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Sunday, January 27, 2013
12:23 PM | Posted by Keta Diablo | Edit Post
That's the question . . . Can Men Write Romance?
I'm curious about your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment and tell me whether or not you think men write believable romance. I'm really on the fence when it comes to this topic. On one hand, I think 'some' men write dynamic, credible romance novels. On the other hand, 'some' male ROMANCE writers have a hard time convincing me a heroine would act, think and feel in the manner they've portrayed them.
Let's face it, men and women for the most part are not wired the same, You've heard the old saying, "Women think with their hearts, men think with . . . ." Well, I'll let you finish that sentence. When I read romance, most of the time I relate to the heroine, probably because I'm a woman. I want the author to get inside her head, her emotions and 'feel' her conflict and her passion. Men have a hard time getting inside a woman's head to tell the story from her perspective simply because he doesn't think like her (and never has). How could he know how she feels or how she'd react to a certain scene when he's programmed to see the scene from a man's perspective?
I grew up reading Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers, the queens of romance in my opinion. I loved Woodiwiss for bringing the setting, the clothing and the landscape to life. I loved Rogers for her no-holes-barred heroines, feisty survivalists, in harsh settings and the hard-ass men they loved.
Sorry, I digress. Here's a descriptive passage from one of Woodiwiss books and right below, a journalist (man) describing a woman's dress at a Grand Ball. See the difference?
Woodiwiss: A slender lad stood where he had been stopped with the rest of the passengers. Beneath a battered slouch hat pulled low over his ears, wary gray eyes stared out from a begrimed face. Overlarge garments emphasized the slenderness of his frame, and the trousers were gathered about his thin waist with a rope. He wore a loose cotton jacket over a voluminous shirt . . .
Well, you get the picture of what I mean about her descriptive prose.
Journalist Man of the time describing Grand Ball attendees:
She dressed with great elegance and equal simplicity. -- what the name of the material is, I do not pretend to say or know. It was thin, gauzy and white, looked as if it would burn easily, and had a long row of beautiful bouquets down the front, of which the bloom I did not recognize.
See the difference? Now, Woodiwiss imagined the scene in her head while the male writer was present at the ball.
That's not to say men can't write romance. Some do. According to RWA (Romance Writers of America) statistics, only 1% of romance writers are men. Below are partial bios of three men who do write romance, and they've been successful, particularly Nicholas Sparks. Take a moment to Google them and take a look at the romance books they've written.
If you read romance, particularly romance written by men, leave a comment, tell us what you think.
Ken Casper's Bio (in part)
Ken's first sale was to Harlequin Superromance. A MAN CALLED JESSE was published in October '98. Since then he's written more than a dozen other Superromances, including the First Family of Texas series, contributed to two trilogies, a six-book series set in the police department of Houston, Texas, and he's currently involved in a five-book series set in the beautiful hill country of central Texas. His October 2003 Super, THE WOMAN IN THE NEWS, was a Holt Medallion finalist.
Leigh Greenwood's Bio (in part)
I didn't know much about writing, and nothing at all about the romance market, so I had to write two more books and join Romance Writers of America before I knew enough to sell my first book. Wyoming Wildfire was published by Zebra in 1987. Since then I’ve written 45 more books and four novellas.
Nicholas Sparks Bio (in part) - Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010) and The Best of Me (2011), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah.
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