It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
OPTIONAL SEPTEMBER QUESTION: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in?)
MY ANSWER: Oh, yeah. Romance. Regency romance, to be precise. Most of my fiction is pure fantasy, sometimes with a dash of romantic flavor, but most often not even a whiff. My brain doesn’t seem to lean in that direction. But I won’t surprise anyone to say that romance is the most popular genre in fiction. I enjoy reading romances, especially clean romances, like Georgette Heyer, even though I don’t write them.
After I started putting my fiction on wattpad and not getting many reads or votes, I decided to conduct an experiment. A couple years ago, I wrote a regency romance novella, Fibs in the Family, and put it on wattpad (you can read it here) to see what would happen. What did happen flabbergasted me. My little experiment has become the most read of all my stories there. At the last count, it got 24.6 thousand reads and 1.6 thousand votes. People like it, and the comments are most flattering. I don’t promote it at all, but it gets new readers all the time. If I was selling this novella and got such numbers, it would’ve been considered a bestseller.
Now, I want to capitalize on its success and write another regency novella, with two different protagonists, but it goes very slowly. Didn’t I tell you that my brain doesn’t bend towards love stories? I even made a charming cover in the same style as this one, but my new heroine keeps trying to fix all her problems herself. She doesn’t really need the guy and not even sure she likes him. And she is supposed to fall in love with him. Argh! I’m struggling to stuff the story into the proper and very rigid romantic format, but it bites back really hard. I’m stuck.
I can’t even call it a writer’s block. Since I started working on this new romance novella two years ago, I’ve been getting distracted by other ideas. I have written another novella, a steampunk adventure, and several short stories – neither of them overly romantic – and even got a couple of stories published already. But my regency romance wouldn’t unfold.
I want to finish that story. I really like both protagonists. Many of you write romance. Any advice?