I Don’t Do Formula Writing

No symbol of a circle with a diagonal line going through it. I received the nicest compliment from a woman who told me how much she enjoyed reading my contemporary romance novel,  The Deception. She even compared me to Nora Roberts, which was very kind. She went on to tell me that unlike Nora Roberts, I don’t use formula writing.

She also talked about how every Nora Roberts novel follows the same pattern, and that her books are very predictable.  What she liked about The Deception was that fact that it wasn’t predictable at all. The plot twists kept her attention and kept her turning the pages.

Her kind words meant a lot. They certainly made me feel validated. I work hard to create realistic, three-dimensional characters, as well as write life-like story lines. As I write, I tune into my character’s minds. I try to see what they’re seeing and to feel what they’re feeling. I’m concerned about the conflicts they’re facing, and how they’re going to resolve them. Therefore, I simply cannot be preoccupied about having to have the leading lady met the leading man by page ten, or about having my climax occur twenty pages before the novel ends. That kind of rigidness would destroy my creativity and stifle me a storyteller.

Real life isn’t a formula. Life is unpredictable, and so are my contemporary romance novels. I’m pleased to know that my readers like my unpredictability. 

Marina Martindale

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