Writerly Navel-Gazing ~ Week 18: Questions 16, 17 and 18


Part of the 30 Week Writing Challenge. Click here to view all questions.

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing?

I do, yes. I absolutely love enthralling, exciting, well-written romances. I especially love slow build-ups, ‘will they won’t they?’s, bad timing, heartbreaking misunderstandings and sex scenes that make you feel hot under the collar. If the author can keep the magic alive long after the chase is over, that’s a win for me too. I also adore cute, long-established relationships where each half of the couple makes the other stronger. So expect to see some of that in my writing — it’s what I’m aiming for (although you may be waiting a while, seeing as there’s very little romance in Book One of The Mayor; the book I’m bashing out at the moment).

As to how ‘far’ I’m willing to go, I presume this means how explicitly I’m willing to write said romantic relationships? The answer is I am prepared to write very explicitly, but within reason. For genuinely romantic scenes I prefer to write poetically and metaphorically, perhaps with a fade to black. This is because in these instances, explicit descriptions might detract from the emotional impact of the scene, and… well… the romanticism of it. If the scene is not meant to be romantic however (e.g. assault, onanism, non-sexualised nudity), then I’ll tend to go more anatomical.

Above all when writing romantic relationships and sex scenes, I want to be honest. The very last thing I want is for a reader to feel as though they’ve stepped into one of my sexual fantasies.

Everyone’s pretty sniffy about romance — especially as a genre of literature — but some of my favourite books are romances, or have some degree of romance in them. Indeed, some of the most highly praised books in the world are romances! Let’s show romantic relationships some love, shall we? And stop disliking them on principle just because they’re considered ‘girly’.

Outlander Season 3 2017
One of my favourite books is the historical romance novel Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. All hail Claire and Jamie Fraser!

17. Favourite protagonist and why.

Bit of a pointless question this one, as I’ve only written one book so far! The answer has to be Melora, as she is The Mayor‘s protagonist.

18. Favourite antagonist and why.

Again, like the question that preceded it, the answer has to be Kale. Whilst he is not the only antagonist in The Mayor, he is the main one. And because the other antagonists — people like Roger Bellamy, Renwick Jarvis and Rourke Marks — are all horrible, horrible people, Kale is also my favourite. At least he has some redeeming qualities (some may disagree…).

And that’s it! At last! I’m all caught up! See you again in another fortnight or two (probably)…

S.E. Berrow


4 thoughts on “Writerly Navel-Gazing ~ Week 18: Questions 16, 17 and 18

  1. Those are not redeeming qualities, Sally. He puts his wealth to bad use, he uses his good looks and intelligence to manipulate people in horrific ways and no one cares about fashion. Fashion is not redemption.


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