4/03/2012

Men and Romance...never the Twain Shall Meet?

Welcome guest blogger Jean Joachim today. She's adding her two cents to the topic of the month: Men Can't Write Romance.  That's not my opinion- it's a statement I picked up over at GR.  Some people believe it's true- others don't.  Read Jean's column today and let us know what you think.  Everyone who comments on each post in this series will be entered to win an Amazon gift card worth $10. The series will run every Tuesday in April, and that gives you four chances to comment to win!


Who Says Men Can’t Write Romance?


 Men have been writing romance longer than women. For example, William Shakespeare’s timeless, romantic play, Romeo and Juliet has been played, replayed, imitated and rewritten, countless times. Other Shakespeare plays: “The Taming of the Shrew”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Twelfth Night”, to name a few, have strong romantic themes. Miguel de Cervantes, sixteenth century Spanish author, wrote of the chaste love of Don Quixote for his Ducinea.
Women in those days were forbidden from writing under their own names and later on, a few brave, talented women wrote under the pseudonyms of George Eliot and George Sand. Hey, this article is about men!
Men continued to write great literature with romantic elements like, Sons and Lovers and Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Main Street by Sinclair Lewis, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller, From Here to Eternity by James Jones and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, to mention only a few.
And that, you may say, is that for men in romance. And I say WRONG, Cupid-breath. Men are still incredibly romantic today and while some, like the phenomenally talented Brindle Chase and Nicholas Sparks write heterosexual romance books, others, like the brilliant Lee Brazil and a countless number of his friends and colleagues write gay romance books.
Some men, intrigued by romance but looking for bigger bucks, have moved away from publishing into the higher-paying realm of screenwriting. Many of the best romance movies, past and present, have been written by men. You’ll find men’s hearts take flight in this most visual of media, creating romantic situations, great dialogue for women and scorching love scenes on celluloid. From Casablanca written by Julius Epstein to Ghost, written by Bruce Joel Rubin. From The Philadelphia Story by David Ogden Stewart to, Serendipity by Mark Klein, men have been penning romance for the big screen since movies began.
Many of our favorite classic romantic movies are written by men…almost any Fred Astaire movie, It Happened One Night, While You Were Sleeping (okay, this is my favorite) and Sabrina
And when it comes to a more present-day movie romance, one male writer shines through the rest. Richard Curtis, a non-descript man, has written several of the most popular, most romantic movies in recent history, including: Notting Hill, Love, Actually and both Bridget Jones Diary movies.
            While women lay claim to soft hearted romantic notions, men buy most of the flowers, fancy chocolates, expensive jewelry (engagement rings) and kneel in humiliating positions to claim the hand of their lady fair. Or put their proposal on the big screen at Yankee Stadium. According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day, as we know it, was created by poets (men) during the time of Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages. And what of poets? Who are “The Romantic Poets”? All men: William Blake, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Percy Shelley and John Keats, to name a few.
            What about romantic music? The most romantic music in the United States, except for Jazz, came from early Broadway musicals, dominated by men. Composers and lyricists like: Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Lerner and Loewe, Rogers and Hammerstein, Rogers and Hart, wrote some of the most romantic music ever.
            So why shouldn’t men take their romantic notions back to the written page, where it all started? No reason. Men, I hand you a pen and a pad. Please, put your sexy, romantic notions down on paper. I’m reaching into my purse and getting in line to buy your sigh-inducing, heat-producing, all-encompassing romantic books. Write on!  
             





Find out more about Jean and her work at : http://jeanjoachim.blogspot.com/


24 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me here, Lee. This one was so much fun to write.

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  2. Great topic. Great post.
    A person who claims another is genetically limited in their abilities due to sex, race, whatever...is a reflection of a closed and shallow mind rather than rational thought. There is no excuse for bias and discrimination in any form, on any topic, in any arena.

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    1. Thanks, David. Especially when the facts prove them wrong. And I could have written thousands more words on this subject.

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  3. Excellent post, Jean. Very much thought out. And don't forget there are men who have written for Harlequin using a feminine pen name!

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    1. I didn't know that, Pat! Thanks for that addition. LOL. Such a shame they couldn't be themselves.

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  4. Will do. Starting novel number five. ;)

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  5. Posted on FB that even Stephen King wrote romance under a woman's name. I don't know how good it was, but he did it. On a side note, didn't the whole notion of Chivalry and romantic love come from poets and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales? Men, men, men. So, the question is not why aren't they writing it, it's why don't we give them the props today?

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    1. Don't know. You're right, they started all this romance stuff. And aren't we glad they did?

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  6. I have shelves crammed with romantic novels written by men that have left me weepy and exhilarated afterwards. On a smaller scale, I work as a floral designer, and some of the notes men have written to their sweethearts make my heart skip a beat. Most definately, men can write romance. :)

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    1. Floral designer, what a wonderful profession! I'll bet you do see some romantic men!! They do buy most of the flowers, too, I'll bet. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Of course men can write romance, just as women can write hard-boiled action/suspense. Writing is done with the brain not with the genitals. It would be very awkward and smudgy if it was otherwise.

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  8. One of my favorite authors is Josh Lanyon. He can make me feel like I'm there, a part of the love between two men (even though I'm a woman) better than a lot of female authors can.

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    1. Great he can do that. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Oh same here, I loved Josh's Adrien English series and Cards on the Table, he writes excellent romance novels. I don't think that men cannot write romance but it depends on the author how a book turns out.

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    1. You're right. Thanks for commenting, Lyra.

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  10. I had heard that men couldn't write romance and that is so not true! I think men are definitely capable of feeling and writing deep emotions! I am not saying all men would care to even think about romance but some do!

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    1. You're right. Not all men would but many men can. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Yeah! Bust another ridiculous gender-assumption

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    1. You bet! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Good commentary on these inspiring men of romance. I wish I could write and produce the romance these men felt. I'm failing in my current story but hope to turn it around.

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    1. I hope you do, too. Pablo. They can be inspiration to you.

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