Why I Write what I write

The other day, I was listening to a recording from the 2008 RWA Nationals about evoking emotions. The speaker said something that resonated with me. Not because I agreed with it but because I thought it really spoke to why I write. She said, basically, that people go to movies and read books not for special effects but for an emotional experience.

When I say I disagree, it’s more of the context of how she said it and not so much my interpretation. You see, when I craft a story, sure, I want it to be emotional but I want the special effects too. Same thing when I go to a movie. I want to feel awed, thrilled and amazed. Like watching Avatar. There was a message there. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. But what I loved about Avatar, what caused an emotional reaction in me, was the special effects – the world-building.

Of course, I care about characters. I care what happens to them especially when I’m watching them deal with attacking monsters, transforming machines, demons and other assorted menaces. The more action the better. I’ll take some emotion, but that’s not why I read books and watch movies. If you look at my movie collection, you’ll find 80% more action/adventure, alien and horror movies then you’ll find romance.

Not because I don’t like romance. Oh, I do. I love to watch two people find each other even as they battle whatever the writer throws at them. However, I’m happiest when the writers spend more time throwing things for the couple to fight versus slowing down to explore their emotions or find a deeper meaning in life.

I think that’s why Relic Defender: Key of Solomon was rejected as often as it was. Not because it wasn’t a good story or that I was a terrible writer (hey, I have proof I’ve grown as a writer hiding with the dust bunnies under my bed), but because it was more plot intensive than character-driven and romance, if anything, tends to be more character-driven. And that’s okay. It’s just not me.

A close friend of mine, author Susan Lute, writes more emotionally and character-driven romance and I admire her ability to craft stories that tug at the heart strings. She’s great at it; it seems to suit her even as she’s spreading her writer wings and wrote a paranormal romance about dragons. I haven’t read it but I suspect, even being paranormal, it’s still much more of an emotionally driven story than I write. Again, that’s great but it’s not me.

In fact, book 2 of the Relic Defender series, The Skull of Doom (you can read the first chapter by clicking above), is already starting out to be more action oriented than the first one. Sure, the characters have their issues and emotions which they’ll have to deal with – while they are fighting dictators, evil demons and a soul-sucking succubus.

This is why I write, read and watch movies. For the thrills, chills and explosions. Might make it harder for me to find a place shelved strictly under romance.

I’m okay with that. And I’ll bet I find readers who are okay with that too.


9 Responses to “Why I Write what I write”

  1. 1 Mom
    March 5, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Wow! #9 – I knew it would happen. How great is that and I’m very proud of you. What’s next on the horizon?

  2. March 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I bet your style of writing would appeal to the crossover audience, like…males, for instance. I hope you can get your book to the right audience because it sounds great!

    • March 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks Heather! Hmm. I wonder. I’m thinking it might still be a bit too romancy but you never know. Thanks so much for stopping by! Been a long time since I’ve seen you.

  3. 4 Mom
    March 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    YEAH! #6 keep on going sweety. LU

  4. 5 JJ
    March 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Hooray #6! Good job Sis, #1 isn’t that far away 🙂

  5. 6 Sue
    March 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    That’s a really interesting perspective, Kim. I was just chatting with XY the other day about his favorite movies and why they are his favorites (Shawshank Redemption, Lord of the Rings, The Unforgiven) and mine (Casablanca, Godfather, Taxi Driver) – and I realize mine all include an element of a love story. It’s all about style, isn’t it? Can’t wait to read Relic.


  6. 7 Vonnie Alto
    March 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Good vivid, memorable writing is really all about action. What better way to research the nuances of action than by watching movies and films and applying some of those techniques (i.e. show don’t tell, world building, etc) to our writing. Since action evokes an emotional response, I agree that a romance can be both plot intensive and character driven, but it depends on the writer’s preference and the story she’s telling as to how much plot/characterization she puts into her book. For me, plotting excites me but characterization is challenging. I really prefer a roller coaster ride of a plot because it keeps the reader interested and turning the pages. Your “Relic Defender” books sounds like a page turning series! No wonder “Key of Solomon” is a success!

  7. 8 Jessie
    March 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Wow. You are up to #6. Awesome!

  8. March 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Congratulations, doll! You rock. 🙂

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