Sunday, November 14, 2010

ROMANCE by Bea Jay Nelson

Hello, I’m Bea Jay Nelson. Thanks to Carey for asking me to contribute to her wonderful blog. Today I’m talking romance.

Romance can be different things to different people. When you think of romance what springs to your mind?

For me, the movie Casablanca is the all time romantic film. Every time I see it I reach for my box of tissues. I think it has all the elements of a well written romance. For those who have yet to experience the movie, below is a movie review by Cole Smithey. Can I recommend getting it out on DVD?

Although it was made in 1942, "Casablanca" is still the greatest romantic drama ever made. The obsessive longing and regret that Humphrey Bogart's Rick and Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa feel for one another is magnified by the relentless social conditions that they find themselves in when fate brings them together after many years apart. World War II Casablanca is a dangerous place for an ex-patriate American, and even more so for the girl of a French Resistance Freedom Fighter (Paul Henreid's Victor Laszlo). Casablanca is the exotic location where a separated couple of dyed-in-the-wool lovers can reinvent their overpowering mutual love should they so choose, unless Rick, an apparent apolitical cynic, opts to sacrifice their once-in-a-lifetime chance in the name of a greater human cause. Such is the nature of director Michael Curtiz's film that features remarkable performances from Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and Claude Rains. Broken into three clearly defined acts--the script was based on a stage play--and beautifully filmed with noir-inflected shadows by the great cinematographer Arthur Edeson ("The Maltese Falcon"), "Casablanca" has a way of refreshing itself the more times you view it. Between the heavily layered visual image systems at work, and the crisscrossing elements of social unrest and suppressed emotion, lies a movie that captures romantic lightening in a bottle. It doesn't hurt that Bogart and Bergman come together like flash paper to flame. The bitter sweetness of love never looked, or sounded, so good.

Every time I start reading a book, I know I can go different places, see other worlds, and experience different cultures and a tingle of excitement can be felt as I start page one. To be able to experience the lives of hundreds, thousands of other people, be romanced by countless heroes who have given there love to that one special woman, is all I want out of a romance.

I would love to bring this type of emotion and drama into my own writing. When I sit down in front of my keyboard, I try to write about a man and a woman that I can emotionally connect with. Because what I believe it all comes down to. Whether it be set in a location 500,000 miles above the planet in a spacecraft, or 500 years in the past in a medieval castle, it’s about the romantic connection between the hero and heroine. I’m a romance writer, and I like to think romance is all about your imagination. So use you imagination and do something you consider romantic for yourself or someone else, and let me know what it is.

Bea Jay
Romance writer


Brenda said...

Nice post. Last night, a couple of my romance-reading girlfriends and I were discussing what makes a winning romance read. The answer for all three of us was the emotional connection between the hero and the heroine. Setting is great, but it is definitely secondary to the emotional journey of the characters.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Very well said, Brenda. I totally agree. Things I think are romantic are sexy text messages or pics when I least expect them. I'm dead meat if I ever lose my cell phone!

Tabitha Blake said...

I agree with Brenda it is all about the chemistry. If I don't feel the pull the characters feel for each other you have lost me. I need the romance. Great post.

Bea Jay Nelson said...


I totally agree, I love it when I get so involved in the story that I actually start crying. Those are the books I love best and those are the authors that I tend to buy again.

Bea Jay

kaycee Kacer said...

Bea Jay,
great post! Also, it is on DVD I got it for christmas a couple of years ago :)