November 2017

Point of view: getting up close and personal

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a course hosted by the Queensland Writers Centre and beloved Australian romance author Anna Campbell, which covered the building blocks of romance fiction. I would thoroughly recommend taking this course if it is offered again. One of the exercises we played with was to re-write a lacklustre piece of prose into one which embraced the concept of “deep” point of view. (I have read some articles on Anna’s website, and she has an excellent article on point of view, which can be found here.) THE ORIGINAL PASSAGE BEFORE THE RE-WRITE Lord Julian Monteith saw the Earl of Monteith’s daughter as soon as he entered the crowded ballroom. She was hard to miss. Lady Eleanor was tall and blonde and very pretty. He heard the orchestra strike up a waltz. He would be able to touch her. He liked to touch her. She had beautiful skin. He remembered what she’d looked like when she took her clothes off at his lodgings that afternoon. He also remembered what had happened afterwards. Damn shame she was going to marry another man on Saturday. MY RE-WRITE She was here. Lord Julian Somerville paused on the threshold of the ballroom, heedless of the crowd who milled about him, the butler who announced his name. She stood to the side of the dance floor, the skin of her throat and décolletage glowing in the golden light from the candelabra—skin that just this afternoon had glowed with passion for him, and him alone. The orchestra struck up a waltz, and he stalked towards her. This dance was his. To hell with her rules. To hell with the man she had promised to marry. Lady Eleanor was his. CONCLUSION? This made me think a regency romance trilogy might be my next…

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Why I read romance

I am up to page 16 of a novel by Stephanie Laurens. I’m feeling a little tired, a little harassed. I live in a busy house, filled with noise and bluster and rigmarole, and some days the frenetic pace of it all makes me happy. But not today. It’s a Monday – the kids are back at school, and I don’t have to be at work until the next day. My coffee arrives. It is early, and spring sunshine is falling over my face, my arm, the table in the corner where I habitually sit. And I turn the page, feeling like I am just starting to know the characters in this book, to inhabit, in a tiny way, their lives – and I realise that parts of me I didn’t know were tense have suddenly relaxed. It is like a chemical reaction in my brain, my body. And then I remember. This is why I read romance.

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