Thursday, December 13, 2012

What I`ve Learned from Iron Man

*Stares dreamily at image*

Oh. Uhm, hi! Ahem. Yes, I was mulling. We writers do that on occasion. Stare at something or out a window while we`re rolling around plot lines and dialog and….

You`re not buying it, are you? Didn`t figure you would. Okay, yes, fine, I was ogling RDJ and his gauntlet. Sue me. I find the man yumtastic. You know, I`ve learned a great deal from Tony Stark and not all of it has to do with pulse bolts, repulsor technology, or the best infused vodka. Nope. Something that Tones helped me learn was how to write action.

Oh yes, you heard me right. A romance writer confessing that she writes action. Well, I do. My novels are filled with it! Monster fights and sword fights and battles against evil gods of the undead and zombies. And you know what? I think it adds something darned spiffy to a romantic tale. I feel that a good round of beating up a bad guy makes the sex even that much better. Action, in measured doses, can really spice up a romance book. I said it. I`ll say it again.

Action, in measured doses, can really spice up a romance book.

The addition of a car chase, zombies at the front door, a fistfight with a villain, a foot chase, an escape through the woods with a werewolf on your heels, these all juice up the adrenaline. When your hero or heroine survives (hopefully they do or your book is going to be shy one half of a romance partnership) the soft words and sweet lovemaking are that much crisper and hotter.

So, how does this have anything at all to do with Iron Man you may be asking? I`ll tell you.

When I first started writing it was fan fiction. Yes, that`s right. I wrote – and still write – fan fiction based in the Marvel Universe. I find nothing to be ashamed of. I`ll say it again.

I write fan fiction.

It`s about folks in spandex and capes. Get over it people who snobbishly look down at others. We are all writers whether we pen fan fiction, novels, poetry, news articles, blog posts, or jot in a journal daily. One type of writing is not any better than the other. Let me repeat that.

One type of writing is not any better than the other.

I`m in a repeating type of mood today I know, but sometimes points have to be made twice. Back to my plunge into writing, shall we? It was a story about Wolverine. I had grown dissatisfied with how the comics have this need to kill off every woman Logan gets involved with. After reading a hundred and seventy-two billion romance, paranormal romance, and romantic-comedies over the years, I knew I wanted an HEA (Happily Ever After) for Logan. Since the comics weren`t giving me that, I wrote my own.

It was a romance set in the MU but it was pretty shy on action. It was the beginning of something that to this day I cannot fully understand. This small fan fiction, which was read by perhaps one person brave enough to wade through the lack of paragraph breaks and grammatical errors, was the catalyst to my passion for writing. Now, this story was darn good but it needed something. It needed action. If it was going to be on a comic board we needed some fights.

I balked and kicked and complained. To this day writing fight scenes is my least favorite thing to write. Give me two folks in bed and I`ll write about that for hours. Toss me into a round of witty banter and I`ll be typing for days. Haul me into a fight scene and I wrinkle my nose in disdain. But, to succeed in the field of fan fiction that I had chosen, the stories had to have action or they wouldn`t be read. Know your audience they say. Well, I knew this audience. They wanted explosions and battles and web-slinging and men with shields and hammers and suits of red and gold.

I learned how to give the reader what they wanted. Most of that education in action-writing came while I was penning Scarlet Talon, the tale of a woman who steps into spandex to fight crime. Karrie has no powers to speak of, just a drive to right the wrongs committed against women and children. I started writing Scarlet Talon five years ago. I am still penning stories for her. Five years of Karrie and her husband Tony Stark *sighs dreamily* booting bad guys in the rump then hurrying home for some adult action, if you know what I mean. *Wink-wink-nudge-nudge*

So having written Tony and Karrie for five years I have learned how valuable action can be. And not just in a comic book. It adds life and excitement and a moment or two of thrills to any story. Of course action is not to be overused. Too much action is a death sentence in my opinion as is too much dialog, too much sex, too much angst. There has to be a nice balance of action, drama, humor and sex.

For those of you who are terrified of bringing some action into your novels, don`t be. Even a romance novel or a romantic comedy needs a touch of action….or a sexy playboy, millionaire, philanthropist with a goatee and dreamy blue bedroom eyes…..


S. J. Qualls said...

Ah, if only...

The guy with the bedroom eyes, can he cook?

I stare out the window at my tree more than I write...

Some action is necessary, a good fist in the face - BLAM! The look of shock and surprise and then... the bloody nose, the heroines, hanky and kissing that swollen honker. Hmm, gives me an idea.

V.L. Locey said...

This particular blue-eyed man doesn`t but he has enough money to hire someone who does. And a staff toc clean as well! ;)