scifi and adventure.  There's a healthy market for scifi/adventure stuff with a splash of romance in it.  It's really just a matter of being willing to play and experiment a little.
 

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MegHarris said:
I'm not exactly sure what it is that makes your skin crawl about the blurbs you've read, but romance is a huge genre, and there are all sorts of different straight romances out there. Could be you just haven't found a subgenre that suits you yet.
I don't like innocent girls, quiet girls, "cute" girls, girls who fall in love at first sight, and the list goes on. I'm pretty picky when it comes to what I like, there are very few books with female protags at all that that I liked, and I've read a LOT of them in different genres.
There are so many other books out there that do have my interest that I can't find the will to actually make time to find a sub-genre of a genre that over all doesn't speak to me. Straight romance simply doesn't seem to be my thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RM Prioleau said:
I've begun writing outside my primary genre to challenge myself and see if it's something I would enjoy. So far, I've delved into the romance genre, and it's not too shabby. If anything, it's taught me new writing tips and techniques that other genres don't teach you. I'm all about learning new things and I like to keep my mind open to new challenges.
I have to say I learned a lot trying to write romance. I used to think romance was easy: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. But in reading up on romance, and trying to form a plot, I realized it's not that simple. It's hard coming up with reasons why they don't just get together, and are kept apart for a novel-length story. Best advice I read was to figure out why falling in love is the worst thing that could happen to the hero/heroine right now, and build the story around that.

I've also never been interested in the emotional lives of my characters, but I discovered romance is all about emotions. It forced me to try to delve deeper into the character's minds and hearts to find a story, which I think is useful. In my future work, I'll probably put in a romantic subplot, because I think it will add depth to the story. But I don't think I'll ever write an entire story about romance.

I have a lot more respect for romance authors than I did before.
 

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MegHarris said:
Yes and no. If you have no interest in money at all, you might as well just give your books away. I write for the joy of writing, but I also want to make a career out of it, which means trying to maximize my earnings. But writing stuff you don't really have a feel for is not the best way to do that.
Of course, if you plan to make a career out of it, then yes, you'd have to treat your writing like a business and therefore find the most profitable methods of turning your writing into revenue. I agree you shouldn't write something you hate just because it makes the most money. But what if the genre you like is the least-popular/least-selling genre? Publishers would most likely not accept your manuscript no matter how good it is because it's not the 'hot trend'. And if they DO take it, they might sit on it for x years to see if the 'hot trend' will shift in the direction of your manuscript.

And I think it would be that much harder for a self-publisher to try and sell something in a least-popular genre if they're looking to make a career out of this. Not saying it's impossible, but definitely difficult.

I certainly don't oppose to making revenue off my writing. I mean, I AM selling it. But I'm not doing it with the intent to get rich quick or something. If anything, it's providing me gas money to and from my full-time job :p
 

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But I'm not doing it with the intent to get rich quick or something.
Well, I am! I've been trying to get rich quick... for fifteen years.:D

Just kidding. I'm just saying, money does enter into it for a lot of us, if not most of us. But there are no guarantees of ever making much money in this business, so it's best to have fun along the way.

Straight romance simply doesn't seem to be my thing.
Fair enough. Different people like different genres.

And I think it would be that much harder for a self-publisher to try and sell something in a least-popular genre if they're looking to make a career out of this. Not saying it's impossible, but definitely difficult.
Agreed. But you never know what the next big thing might be. It could be that less popular genre.

I used to think romance was easy: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl.
A lot of people think that. Romance writers get no respect. :) It's great that you learned from the experience, though. I think trying new things is very rarely a waste of time, because the more we write, the more we learn.
 
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Italiahaircolor said:
This sort of thing kills me.
Is it the implication that it takes no skill or effort to write a romance, and therefore it should be easy money? Or perhaps the notion that a person who dislikes a genre has so little respect for the writers who work in it that he thinks it should be a cakewalk to do and let the money roll in?

Because, yeah, this sort of thing kills me, too. I put this just below the "Yeah, I could write a novel if I had the time" comments.

Make my skin crawl...
 

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Is it the implication that it takes no skill or effort to write a romance, and therefore it should be easy money? Or perhaps the notion that a person who dislikes a genre has so little respect for the writers who work in it that he thinks it should be a cakewalk to do and let the money roll in?
Well, to be fair to the OP, he apparently started with that assumption, but learned he was wrong. Kudos to him for that, at least.
 

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Nigel Mitchell said:
I've also never been interested in the emotional lives of my characters, but I discovered romance is all about emotions. It forced me to try to delve deeper into the character's minds and hearts to find a story, which I think is useful. In my future work, I'll probably put in a romantic subplot, because I think it will add depth to the story. But I don't think I'll ever write an entire story about romance.
I'm glad you're thinking about the emotional lives of your characters(emotions don't have to mean love or romance). Books filled with flat characters or unemotional characters don't do well in any genre. Internal conflict mixed with external conflict is a winning combination across genres.
 

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I'm not usually a big fan of romance either, so I wrote paranormal romance. It means I get to have were-tigers brawling and
getting shot
, with prophecies and whatever.

It all turned out okay, but I'd seriously struggle to write a book I wasn't enjoying.
 

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If you hate romance, how can you expect to engage a reader? No amount of skill can disguise the author's disdain and dislike.  It will come through.  And to write any genre, it's vital to have a passion for that genre, one which can infuse the work.  I would suggest writing in a genre you enjoy.
 
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