Evangeline Holland

Sweeping Drama ⚜ Larger than Life History ⚜ Exquisite Romance ⚜ Diverse Perspectives
March 12th, 2015 by Evangeline Holland

On My Romance Writing Philsophy

Jeannie Lin’s latest post on her core themes spoke to me on many levels.

I’m writing my vicar hero/bad girl story and as I jumped into my hero’s POV, he turned out to be a little darker than expected. My heroine is pretty tormented, but I assumed my hero–a vicar–would be her foil. Instead, he’s got these rough edges beneath his sunny exterior that is pulling a number of layers out of the story itself as well as the romance. This is why it’s difficult for me to write small casts (and write short)–my characters require other characters to give their personalities greater context. I find it pat and easy for “love to conquer all.” In other words, the journey of my h/h falling in love and reaching a HEA is what smooths their rough edges, heals wounds, and solves conflicts. That doesn’t happen in my books without other characters (and sometimes historical events) creating friction for my h/h.

In The Rules of Surrender, my protagonists find their internal and external conflict exacerbated by a family tie they are not initially aware exists, by my hero’s parentage, by religion, and by money. I think riding off into the sunset just because they’re in love will result in major issues down the line, which would make the story unsatisfying for me. I don’t need things wrapped up in a neat bow, but I do like to end my novels knowing that my protagonists have evolved enough to have the proper tools for problem solving should future conflicts occur. Maybe I’m reading and writing too much into romance novels? I just know that I gravitate towards writing stories of understanding, grace, and respect.

My perspective might change in the years to come, but as of right now, this is what I write and why.


4 Responses to “On My Romance Writing Philsophy”
  1. melissaamateis says

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t write stories with things tied up neatly. Maybe it’s because I’ve been married nearly 16 years and I know that it is incredibly tough to make it work. The give and take, the grace we must show each other as husband and wife, is not simple, and it is definitely not easy. I want to communicate that in my own novels, too.

    • It’s funny how I do gravitate towards this narrative when I am not married and nowhere near the state, lol!! I can’t wait to read your work, Melissa.

  2. I just noticed this blog post now and had to comment because I think your perspective is very similar to mine. I even have a novel on the back burner about a vicar and a bad girl who fall in love! I’m looking forward to reading yours. (1890s England is my favourite time/place to set my fiction but I love Edwardian also.)

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