Writing without conforming (and a poll)

One thing I know about myself is that my personality, my character, even my physical appearance, doesn’t fit into a conventional mold.

I’m a very different entity in terms of societal expectations of how someone like me is supposed to be. I don’t fit the pattern of most middle-aged, teenage-parenting women of today, and frankly, I’m just fine with that.

It wasn’t always like that. I am like this now, or at least I’m learning how to be like this more, nowadays.

I have learned not to give a crap about most things over the years. Also, I’m parenting teens and this alone has reduced my patience for other people’s drama or unsolicited opinions dramatically. πŸ™ƒ

I came to these realizations early this morning while reading a blog post from a romance author.

In it, she described how traditional romantic stories follow a specific pattern, and how these stories usually end with a Happily Ever After event (HEA) such as some form of formal commitment or wedded bliss. At least, this is the standard structure that is expected by the romance reader.

Right? (I’m asking because I don’t typically read a lot of romance.)

If you read my blog here even semi-regularly, you know I’m dabbling in creative writing a bit. But, I’m having a hard time pinpointing what genre my type of writing is. I hesitate labeling my stories as romantic fiction because the more I write, the more I see how they don’t fit any of the per-established molds of that genre.

I don’t follow the formula.

This is another thing about me. I am not a sheep; I don’t typically conform to the opinions of the general public. In fact, I often outright reject the viewpoints of the masses. My writing tends to follow a similar pattern…

I am also not exactly what you would describe as a particularly romantic person…

I am however full of active imagination. And writing is my outlet, my challenge, my…thing. I need it in my life and rather than just drivel on about parenting and midlife crises and all that, I started to fantasize about writing romantic stories.

And actually write them. Along with some steamy scenes, too. 😊

But again, I don’t follow the traditional structures.

I don’t research to death all the ways that I’m supposed to write.


I just write as it comes into my head.

The inside of my head is a convoluted, chaotic place. Let this be your warning. πŸ˜›

So, my stories:

I’m all about the connections: emotional, mental, physical…and sexual (that’s part of it, after all). In other words, it’s about the journey, the banter, the foreplay. Maybe a bit about self-discovery, like a type of awakening, almost as if the protagonist has been…dormant over time.

As I wrote my stories, I noticed a pattern: beside the fact that I don’t follow the standard structure, I also don’t end them with the happily ever after event, at least not in the traditional sense. In fact, most of my stories end in a cliff-hanger.

It’s hard to explain what I mean without sharing the stories, but I’m not ready to do this. I have a few select readers who offer to comment on the parts of the stories I do share with them, but mostly I just write for myself. And most of my stories have not been shared with anyone…they just sit in my Evernote app and I wonder what, if anything, I should do with them.

In some cases, I write in the first person, then re-write them in the third person. It is incredibly interesting to me how different a story reads when written in the third person…

All of this pondering leads me to want to ask people who read romantic fiction, with or without the erotic component, some questions.

Would you be willing to give me some perspective if I posted some questions here? I can give you the option to email me answers instead of responding on the blog if you prefer privacy, but do let me know if you’re interested. I can create a little survey. (I love surveys.)

I’d really welcome the feedback, male and female, although my target audience would most likely be female…

You are welcome to answer the poll below if you wish:

I wonder what my next step will be…

Thank you for reading!

15 thoughts on “Writing without conforming (and a poll)

  1. You need to read some Douglas Coupland. He doesn’t write like anybody else I’ve ever read. Generation X is probably his most famous book – followed by Microserfs. They are both great.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. πŸ˜€ Alas I’m not the one to give you a romantic perspective.

    So many points to think about Claudette, I’ve sensed over time you are a creative writer at heart as well as being an interesting blogger to read, perhaps don’t fret about wedded happy endings and write naturally and your style will follow, who follows rules anyway? I don’t!……………… also honey what an earth is conventional physical appearance anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. North American culture was a bit of a shock to me when I moved here from Europe in the 80s. My teen peers tended to be very groomed and polished…which takes a bit of work. It gave me an impression back when I was impressionable that it was almost impossible to measure up.

      Liked by 1 person

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