By Aarti V Raman
I’d like to thank the lovely Kiran Manral for giving me this opportunity to talk to her fans and readers about a subject that is close to my heart, pun intended: Romance
“Why do you want to marry me for anyhow?” he asks. “So I can kiss you anytime I want,” she replies. They kiss and live happily ever after.
“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,” she says, as she looks at him with a reckless, hopeful desperation that underscores all the ways she loves him and wants to be with him.
These iconic lines from evergreen movies (Sweet Home Alabama and Notting Hill to the uninitiated)
are much more powerful when you have powerhouses like Julia Roberts and Reese Witherpsoon
delivering them. It doesn’t hurt that the men on the receiving end are hunks like Hugh Grant and Josh Lucas. And of course, the magic and lure of celluloid can never, ever be underestimated.
People will be always be more inclined to believe anything they see than what they read or hear. Writing has always been considered a poor, step-cousin to movies where everything is much more immediate and affecting. Action scenes are so much better when you can see Tom Cruise or Akshay Kumar kicking butt. Romance is ten times lovelier when you see Siddharth Malhotra’s Guru weeping stoically as he tries to save his dying wife, and later on, avenges her.
But I believe, truly, that nothing, but nothing beats the sheer joy of writing about two flawed, strong characters who are simply determined to not get together, no matter how much fate and me, the writer, wants them to.
Writing romance is the best.
For one, the genre has so much nuance to it. You can write a cowboy romance like Diana Palmer does or a modern fairytale like Nora Robert’s Cordina series or go kickass like I did in Kingdom Come.
The common thread to all these varied love stories is, yes, you guessed it right. LOVE. Not romance, but love. We just call it romance but there is so much more to writing romance than dreaming up meet-cutes and happy ever afters.
There is the journey of two headstrong, (almost always) stubborn people who go their own ways and create nothing but friction and tension when they meet. And any romance writer worth their salt will tell you this: THEY NEVER DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT THEM TO!
Which brings me to reason two. The human psyche is the most fascinating subject under the sun.
Why do people behave they do? Why do they run from true love even when it is staring them right in the face begging to be let in? Why do they equate sex or not having sex with the ultimate expression of romance? And lastly, WHAT is romance for these two particular characters? Exploring these questions is the ultimate thrill. Especially because each love story follows its own particular curve and no two characters are the same. And that’s precisely because no two PEOPLE are the same and writing romance is just writing about real people in all their infinite, mystical, messed-up glory.
Reason number 3 is a bit of an iteration from the first reason. I don’t write romance. I write LOVE STORIES. Romance, sex, tension, drama, self-actualization and happy ever after are all part of this amazing love story. LOVE is the key here and love comes softly anywhere, everywhere. Calling it
fluffy romance or pulp fiction dismisses that most beautiful and essential of human interactions, which is a damn shame, don’t you think?
Lastly, you know how Sachin Tendulkar feels after he scores a century and wins the match for India?
That ecstatic, nearly perfect moment when you know everything is just exactly right in the world, in your life, that nothing could take away from how RIGHT it feels, that’s how I feel when I write THE END on a love story. A beautiful, perfect moment frozen in time, just like Cinderella at the ball before the clock strikes midnight.
How often do we get that perfect moment in the daily grind of our lives where there is no neat THE END to tie up our stories? Isn’t that what we, writers and readers alike, are looking for? I know I am. And damn it all, I plain love writing about love because I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Till next time,
She has studied Journalism from Mumbai University, Creative Writing at Deakin, and considers herself a student of life. She has a novel out “’White Knight” with Leadstart Publishing and is part of the Rupa Anthology “An Atlas Of Love”. Her last romantic thriller, “Kingdom Come” by Harlequin, was an Amazon India Bestseller.
She was also a panelist at GALF2015 and Hyderabad Lit Fest 2015.
Her three favorite words are, Happy-Ever-After and she has found her own HEA writing contemporary romance thrillers, sweet slice-of-life romances and a dash of dark, YA Urban Fantasy. She also hopes to write EVERYTHING else that she can think of, one day, including the answer to that great question: What comes before? The Chicken or the Egg.
And she LOVES talking to her pals so you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Her email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish to e her.
Psst: I welcome guest posts on this blog and post a guest post every Monday. If you would like to contribute, do mail me on email@example.com. I welcome posts on all topics, excluding politics and religion.-Kiran