Friday, March 02, 2012
I am so happy to welcome my friend Ann Gabhart back to my blog. And she has a special treat for all commenters. Besides the copy of Words Spoken True that I will give away to one commenter during the month of March, Ann is also giving a copy away to anyone who leaves a comment on her post here this weekend, so be sure to read and comment by Sunday night at midnight, and I will announce the winner on Monday, March 5.
Romance – the Spice in Storytelling
By Ann H. Gabhart
“I believe in the compelling power of love. I do not understand it. I believe it to be the most fragrant blossom of all this thorny existence.” ~Theodore Dreiser
Don’t you just love springtime when the earth is awakening from its winter sleep? The time when seeds and bulbs dormant under the snow or cold ground are touched by the warming sun and begin the cycle of life all over again. It’s also the time when thoughts of romance awaken in many hearts.
Writers can’t wait for spring to reach for romance. They have to make spring awaken in the hearts of their characters and get them in romantic moods any time of the year since most fiction readers love romance in the stories they read. It doesn’t matter whether those stories are solely focused on romance or if they have more to do with mystery, suspense, fantasy or history. Romance has a way of making any story more enticing. That’s because romance can make life more enticing and that’s what we writers want our stories to be – a slice of life. When we read about characters falling in love, we sigh along with them. Our hearts get lifted by the vicarious thrill of falling in love ourselves. But generally in most stories, as Shakespeare said, the course of true love never runs smooth. That’s because writers don’t let it, and they don’t let it because if it’s all smooth sailing, you don’t have the conflict that keeps readers reading. So we make the waters murky. We head our characters toward a rocky shore or get them stuck on sand bars. We do our best to make the voyage to happiness challenging.
I certainly did that to my characters in my new release, Words Spoken True. It’s the most romantic story I’ve written since I began writing for the inspirational market. It might be the most romantic story I’ve ever written. What makes it romantic? The interaction between the two main characters along with those obstacles that pop up to keep them apart.
At a conference once, I sat in on a class taught by Michael Hauge, who’s considered a story master in many writing circles. One of his rules about writing romances was to be sure the readers get to see the couple meet. To see the beginning. To watch the sparks begin to fly. For sure, you get to see the sparks fly when Adriane and Blake meet in Words Spoken True. Blake is the editor of a competing newspaper that is threatening the dominance of the paper Adriane’s father publishes. Since the two newspapers are warring for readers, Blake is considered the enemy and someone Adriane shouldn’t even like. A romantic attraction is out of the question. On top of that, she is engaged to the son of one of the more socially prominent families in Louisville. Yet, the attraction between Adriane and Blake is immediate. But the obstacles keep mounting one after another until the dramatic scene on a night that goes down in Louisville history as “Bloody Monday” because of the election riots. Even then, the obstacles don’t stop rising up in front of my couple to try to spoil their romantic happiness.
It was fun letting the romance have center stage in this book. In my Shaker books, while they are definitely historical romances, I often have to sneak any romantic scenes in a back door since the Shakers believed in celibate living. The Shakers not only had no use for romance, they considered such feelings sinful. In my Hollyhill books, a sweet thread of romance runs through all three books, but the main storyline is about the family and small town. Angel Sister definitely has romance. I think of that book as a parallel story. On one level is the story of the Merritt family while on another level running along beside it is the romantic love story of Victor and Nadine, the mother and father in the family. But in Words Spoken True, the romance demands the camera and lights, and even though the history is dramatic, the newspaper background compelling, and the idea of a serial killer on the loose suspenseful, I think it’s the romance that keeps the reader turning the pages to find out if Blake and Adriane will overcome those obstacles and have a chance to find love.
If you’d like to know more about Words Spoken True or any of my books, you can go to my website http://www.annhgabhart.com/. I enjoy meeting reading friends there and on my other social sites, my Facebook author’s page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-H-Gabhart/132862247566 or Twitter with a user name, annhgabhart. I also post a couple of times a week on my blog, One Writer’s Journal, http://www.annhgabhart.blogspot/.com about what going on in my writing or down here on the farm.
Good luck in the drawing for a copy of Words Spoken True