Would be romance novelists: for inspiration, “lie back and think of Tom Selleck”

A budding romance writer attends a writers’ retreat in Scotland and learns the rules of constructing a proper romance:

No inter-racial relationships (‘though sheikhs are OK’), no adultery, no one-night stands, no politics, religion (presumably the sheikhs are of the non-muslim variety) or other gritty social issues, no subplots, no same-sex couplings. The hero must be an ‘Alpha Male’. He cannot be bald, ginger or short. He cannot be German. The heroine must be of childbearing age (ideally 22-34), she’s allowed one illegitimate child, she cannot smoke and she cannot be the man’s superior socially or financially. I realise with a stab of disappointment that not only am I unlikely to make it as a romantic writer, but, as a 35 year old, I don’t even qualify as a romantic heroine.

At the retreat, her instructor lends her a book suggesting the following steps for getting in the mood to write:

Take a single red rose, place in a vase on your desk. Smell it. Light aromatic candles. Anoint your body with your favourite oil. Put on a silk negligee and rub your hands up and down your body. Pour a glass of chilled white wine. Close your eyes and imagine Tom Selleck is making love to you. Start writing.

(Via Moorish Girl.)


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