Romance On A Mission

If you read a few of my romances you may have noticed a common thread running through all of them, no matter if the story is set in the imaginary world of the angels or a very real town in Maine. My characters are diverse. They come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, some have disabilities, others are emotionally scarred in one form or another. But they all have one thing in common—they all want to be loved and are willing to move heaven and earth to protect those they care for.

I’ve heard it before as I’m sure you did too—the old adage (not so old as it turns out) that claims you can’t write a diverse character unless you are one yourself. I’ve heard the maxim from certain readers and from literary agents, from members of the LGBT community, from African Americans, Hispanics, people with disabilities or mental illnesses. Pretty much from every minority group everywhere. Because let’s face it—there is no way to fully understand what someone feels or goes through unless you’ve been through it yourself. But wait! Actually, even people who went through similar things felt about it differently because there is only one YOU.

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I don’t subscribe to this philosophy, though. Most writers have a well-developed sense of empathy and as such, and to use myself as an example, I may never fully comprehend how a gay man feels when faced with prejudice but I can come close. Nothing annoyed me more throughout life as being excluded from things because I didn’t quite belong. I was too or not enough of everything. People will bring up just about anything to exclude people they somehow don’t think belong with them.

I believe that no matter where we come from, what our ethnicity is, our religion, our state of mental or physical health we all have one thing in common—as my characters, we all really want to be loved and be happy. So, I write romance with a mission. Sounds silly but after a lifetime of being told I COULDN’T for so many reasons, I wanted to write about characters who in spite of all obstacles, in the end COULD and DID.

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What do you think? To which school of thought do you subscribe and why? In the next few weeks I will be posting some blogs about characters and character development. I know I’ve done it before but I want to go deeper. I’d love to hear from you too, and I’m opening up for guest blogs focusing on characters (their creation, inspiration, favorite ones, most hated ones, etc). Just email me and we’ll go from there.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Romance On A Mission

  1. I agree entirely. Otherwise women could never write about men or vice versa and no one could ever write historical fiction. I think there are plot situations you may not be able to cover in depth without experience or a lot of research but that’s not to say it’s impossible or undesirable. Otherwise how do we grasp the fact that within our differences, we are just people who need love, life and shelter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. I totally get that if you are to write something in a lot of depth you certainly need to be guided by someone who has been in that situation. That’s what research is for. After all isn’t that what ghost writers do when they write autobiographies?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. I think we can build so many barriers by not being open to just writing about people as people when the situation is not ‘about’ the race or the disability or the sexuality or whatever. As long as writers don’t stereotype, I think it’s a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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