What's in a name?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sometimes labels free you; they give you certain parameters to work within. The elimination of what you can’t do, helps you focus on what you *can*, and might stir your creativity to make the tried and true, unique.

But sometimes labels are confining. Sometimes you’re too busy checking things against that mental *can’t do* list, that creativity is stifled somewhat. Last week I mentioned to Cece that I had to stop thinking that I wrote ‘Romance’, because it was messing with my plotting process and expectations (subconsciously) of what I thought my wip should be accomplishing. So I changed my header a bit, it now says: for the yet to be published writer, instead of ‘aspiring romance writer’.

I believe a strong, passionate romance will always be at the nexus of anything I write, or, at the very least, one of the major subplots; but if I keep thinking I write romance, it’s like mentally boxing myself in. This is the same thing that happened when I attempted to write Romantica (erotic romances) I naturally write very sensual stories, so I thought Romantica would be no problem. Wrong. I felt hemmed in, and subtly pressured-by myself--to keep the sexual tension at the forefront. Suddenly it wasn’t feeling so natural.

Once I stopped thinking ‘I write romance’ it felt like a million and one things were possible. I could use whatever ‘coarseness’ of language I wanted, present situations at any graphically detailed level that I felt suited the work. Mix genres in any way I want to, have my characters be any race, shape, height, or size. I don’t care, I’ll serve the characters and the story, and hopefully the future readers; and I won’t be thinking about ‘parameters’, whether self-inflicted or assumed from years of reading 'romance oriented' message-boards, etc.
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Sela Carsen said...

I'm so happy for you! I love the way you think about your stories and I'm glad you've found freedom. I'd still love to read your stuff. You've got a wicked, sensual voice.

Sasha White said...

Smart move! I love it!

Jaye said...

Sela, of course you're still on my list of victims, er critters, gg, once I produce something worth getting critted. :-P

Sash, it was an act of pure desperation. I'm so unmotivated to write. :-( The labelling was part of the problem. I've also realized that the story A) started in the wrong place, b) started with the wrong tone. This is Odil's story, and it's darker than the excerpt (from Zoe's pov) that I posted earlier. I'm now re-thinking the plot, and fiddling with a horror-romance or dark paranormal romance idea I have.

Amie Stuart said...

WTG BABE!!!!!!!! You are, above all things, a writer. Period. And a fan-damn-tabulous one to boot!

Jaye said...

Thanks, hon. :-) I'm feeling a bit more writerly today, than I have in a long time.

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