Saturday, 18 February 2012

A different type of heroine...

I've been doing my homework this week, reading up on some of the greatest names in romantic fiction. I found myself on Nora Roberts' site, and from there reading an article of an interview with her by Carole Cadwalladr of The Observer called Nora Roberts: The woman who rewrote the rules of romantic fiction.

Click to read the article
You can't argue with the fact that Nora is incredibly successful at what she does. I remember reading a few of her books when I was still nicking them out of my mother's bedside table, but I've not really been drawn back to them for some reason.

She is incredibly prolific, able to write a novel in 45 days and then just start on another! Can you imagine?

One thing that's been at the back of my mind and bothering me somewhat is what is said in the article about her heroines. They're all very ambitious women with high-powered jobs and somewhere on the spectrum of swash to buckle.

If I'm honest, if the heroine is engaging enough, I don't mind a story like that, but what I really like in a story is possibly someone a little bit more like me. Not a high-powered superwoman, but someone who may need physical rescue. Of course she has to be the emotional rescuer in the story, or she wouldn't be interesting at all.

Ironically, it was the so-called push-over type heroines that Nora was trying to get away from when she wrote her own first novels as she said the heroines just weren't 'feisty' enough.

Considering her popularity, this gives me pause. She wrote what she enjoyed reading, and she's sold millions of books. This means that women love to read about her type of heroine. But is my type of heroine actually of interest to anyone? Will they just think she's weak?

In Bronte sister terms, do I try to write my heroines as Catherine Earnshaw or Jane Eyre? I think I'm just going to have to follow my heart, and my gut.

But thanks to Nora and the others who have forged Romance into a multifaceted genre, perhaps there's room for everyone, even me?

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