Friday, September 17, 2010

Express Yourself ... or not.

One of those lists that go viral around the internet hit my Facebook page last night.  This time it actually interested me.  It’s the “Top 20 Reasons Writers Make Great Lovers” list.  It wasn’t the list that captured my attention though.  It was the snarky commentary that an actual writer wrote back in response.  I really did LOL a few times.  The response to #9 made me think (as well as giggle):
9. Writers can think through their feelings.  So don’t start an argument unless you’re ready for a very, very lengthy explanation of our position, our feelings about your position, and what scenes from our recent fiction the whole thing reminds us of.
For me, this is so true.  I have no problem examining or expressing my feelings.  I probably express myself a little too well and too often.  Most of the writers I know are the same.  I keep hearing about these introverted writers, but I’ve yet to meet one.  Maybe it’s my genre, but every writer I meet is more than willing to share his or her life story, current WIP, past failures and triumphs, tips for success, etc. etc. etc.  We love words and it would seem we like to speak them as well as write them.
Our characters, however, usually have a heck of time expressing their feelings.  It’s sort of a “must have” in a romance.  We couldn’t have a hero that was immediately in touch with his emotions and his longing for the heroine.  He can’t think only of her, regardless of how it might affect his job/family/fortune/title.  If he were so self aware, he’d have the whole book sewn up by chapter five.  Same goes for our heroine.  If she could quickly admit that she really did want to know more about the roguish duke no matter what her family thought, she’d march right up to him at the ball/party/park/dinner and express that feeling.  The End would probably come after only one or two meetings.
This wouldn’t do!  We like the unspoken words.  We love the longing glances and touches laden with meaning.  We live for all the unresolved sexual tension.  For romance writers, while we may be able to think through it and tell you exactly how we feel on pretty much any person, place, or object you offer up, we are NOT going let our characters do the same.


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