The answer is no, definitely not. Because I’m plotting a contemporary category romance, and if I murder someone, then it’s going to be a romantic suspense, or a thriller, or maybe even a paranormal with a blood-sucking monster…
I’m sure that’s not true for everyone, and there are probably great contemporary category romances with murders in them, but for me, contemporary romance such as Indulgences, are all about internal emotion. Of course they also need a frame to hang all that emotion on. That’s where the external plot comes in, but it must come second to the internal conflicts the characters face.
I read and write across a number of genres, sci-fi, paranormal, contemporary—I even have a thriller out later this year—though all my stories have a strong element of romance. I think different types of books fulfil different moods for reading as well as writing. Maybe a romantic suspense if I want a bit of excitement, a paranormal if I’m after a bad boy with fangs, sci-fi if I want an adventure. But if I just want pure emotion then I usually turn to category contemporary romance such as Indulgence.
Now the holidays are over, it’s time for me to get stuck into some work, and I’m deep in plotting a new series of contemporary romances—something I always find hard. In fact, of all the types of books I write, I find plotting these the most difficult; though in many ways they are ultimately the most satisfying to write.
When I’m writing a paranormal or a sci-fi, if things get slow, then I can throw in something really exciting, like an explosion, a space fight, a nifty new alien, but with contemporary you have to rely on your characters themselves to provide the excitement.
Invariably, at some point in the plotting process, I always start to think—what happens next? And wouldn’t this be so easy if only my hero could suddenly metamorphose into a vampire, or a werewolf or even a fairy? Or perhaps my heroine could be telepathic, or an alien, or even a zombie…?
Instead, I have to dig deeper into my story for that all-important emotion.
I think powerful emotions result from having a strong premise and an almost insurmountable internal conflict. Often, while I don’t allow myself to murder anyone in the actual book, a lot of the exciting stuff has happened in the past, and that’s what gives the characters their conflicts.
In my Indulgence, Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire, the heroine, Lia’s, father is responsible for the death of Luc’s father and almost the death of Luc as well. But this all happened in the past and just gives the basis for what brings them together and also keeps them apart.
So how much external plot do you like in your Indulgences? Would you mind if we threw in a murder or two?