Monday, September 12, 2011

Envisioning Beautiful Worlds for Romance Novels

Middleton Place Plantation in South Carolina

The idea for this post began with a blog I wrote on Kougar Kisses, my personal bloggie, back on August 6. Here is a portion rewritten for this post.

Creating Beautiful Worlds...the Kougaress had an intriguing insight earlier today. At least, intriguing to her. It becomes more important, in fact crucial to create beautiful worlds.

As romance writers a lot of us know that urge to ‘create a beautiful world’ for our heroines and heroes. Whether that means the HAPPILY EVER AFTER, or world-building another realm as in sci fi. Maybe we dream up a far-away fantasy place. Oh, the exquisite possibilities we have as writers. Our imagination is allowed to take flight, to surpass the boundaries of reality as we know it, as we live it everyday.

This Big Cat believes humanity instinctively has an innate drive, a need to create beauty. An obvious example is art in all of its glorious expressions. Art has always been with humanity, ala the prehistoric cave paintings. Another classic example, to the Kougaress’s mind, is the fairytale wedding mania of the nineties. Beaucoup bucks have been spent on that perfect day, as if for a short time, a beautiful world could be created, one that would last a lifetime in a world where trials and tribulations are the norm.

This desire to create beautiful worlds, to escape into a beautiful fantasy world, will only dramatically increase in the upcoming times. One, because of the harsh realities most of us are facing. And, two, because, it’s time. Time to bring forth our personal visions of a beautiful world.

Envisioning Beautiful Worlds

Beauty feeds and nourishes our souls. As writers we are able to give this gift to those who read our books.

I’ve envisioned beautiful worlds ever since I can remember. The stories my parents read to me at a young age were the beginning. My imagination spun with the images evoked by fairytales, and other children’s books. Being highly visual, the illustrations also inspired my flights of fancy into these beautiful realms.

Later, when I began reading all the non-fiction and fiction horse books, like The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, that I could get my little grubby hands on, I not only envisioned beautiful worlds filled with horses, but I began daydreaming about how to create my fantasy worlds for real.

As a child, I wanted to create a beautiful world of my own. Desperately. The urge became so strong it burned bright and fierce inside me all of the time.

Of course, the more I learned growing up, and the more I experienced life, the more complex these ‘romantic and beautiful worlds’ became. Often they lived within my imagination as real, more real than everyday life, especially during the nineties.

These worlds I daydreamed about, some of them were the dreams I wanted to bring about for real. Over the years, I’ve fought for my dreams, lived for them. However, that’s another story.

At this point in time, I have no idea how many of my romantic fantasy realms are stored inside my mental hope chest, and are my current WIPs...hundreds, at least. Most of them will never see the light of day, unless I pen them into full existence -- world-build them in my paranormal erotic romance novels as a finished book.

I should add a bit of a correction here because I do have one ‘sweet’ romance written. However, it’s so different, I don’t know what to do with it.

Even though, my romances are character driven, my stories are always based on a beautiful world or worlds -- my ideas about them, of course. This happens in several ways. There is the potential to bring one forth. The heroines and heroes are saving their beloved land, and their way of life. Or, my happily-ever-after couple lives in a thriving, full of life society, and this is their love story.

To world-build these beautiful realms is challenging, a joy, and very hard work. I constantly ask myself, or my muse...what does it feels like -- the society, the day-to-day activities, life in this particular OtherWorld, this OtherRealm, this OtherTime?

As authors, the question often becomes: How do we create beautiful worlds -- this includes ALL of the romance subgenres -- for our books? Or, how do we bring them forth from our imagination, and onto the page?

For some of us it’s a natural ability, even though it ain’t easy at times. One approach is to look at the dreams of your childhood. What was it that made you feel radiant inside, that lit your soul, your face?

As a teenager, what kind of world did you fantasize about, and long for so much it hurt? So much you made plan after endless plan?

Right now, what are those ‘beautiful worlds’ living inside your imagination, the ones that resonate with you the most? Start there, and your story will unfold.

As an example of how I’ve envisioned a beautiful world, here’s an erotic-romance Flash Scene I wrote for this past Valentine’s Day between Volcano and Sedona, my hero and heroine in WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS.

Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014

The rose, in full bloom, landed in her palm. Sedona felt the prick of thorns as she gripped the stem in reaction. Transfixed by the radiant scarlet rose, she stared, barely aware of the tiny pain.

Lost in the spiral of gorgeous petals, Sedona noticed the heavenly heady fragrance moments later, when it wafted inside her nostrils. An appreciative sigh sang from her. Lifting the rose, Sedona inhaled its scent more deeply. Her eyelids drifted shut and she dreamily soared inside.

“Volcano,” she whispered with her lips brushing the petals.

My angel woman. His telepathic voice trembled her with desire.

Playing cupid? Sedona mentally teased her words though him.

My arrow is only for you. The image of his ready cock filled her mind’s eye.

