My Guest Post on the Romantic Novelists’ Association Blog!

My last blog post, about my happy experiences with the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme (NWS), was read by several of the committee of the RNA itself and they were so interested in the post and my thoughts on the scheme that I was granted the unlikely honour of writing a post for the RNA’s own blog.

The blog is updated twice weekly on a Tuesday and Friday and covers a wide range of topics of interest to the RNA with contributions from many well-known and highly respected writers.

My post, titled ‘Romance — “A Bloke’s Point of View”‘  covers similar points to the one I posted on this blog but the content is completely new — and starts with a little taster of how the characters in my novel might react if I walked into their local pub, The Angel, and announced I was a member of the RNA NWS.

Read it (and all the other fascinating posts) by following this link. If you’d like to add a comment or ask a question on there then that would be great.

As part of my membership of the NWS I get sent their newsletter, Romance Matters. The latest issue contains some very intriguing articles based on sessions at the RNA conference.

One considers how effective fiction works by triggering chemical responses in the brain that are identical to those in real, physical situations (e.g. desire, fear) — releasing oxytocin, adrenaline and so on. Another, quoting a session by author and academic Catherine Roach (who writes as Catherine LaRoche), discusses the psychological benefits to the reader of the romance narrative — suggesting that traditional romantic plot types work because of their empowering effect on readers, which, for the purposes of the argument, were assumed to be women. If female readers feel relatively disempowered and disenfranchised in society in comparison to men then the heroine redresses the balance, achieving happiness and fulfillment through risking her vulnerability and being true to herself.  ‘The romance story is a woman-centred fantasy about how to make this man’s world work for her.’

It’s all really thought-provoking analysis, and as with my RNA NWS readers’ report, has provided me some with some intriguing insight when I’ve applied it to my own novel. I also found via Google that Catherine Roach has also published a feminist-orientated academic work called Stripping, Sex and Popular Culture (available as a free pdf download) which is very relevant to one plot strand of my novel — not wanting to let slip any spoilers I’ll say no more than that.

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2 Responses to My Guest Post on the Romantic Novelists’ Association Blog!

  1. Edith says:

    Hi Mike, just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your blog, especially your posts related to the taking of your Masters in Creative Writing. But somehow, reading your post over on the RNA blog with it’s sparkling opening section, and hearing how much you enjoy being a member of the RNA just makes me like your blog even more! 🙂

  2. Michael Clarke says:

    Edith, thanks very much for finding and reading the blog and your kind comments.

    It’s great that you enjoyed the opening section of the RNA blog — sparkling is a very flattering description. That’s written in the style of the novel and features a typical exchange between the two protagonists — so if you liked that intro then it’s a reasonable assumption to think you’d enjoy the whole novel.

    I haven’t exploited my RNA New Writers’ membership as much as I’d liked to have done as I want to go along to some of the social events (and see if I’m the only man in the room, which would be interesting). However, the dates haven’t yet worked out in my favour. It’s a great scheme, though.

    As you’re a reader of the blog, you’ll have seen that I’ve got a Kindle book of short stories that’s available to download from Amazon if you want to see other examples of my writing. Unfortunately it’s now reverted back to £1.99 — the minimum price that Amazon will allow.

    Mike

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