Tuesday, September 21

Boxed In

This is Frosty.
He likes boxes....big ones, small ones, mid-sized ones. It doesn't matter. If it's a box, he tries to fit himself inside it.
He's plump, and he has a lot of hair, too. Fitting inside some boxes, like this one, don't always work out so well for Mr. Frosty Cat.
I don't fit so well in boxes either. I'm plump and have a lot of hair, too. Ahem.
I generally avoid boxes of any kind.
I'm not usually down on my hands and knees, trying to squeeze myself into a box.
I'm talking about writing boxes. And not the kind where you write yourself into a corner and have to tear apart your whole manuscript for a way out.
I'm talking about romance writing boxes. I hate a lot of them. I loathe rules. Always have, always will. Boxes. I like to write outside those boxes.
One of my faves, younger men, has suddenly become a hot commodity. I've been doing it for years. Being outside the box has become ordinary. Usual. Not out of the parameters now.
In my current WIP, I have a teenage uncle and niece who are the same age and have just met. I'd like to have them fall in love, although nothing could come of it. It's been done in Regencies a few times, but I haven't seen it in contemporary category.
I'd like to go outside the box
I can hear the gasps of dismay now.
You can't do that.
Stay inside the box.
In Burn, I go way outside the box. I have a man (the villain) sexually abused by his mother. I have a heroine who is a funeral directer.
Oh, my.
Getting out of that box again.
Stay in?
Or push on the sides of boxes until I break out?


  1. Whoa - gasps of shock and disbelief! I don't see Burn as out of the box - lots of villains are victims of sexual abuse in suspense novels, and the funeral director thing barely gets mentioned. However.....incest has been strongly frowned on for many generations here in America. Which means the reader wouldn't be rooting for your hero/heroine - and if they aren't rooting for them, they might not keep reading. And if, as you say, nothing would come of it, how is it a romance story? I'm all for pushing boundaries, but I'd have to vote an enormous thumbs down on this one (in a supportive way, of course!).

  2. I'm all for smashing the proverbial box to bits. Straight lines doesn't work for me, but I gotta be rooting for your h/h. Incest doesn't work for me, even in historicals where it's the norm.

    Very few things turn me off in a romance novel, incest is on the top of that short list.

    Burn isn't that bad as concepts go, BTW.

  3. LOL...
    Don't really want to have incest as the main course, just a side dish to make the reader go Ugh, but keep reading.

  4. I don't like boxes either. But I sometimes get stuck in one. For instance, in my current WIP, it has taken me four rewrites/revisions to finally give my heroine a past dark enough to warrant some of the things she does to keep it hidden. I was afraid that if I made her too bad in her past, readers wouldn't like her. Now, that I broken out of the box, I like her and the story better.

    BTW, D'Ann...since I know which story you are referencing, I'll let you know that I was thinking the same thing about the uncle and niece as I read it...Too bad they can't fall in love, but would happen if they did! LOL

  5. I could see Eve and tanner's brother falling in love, but what if you make it that the boy isn't actually tanner's half brother??? The mom--and I could totally see her doing this---got pregnant by someone else and passed him off as tanner's half brother. Or maybe Tanner's dad knew,like she was pregnant when they met, but he married her anyway, and agreed to raise her son.

    My dad was my uncle. Actually my great uncle. My mom hated it when I used to tell people that, but by marriage he is.

    My mom's real dad married my dad's sister after divorcing my grandmother. Hence when my parents met, my mom met her step-uncle and they married on their eighth date.

    After all, boxes don't have to be smashed to smithereens, they can simply be broken.

  6. margie....my great grandparents were twins, who married a set of twins. now THAT family tree was a disaster!

    D'Ann...some rules are meant to be broken according to Allison Brennan....she wrote a great blog on it on RU...very inspiring..


  7. Thanks, everyone, for coming by and weighing in on my boxes!

  8. I'm slow in reading my incoming posts these days, but I found your blog really interesting. I never gave the writing box much thought. Never thought about squeezing myself in said box either, but let's not go there. (I fear I belong in a box) You've certainly given me food for thought and I'll be labeling my work as the In Box or Out Box from now on.

  9. I say break the box up and use it for kindling...