Romance Happens

First: an announcement:
The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate from Love Spanks weekend is:
Louisa!
Congrats and enjoy!

I now return you to my regularly scheduled blog post… 

Since it’s Valentine’s Day I thought I’d write about romance.

There’s just one problem: I’m not a romance writer.

Oh, sure, there is the M/M relationship in Sanguine.  And while the relationship is essential to the characters (and thus to the plot) I can’t really classify it as a romance novel.

And in the novel without a real name yet that I took an excerpt from for Love Spanks there is a relationship between two female characters, but, again, it is not really the crux of the plot.

There is romance (for lack of a better word) in Song and Sword, but, once again, it’s not the focus of the novel.

The Other Mages trilogy is (so far!) romance free, depending on how Book Three works out in the rewrite.

The Academy of the Accord is… Well… I’m not sure I would call the relationships in any of the books “romantic.”  Sensual and sexual and loving, but they don’t really fit into the “romance” category… there is no wooing or dating or anything like that.

(That brings up a good question for the future, though:  What makes romance “romance”?)

Wait a minute.  I said I didn’t write romance.  What’s up with all of these relationships?

I don’t write romance, but I do write relationships.

My writing tends to be very character driven.  I may (sometimes) start with a basic idea for a world or setting or story, but almost everything grows up around the characters.

And characters don’t exist in a vacuum.

(This past NaNoWriMo I tried a bit of an experiment. I focused on just one character and made everyone else secondary – very secondary.  In fact, there is a large section of the book where Taliya is alone on her spaceship, just her, the ship, and the occasional person shooting at her.  And that is why The Onyx Sun is hidden away somewhere being ignored until I can deal with a nearly total rewrite. It just didn’t work for me.)

So, characters who don’t exist in a vacuum have relationships with other characters.  Sometimes friendships, sometimes something more than friendships.

And sometimes – oftentimes – relationships between the characters are not planned in advance.

For instance, in what is now Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord series, I had no idea that two of my male warriors were lovers until one of them joined the other in bed.  That worked out really well, though, and I went back and worked it into earlier scenes in that book and developed it through preceding books.

(I also had no idea when I started writing the series that a Warder’s bond with his wizard often resulted in physical intimacy, but it’s given me a wonderful opportunity to play with various pairings and explore the nuances of masculine vs feminine continuum.)

So, no, I don’t write romance, but romance happens because

People.

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