Be Willing to Write What You Want ~ A Guest Post by Author Deborah Nam-Krane

dnkIt only took 27 years, but Deborah Nam-Krane is finally ready to let the world read her series, The New Pioneers.  She can be found at Written By Deb as well as on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Google +.

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I spent a number of years hiding my interest in Romance.  I had a story in me, but since I’m supposed to be smart, my story has to be deep, right?  Because what kind of smart person wants to read about girl meeting boy, girl and boy suffering (to varying degrees) to be together and then, worst of all, getting a happy ending?  That’s not just predictable… that’s dumb.  And God forbid I should be outed as dumb.  It was bad enough being someone who enjoyed- horrors!- daytime television and read fashion magazines.

So I spent years indulging other interests, like mythology, policy, economic history and math.  Well, the upside is that people still think I’m really smart; the downside is that I felt like something was missing.

In 2007, I found out just how much of the industry romance represented.  What?!  I’m sorry, what was so smart about refusing to write a story I wanted to tell that other people stood a good chance of wanting to read?  Nothing.  So the story I’d been nursing for 22 years- I kid you not- didn’t have to be any deeper than, at the end of it all, finding true love.

Once I’d decided that I was going to take my story down to its bones, I had what I can only describe as a creative breakthrough.  In three months I wrote the entire four book series; character motivations that had eluded me for decades became clear; and for one couple, while all of the action stayed the same, the emotional perspective shifted completely and I literally felt as if the characters were writing it for me.

This would never have happened if I had continued to insist on writing for a more literary audience.  There’s nothing wrong with those books- I’ve enjoyed quite a few- but they are not what I want to write or the stories my characters want to tell.

But then something funny happened.  When I looked at what I wrote, I realized that I hadn’t “just” written a romance.  My characters were telling stories about ambition, class, regret and desire- not just for another person, but for more from life, whatever that may be.  And sometimes desire for more was intertwined with desire for another.  Some of them wanted their future to compensate for the past they’d suffered through, and some of them were dreamers who wanted to leave their stamp on the world because, well, they are here.

In other words, I’d written about more than people getting their Happily Ever After.  (I’ll let you in on a secret: many if not most other romances have done the same thing.)  Hooray- I still get to look smart, but that doesn’t matter to me as much as it used to.  (I’ll let my character Emily do the heavy lifting on that one.)  It’s more important to me now that I wrote the right thing.  That’s better than anyone else’s gold star.
SmartestGirlFinal

 

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Check out Deborah’s writing… The first book in the series- The Smartest Girl in the Room- was released in late March.

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4 Comments

  1. Many of the most inspirational words come without highbrow proses. Simple tales often bring the deepest thought from readers and it allows the readers to make their own conclusions of what the author is saying. Well done, Deborah!

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