View Full Version : Seeking inspiration!

08-19-2004, 08:41 PM
I began writing my first romance novel last year. The emotions weren't too difficult, I felt that my relationship with my husband was the romance of the century, and we had beaten the odds to get together and stay together:heart

Then the unthinkable happened. He changed and started lying compulsively (and badly), I discovered he was having an affair, he chose to be with her over me! :grr

The romance novel came to a big FAT ginding halt!

Although I am quite happy with life again and have accepted what happened and moved on, I am finding it very difficult to be inspired to start back on the romance.

Any ideas of how to get myself back into the right mood for writing romance (short of falling in love with somebody else)? Any exercises you use to help you? I know I should be able to write from emotional memory and part of being a writer is being able to use my imagination - and I am having no problem with this for other areas of writing - but the romance is evading me!


Lisa :hug

08-20-2004, 01:06 AM
Hi Lisa,
First let me say I'm sorry about your break-up. Heartbreak is never easy...and I'm glad you're feeling better about it.

That said, imvho, it is not necessary to be "in love" in order to write a great love story. Writing takes talent and creativity and writing a romance takes imagination and fantasy. ;)

I would suggest reading a few romance books to get you going again. If you've never read Nora Roberts, then read her MacGregor series....those will definitely jump start your writing libido.

And when you do get back to the keyboard, Don't think about "what was" think about "what if".



08-21-2004, 02:16 AM
First of all, it's your husband's loss! He'll realize that one day, I've got no doubt about it!

Second, I agree completely with Terri: you don't have to be in love to write romance. I wrote my first romantic novel while in the middle of a divorce! But I understand your point: it's good to be able to use your emotions and channel them into your work.

But that shouldn't be a problem if you think more broadly about your work.

It sounds like you were working on a traditional category romance (like for lines like Silhouette or Harlequin). But romance is changing. More and more, the plots have elements of mystery, intrigue, politics... or real family dilemmas including divorce, infidelity and loss. Terri suggested you read "Queen Nora" (the reigning grande dame of the industry) and that's a good idea. You might also try some chic lit. Chic lit doesn't have to have a happy ending-- though it often does-- but it does have to have a strong heroine with a unique voice, going through the trials and tribulations of her life. Read Jennifer Cruise, for an idea of this genre. There's also chic lit mystery (Susan McBride's Blue Blood might give you an idea) to see if these alternative styles appeal to you.

I could never write a "traditional romance". My own novel has strong subplots about family relationships, duty and secrets (small plug) but it qualifies as a "romance" because there's a central love story... and a happy ending!

But the point is don't limit yourself to sweetness and light. Romance encompasses all kinds of stories-- so don't feel limited to a and-they-lived-happily-ever-after-story. Read a little wider, try some of the newer authors... then see what ideas you get. I bet with more reading, you'll get a brand new insight on how your experiences can help you write a terrific new story!


Karyn Langhorne
(coming to a bookstore near you August 31)

08-21-2004, 02:32 AM
I'm funny and you agree with me??

Man! I like this forum! :grin

08-21-2004, 07:00 PM
And smart!

And you're giving Snoopy a workout!


08-24-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks for your comments and ideas.

Perhaps this novel in particular is just not happening for me and that is why I have hit a brick wall. I seem able to use my imagination well enough for all my other writing. :shrug

I shall channel my energies into a new project - I have plenty of ideas swirling around my head.

I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.:kiss

Lisa x

08-24-2004, 07:52 PM
perhaps you could take a break and write a hort story about the women who dumps her lousy partner and runs off with a dream lover ;)

08-24-2004, 09:04 PM
Yeah...you could start a whole new genre with a hort story. ;)

08-24-2004, 09:41 PM

08-31-2004, 06:32 AM

Normally I ignore posts that nit-pick about typos, but that was funny, TerriLynn...

And Lisa, sorry about your hubby. :hug

That sucks. So day-dream about your ideal guy, and make him your hero. Maybe he (or his heroine) has been hurt the way you have, and has trouble trusting...

And keep writing, even if you write about your own pain. In another forum, someone else had a painful incident interrupt her writing. A number of people responded saying they wrote through the pain, and eventually emerged on the other side of the darkness. So keep on keepin' on. Eventually, your novel will get written.

09-01-2004, 01:09 AM
Normally I ignore posts that nit-pick about typos, but that was funny, TerriLynn...

Thank you....I have my moments. (I'd take a bow, but there are no emoticons for that.)
And I'm glad you saw it for what it was, sometimes my attempts at humor fall flat. :x


09-01-2004, 12:09 PM
Lisa, I, too, am sorry to hear about your husband!

Sometimes my best "revenge" comes through in my fiction, though. Have you tried writing scenes where the heroine does through something similar and winds up with a hotter, greater, smarter, better man? Or where the dumb-butt cheater contracts a terrible disease? Or where the heroine wins the Lotto/gets famous/etc. right after the cheater leaves?

I encourage you to use writing as a therapy outlet, no matter what you write about. Write yourself a happy ending! And know that we're here for you if you ever need to vent.

And Karyn... hey! Very cool of you to join us! Today's your official pub date, too... CONGRATS! :party I'm looking forward to reading your book!

09-02-2004, 08:09 PM
Thanks Jenna - an ambition fulfilled! Well, I intended to appear one day as an interviewee with a hugely successful writing career, but it's a start :b

Thanks for all your comments and help. I have had great fun fantasising about my romantic hero - just need to get him out of my dreams and onto paper, now!

You're all wonderful.

Lisa x

09-04-2004, 02:34 AM
Been there; don't despair. It is true that you can use your pain to inspire your writing, as I did in this poem when I was in your same situation:

The Other Woman

You’ll always be the “other woman,” no matter what you do.
You’ll always be his mistress, even if he marries you.
What will your friends all think about your happy married life
When they find out you dated him while he still had a wife?
And late at night, you’ll look at him and wonder, “is he true?”
He cheated on his first “true love,” of course he’ll cheat on you!
What makes you think that you inspire a faithfulness in men
Who’ve cheated on their other women? He will cheat again!
And when he does, at least you’ll know that justice has been served.
The pain you’ll feel when it’s your turn will be what you deserve.
---Karen Hatch Taylor

And here's the good news: months after I left my evil ex, I met an Australian guy online in an online forum for my favorite musician. We became pen pals, and today we have three kids and have been married for over six years. So you may find, as I did, that now you know what you really want in a man (ethics!), and maybe just dreaming about him will inspire you. I aspire to be Poet Laureate someday, and my Aussie hubby is encouraging me all the way!

BTW, feel free to share my poem with your ex's new victim/wife. Just please leave my name on it. I have a book of poetry coming out next year, so I hope I'm on my way to achieving my dream of being the first brain tumor survivor to become US Poet Laureate. You never know...all's fair in love and poetry. Hang in there, Lisa!


Writing Again
09-18-2004, 04:12 AM
A good romance, like any good story, needs some bumps along the way. Use those less than happy times as inspiration for the painful parts that every story needs.