Oh, my cupid, I want to stroke your wings. I want to kiss each feather tip. I want –

With a loud whoosh, Volcano’s powerful essence vortexed around Sedona. A firestorm of pleasure captured every inch of her body, and she moaned.

Yes, smolder me, you naughty cupid. Until I surrender to the launch of your boldest arrow.

Even as the scorch of orgasmic rapture seized her mound, and spiraled upward, Sedona felt herself lifted from the floor. Her carnal cherub carried her with his incredible force. Somewhere.

All Sedona knew was that she traveled light-fast through the ethers, as her molecules blissfully entwined with his. Yet, strange to her senses, she still felt the prick of the rose thorns.

Barely steady on her feet, Sedona heard, Your Valentine’s Day surprise, my woman.

The press of Volcano’s kisses covered her body like a phantom lover, as she blinked her eyes open. She certainly didn’t stand in the front room of their mountain cabin anymore.

“Oh, Volcano...” Hardly daring to believe it, Sedona gasped. With her hands flying to her throat, she murmured, “Straight out of Gone With the Wind. Like the plantation mansion of Tara.”

Sedona’s astonishment was an ecstasy unto itself, as she slowly turned, taking in the lavishly appointed ballroom. The crystal chandeliers and gilt-framed mirrors sparkled in afternoon’s sunlight. Dark red velvet drapes added to the room’s elegance, as did the taper candles waiting to be lit.

With her senses staggered, Sedona took her time, gazing at everything. How long ago had it been when she’d revealed her youthful, twenty-something dream to him?

They’d been in bed, cuddled in each other’s arms. She’d been leafing through an old magazine they’d discovered in a trunk. Inside were photos of a replica, pre-civil war southern mansion -- the exterior and the interior.

After her spontaneous gurgles of delight, Volcano had questioned her. Shoving away her sadness, Sedona had talked about her dream to create a back-in-time resort based on this period in time.

Do you like it? We cupids aim to please.

Maybe it should be Rhett instead of cupid. Sedona hugged herself, and knew her eyes shone with anticipation.

Before her mind’s eye, Volcano performed a rakish bow.

Are we dancing soon, Rhett Volcano?

Soon, my beloved. The Divine Council meeting is progressing well.

The pups? she asked, concerned about their two dogs.

In seconds, Aru and his mate appeared before her. After quizzical looks at her, they gave her doggie smiles, then began their canine exploration.

Volcano’s ephemeral kiss touched her forehead, a temporary farewell. Your gown is upstairs, my Sedona, inside our bedroom.

With her heart lighter than air, and trip–trip tripping rapidly, Sedona rushed toward the splendid staircase. Reaching the first step, she raced upward, the rose still clutched in her hand.



Blurb ~

Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar

What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? Let the Nazerazzi squad of the North American Union capture her and force her into a FEMA concentration camp? Walk out into the Arizona night desert, let the wildlife have a good meal, with the hope her death will be quick? Or does Sedona trust the mysterious stranger suddenly before her? Handsome as sin and all in black, he emerges from the darkness astride a super-speed black motorcycle.

Is he her savior from the brutal hell of end times, or is he a roving cult member of the New World Order, hunting his next blood sacrifice?

Sent from heaven to help her save humanity, Zerr Dann knows the Divine is playing its last card on Earth.

Have a Happily Ever After ~


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Serena Shay said...

What a lovely post, Savanna! You do create some very beautiful worlds in the stories you bring to life. :)

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, thank you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I always hope someone will enjoy my versions of a 'beautiful world'.

Celia Yeary said...

Savanna--you are truly a dreamer and poet. Your words are lovely and written almost like a song.
I don't know how you take yourself to realms such as these--you're very creative and imaginative.
I enjoyed reading all of it. After your explanation of "worlds," I see how the word can be interpreted with several meanings.

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, Celia, you don't how much your words mean to me. Thank you so very much!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Lovely Valentine writing, Savanna! I love your world-building and the way your beautiful worlds have such depth and colour. I also adore your tough yet tender heroes.

Re your sweet romance. That might be a good way for your to venture into Smashwords, etc. Another set of worlds.

You build your worlds with poetry and life, as Serena and Celia say, and create your heroines with heat, passion and life. I really enjoy the epic romance in your stories. May you build many more beautiful worlds!

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, Lindsay, thanks for moving my heart with your words. It means so much to me.

Volcano sends his special blessings.

Anonymous said...

VERY BEAUTIFUL post, Savanna; you DO have a wonderful talent with words. And LOVED the excerpt!

hugs, Kari Thomas,

StephB said...

Savannah, I loved the opening shot you used - very romantic and stimulating. It framed the post nicely. It is amazing how nature can inspire us, isn't it?

Congrats on your release. It looks really interesting. Time to add another book to the TBR pile. hehe


Savanna Kougar said...

Kari, thanks for stopping by, and for you kind words. Very much appreciated.

Savanna Kougar said...

Steph, isn't that a gorgeous picture? Wish I was there, or could visit. I'm looking forward to your post.