I’m a mid-career freelance journalist who wants to take a crack at writing novels. Is romance writing a good way to get my feet wet?
With no disrepect toward romances, it does seem that a lot of the “themes and tone” portion of the task is decided by the conventions of the genre, which would let me concentrate on trying to write compelling scenes, establish good pacing, and learn the other technical aspects of putting together a good story.
A second potential advantage is that there is a large, if not terribly lucrative, market for romances, such that if I crank out an acceptable one, I might be rewarded for my efforts—even if the pay only works out to about a dollar an hour.
Finally, I feel like this might help me avoid a personal tendency to be so self-critical and perfectionist that I give up. If I’m working on a 55,000-word mass-market romance, I’ll have no illusions about this being The Great Novel For Which I’ll Be Remembered. Plus, if it works out, I’ll have a confidence-building first novel under my belt.
However, I’m a guy, and I don’t have any special love for the genre. Have any other Dopers gone the romance route? Any thoughts or recommendations?