If there’s one place my writing talents don’t extend to, it’s the world of romance. I literally suck at it the way Nigerian politicians suck at keeping their election promises.
Not that I don’t read romance, I do. I read Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown, Susan Wiggs etc. But the I always roll my eyes at the end which is totally a reflex action. Happily-ever-afters are just not my thing. That doesn’t mean I have not attempted writing romance, I have.
My first attempt was at the age of thirteen. I started with the description of my heroine; specifically her eyes. I wrote that she had colored emerald eyes; they had red flecks and shone like diamonds. She was also a princess. Seriously, all those fairy tales we were told about had to surface one way or the other. I wrote that looking into her eyes was like seeing heaven.
And of course all the men were in love with her and wanted to marry her, even her dad but she was already his daughter. Okay, before you crucify me for that, remember I was thirteen; a long time ago. An era when thirteen year olds had never heard the word Pedophile or the name Fatima.
I cannot remember how the story ended but I remember forcing my whole family to read it. I’m kinda grateful for the family I have. My dad diplomatically said “She has pretty eyes” and my mom hugged me and declared I will soon give George Orwell a run for his money. Looking back now, I can say with all certainty that my mom sucks at soothsaying as much as I suck at romance writing. How can I ever be a threat to George Orwell? Or any romance writer?
My second attempt in writing a romantic story was when I was in my second year in University. My girlfriend then had urged me to write a story about the two of us and the happily-ever-after we were destined to have. With love as my motivation, I launched myself into the project with a huge zeal. It started well enough but by this time I had discovered Stephen King and he had unciousiously snuck into my head.
The story ended with my darling discovering I was a reincarnated Egyptian mummy who had been buried alive with his Pharaoh and who returned to earth every century to exact his revenge on the women folk. I wound up draining the life essence out of my brand new hubby on our honey moon few minutes after she realized I had no shadow.
Now, I’m not a hundred percent certain about this but I suspect the story had something to do with why she broke up with me. I mean look at the timing, I gave her the story as a birthday gift and twenty-four hours later, she announced we were not compatible. Well, you can do the math.
The third and latest attempt was early this year. I had been working on a collection of short stories and as usual, they were the spooky, evil at its best, nothing-ends-well kinda stories. I was midway through the fourth story when one of my ex girlfriends suggested during one of our lovey-dovey moments, “Why don’t you give this a good ending? Something romantic will be a nice difference”
Anyway, I agreed. A few days later, I proudly gave her the completed story and watched her read through. Finally she raised her head and went, “Ah, this is really nice but maybe you should write it the way you originally intended before I suggested otherwise”. I cannot begin to tell you how close she came to becoming my latest ex at that moment. As it is, she later turned out to be the worst girlfriend I ever had.
I have not given up on romance writing, not yet, maybe not ever. One day, I will post a romance story right here on this place.
But for now, the only advice I can give on ‘how to write romance’ is to start by not giving her ruby colored, emerald rimmed, amber speckled, agate shinning eyes. It will also help if her father doesn’t want to marry her!
Akuns Chima Kingsely is a graduate from the prestigious Ebonyi State University. He is an avid reader and a book addict. To him, reading is almost like a way of life. During his free time, if he isn’t reading or writing, he plays around with computer codes. You can reach him on Facebook via Akuns Chima Kingsely.