I’ve been trying to finish the proposal for a new book and it’s not coming together the way I need it to. Publishers need their romances to be pretty. Even the conflict needs to come with designer wrapping paper and a pretty bow tied so pristinely that it really doesn’t feel like conflict at all. Publishers don’t like real life. No discussion about finances and personal issues that might ring true. The hero and heroine can have no flaws that can’t be easily buffed away to get to that happily-ever-after. Both must be polished until they are picture perfect.
But real life never plays out like that. A happily-ever-after can come with some serious bumps in the road. In real life couples can get ugly with each other. Things can be said that can’t be taken back. The hero can tell his girl he wants her out of his house so he can have some space to fix some things. In real life, if he tells his girl he no longer wants to be with her she can get angry and defensive and she can wallow in the hurt of that heartbreak. She can be ugly and he can be ugly back. In a romance novel, the hero would not be a hero if he wasn’t fighting tooth and nail to get his girl and keep her as close to his heart as possible. In real life, there might be no interest in the fight for a couple’s future together. Real life is about the tears that get you to the laughter and sometimes, it’s about the tears that get you nowhere at all.
I need to be thinking about the pretty, polishing all the players until they’re perfect. But with everything that can happen in real life I’m really not interested in writing another pretty story.