I am writing to take a short break from writing. On Monday I decided to write a book that I don’t really care about in order to practice. Ironically, compared to the stories I have wanted to tell for years, this one is spilling out like water from a broken dam. If you have read much of my journaling, you might guess the story was a science fiction or fantasy novel. It is, in fact, more akin to a Nicholas Sparks novel than anything else. While my experience with Nicholas Sparks is limited to the very small amount of The Notebook that I managed to make it through before deciding the movie did a better job of telling the story and giving up, I did enjoy the movie, and one of his older films, A Walk to Remember, is one of my favorite romantic movies, hands down.
With the current popularity of trashy literature like Twilight and erotica such as 50 Shades of Grey, I feel like this venture could actually pay off when I manage, for the first time in my life, to finish a novel I start. I feel like there’s a good chance of this happening; I have written 13,399 words in the last three days and I will most likely continue working on it this evening.
As a teaser, let me share a tidbit or two with you. The working title, which will probably stick, is The West Wind. Early in the novel, the male protagonist’s father quotes Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind,” a Romantic poem about new beginnings. While the story is loosely based on another famous poem from a different era, The West Wind seemed appropriate. Xander and his father move to the fictional city of Vista Bay, California from Seattle, Washington after the death of Xander’s mother to a terminal illness. They buy a house on the National Register of Historic Places so they might restore it to its former glory.
The female protagonist is Hero, the only daughter of a rich family who lives on an island at the center of the bay. Hero and Xander meet at a local club that hosts swing dances once a week. Swing is -the- activity in Vista Bay, and Xander’s favorite hobby, thanks to his mother who practically raised him in the not at all fictional Century Ballroom in Seattle. They meet and dance. At the end of the dance, he dips her almost to the ground. They are about to kiss and, attempting to be a gentleman, Xander says, “No, I’m sorry, it’s too easy.” Hero understandably misconstrues this as an insult and slaps him. He’s so surprised that he drops her.
The story continues from there.
I find I’m looking forward to telling the whole story, (and discovering where it goes while the main plot develops). I tend to write in an extremely organic process. One might compare it to a coloring book, in which the main idea forms the borders of the picture and I freely fill in whatever colors I’m inspired to use as I go.
I probably should have started writing such romance novels years ago, since I’m rather obsessed with the subject. Ah well, there’s no time like the present.
I am Orsino, in love with the idea of love.