Writing contemporary romantic comedy is a lot like gardening. I’ve been planning my vegetable garden, making diagrams and lists, all of which make the process sound much more impressive than it really is. My plans generally involve buying some tomato, eggplant and cucumber plants, sticking them in the ground and trying to remember to water them. Also, I sprinkle a variety of seeds and then cannot remember which ones I sprinkled where. This is an issue because if I don’t know what I planted, I don’t know what kind of seedlings to look for and I end up mistaking the seedlings for weeds and pulling them.
My harvest can be either surprisingly abundant or pitiful. Two years ago, we couldn’t eat the tomatoes fast enough and I had to make a big batch of tomato sauce. But last year, I had few unhappy tomatoes and a generous crop of well fed beetles. Still, every Spring, the period of planning for planting is the epitome of hope for me, no matter how unreasoning.
I think many romance authors feel this way about their writing as well.
No matter how much planning a writer does, the process of writing is often a surprise. Sometimes characters grow in an unexpected direction. Current events can intrude and influence the direction if the plot just as a rainstorm or a heat spell can impact garden plants. Editing a novel, like weeding, is an exercise in figuring out what should stay and what should be removed.
This is why I love writing contemporary romantic comedy.
Sure an HEA (a happily ever after) is a given, but how one arrives at the ending, the twists and turns along the way – that’s the fun part for me. Like a seed, a romance novel is all about hope and this year hope has been an especially precious commodity.
So, as we turn the corner into Spring, I am sending all of you wishes for exciting plans, good surprises and opportunities for new growth. And if you haven’t planted anything recently, give it a try. Worst case, you get a crop of beetles. But what if you get an abundance of tomatoes?
While you are waiting for your seeds to germinate, pick up a contemporary romantic comedy for yourself or for a friend. Waiting For You is waiting for you. If you prefer an ebook, you can find it HERE.