Why I’ve Been Writing Short Stories for Romance Magazines
I’m a fantasy and sci-fi author. I love stories with a magical twist. Stories that take on moral questions and our sheer humanity. Stories that focus on relationship over romance.
I do love a good story that incorporates an OTP worthy romance…but…
Romance is the last thing I want to write, because it’s the first thing people expect me to write.
When people hear I’m an author the most common response is “Oh, so you write romance.” But I don’t. Not really. Anyone who’s read my first novel Never to Live, or my published short stories like this and this, know that romance is not my top priority in story.
Dragons are. (Just kidding. But seriously. Dragons.)
Because writing romance makes me uncomfortable. Sure, I’m a sucker for sappy sweet love stories or power couples, but writing them is another story. (Ha, see my lame pun there?)
Yes, I don’t want to focus on romance in my stories. I think relationship is more important and lasting. But…romance exists.
It’s a part of life. What am I writing if it doesn’t reflect and inspect life?
Reason #1: Many of my stories will include some romance, either with the main characters or side characters. It might be subtle, it might at times take the stage.
Issue #1: I’m uncomfortable writing romance.
Issue #2: Because of issue #1, I haven’t written much romance. Without practice, how can I expect what I do write to be any good or let anybody feel anything—after all, the driving point of romance is that it makes you feel something.
This takes us to Reason #2: I have to practice writing romance. I have to get better at it, because it’s probably one of the weakest points in my arsenal.
So I practiced. I wrote romantic short stories and submitted them to magazines. Honestly, I thought the second one I wrote, Kohl and Courage, wouldn’t be acquired. I didn’t think it was romantic enough for a romance magazine. But they took it.
(And that made my month)
So no, I am not becoming a romance author. My brain always attempts to morph things into fantasy and sci-fi, never fear.
But I am expanding my craft.
I have now had 3 romantic short stories published. The third is fresh off the press. I haven’t even received my author copies in the mail yet! But it’s out, and it’s the sappiest story I’ve ever written. (Honestly, I kind of cringe, but that’s my epic fantasy pride talking, and certain types of pride should be faced and pushed against.)
And that’s why I’ve been writing romantic short stories recently.
(But I do have a horribly beautiful sci-fi short in the works. Look forward to it. You might cry. Or hate me.)
If you’d like to check out my most recent romantic short, it just released in Spark Magazine‘s November 2017 issue: Picture Perfect.
AKA Fine Art Love.
My story is titled “Voicing.” It’s about a concert pianist, a piano technician, and a second chance to confess. Or to just look like a fool. ;)
This story was me attempting to write an adorkable character. Let me know if I pulled it off!