Color My World

I read romantic fiction. I write romantic fiction. I read the blogs of fellow romantic fiction writers. For years (well except the blog part because that's fairly new) that was my world. I lived in a fuzzy, warm, pink bubble. It was really nice. Mostly, it still is. But part of me got an itch. An itch to explore other worlds because, frankly, I was bored with mine.

So I braved the unknown and started reading outside of my genre. Robert B. Parker hooked me the way Johanna Lindsey did way back when. I devoured his Spencer books. Then came Stephen Coonts. And after that Stuart Woods. I also explored western writers, William W. Johnstone and Larry McMutry. Not only did I enjoy these authors stories and writing styles, but I learned how to write tighter. How to take advantage of different POVs. Oh, and how men think.

I started noticing a change in my own writing. It wasn't conscious, but the words poured onto the page in a slightly different way. I'm still writing romantic fiction. It's what comes naturally. It's a genre that allows me to explore certain aspects of life and to spread messages that are important to me. But it's also important to me that I have a unique voice within that genre. I don't want to blend in, and that's an easy pitfall if your only influences are other authors/books within your chosen genre.

Not blending in, means stretching out. No more exclusive living in the fuzzy, warm, pink bubble. For this writer it means opening myself up to other influences. That extends to blog reading. Yes, I still frequent the blogs of other romantic fiction writers. They're my peeps, so to speak. We talk the same lingo, share the same ups and downs. But I now visit an equal number of blogs written by screenwriters, actors, directors, and authors outside of the romance genre.

Here's the thing. We're all storytellers. There is something to be learned by everyone. If even a teensy bit of their wisdom pertaining to craft rubs off on me than Glory Be! I'll be a more well-rounded, more vibrant writer (and person) because of it.

I write romantic fiction and I love it. But in the words of Cole Porter, Don't Fence Me In.

I don't want be pink. I want to be a rainbow.


Beth Ciotta said…
BTW, I know this BLOG is PINK. What can I say? Pink is my cheery color of choice at the moment. Better my blog is pink than my hair. :)
Lynn Daniels said…
Amen and hallelujah! Well said, Beth, well said.

And hey, the blog's not just pink, it's hot pink. A tribute to your own hotness? I think so!
Alison Kent said…
Hey, I have nothing against pink. *g* I posted recently about how much is to be learned from authors outside of romance. I think we do ourselves a great disservice by not looking beyond our own genre. I can't even begin to think where my writing would be if I hadn't broadened my learning horizons!
Bethany said…
You can ALWAYS learn from reading outside your genre. Right now I am reading a slew of literary fiction. What can I say? I am in the mood for it. Next week it could be suspense. And then maybe back to romance. Or women's fiction.

All I know, is when you read a lot--of everything--your own writing will get better. Here's to hoping there is a good books read to writing ratio. ;-)
Monica said…
Ditto everything, Beth! And hot pink is a part of the rainbow, thank goodness.
Tori Lennox said…
Hey, I love your pink blog!

I recently discovered Stephen Coonts. Love him!!! Jake Grafton is cool, but I love Tommy Carmellini even more. *swoon* ;)

Have you ever tried Clive Cussler? I found Coonts when I did a search for "if you like so-and-so you might like such-and-such" after I'd read all the Cussler books in our library.
Beth Ciotta said…
Hi Lynn! Ain't you sweet? *blush*

Ah, Alison. Another pink blog lady. :) Did I miss that post of yours? Thanks for the link. I'll hop right over.
Beth Ciotta said…
Waving to Bethany. How do you even find time to read with your manic schedule? I'm in awe. I know you've been in deadline hell. Hope all is well!

So good to know there are like minds out there, Monica! Here's to rainbows. :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Hi Tori. Tommy Carmellini. Um. What you said. :)

Actually I have not read Clive Cussler yet, but he's on my list. I really enjoyed the movie SAHARA. I know movies usually pale in comparison to the books, so I'm really looking forward to 'reading' Mr. Cussler.
Bethany said…
My manic schedule? I don't even think it compares to yours. I just have a 3 foot munchkin interrupting mine. ha!

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