Countdown to going solo 5…

Sydney skyline

Intended to continue research by further reading of Sue Moorcroft’s Love Writing today, with another How-To title from Harlequin/M&B author history To Writer’s With Love by Mary Wibberley on the reading pile. But had a message to check out on the dating site, so I signed in first, and found that Sunday is apparently the business day for those on the look-out for an online chat, flirt, or messaging frenzy.

I did get a request for another blind date, which is cool. And also got messaged by a guy who’s said “hello” a few times before when I’ve been online, but he just wanted to say “u fancy comin over.” Well, much as I appreciate being considered eligible for a booty-call, it’s not what I’m on a dating site looking for. I’m on there because I want to Go Out, and haven’t been doing any going out, not because I want to stay in anywhere that I don’t get to do any of my own housework, or any writing. 🙂

Eventually, relationships do involve staying in. But not before going out. I’m not a Domino’s Pizza that can be ordered online for home delivery.

I guess that’s the difference between dating online, and meeting someone through being a regular in a bar or club, or other social situation. Once you’ve got to know someone through your local, or your sports club, or your workplace, being asked back to their place probably doesn’t seem too weird. But when someone suggests it when you’ve exchanged less than sixteen words online, don’t know if the profile picture is even of them, or whether it was taken in the last ten years, that’s different. I hope I’m not alone in thinking it’s a bit odd.

It definitely isn’t a scenario I’d expect to read in a dating book, or a romantic novel.

And I don’t think I’d want to write it as one either.

One guy’s profile even says, although he’s looking for his soul mate and best friend since splitting up from his wife, “just some NSA is cool too.” It took me over a whole day to figure out what NSA stood for. Sounds like the epitome of SA. I don’t think there’s any element of N about it. It’s one of the most misleadingly-named concepts in human interaction as far as I can imagine.

My idea of ‘no strings’ is going out for a coffee or a non-alcoholic drink without obligations attached.

Funnily enough, tonight’s episode of CSI was the one where Catherine had a drink spiked while out dancing in a bar after work. Pretty gruesome. Certainly not material for a romantic storyline – especially without a knight in shining armour to the rescue.

There are very strict rules in ‘romantic fiction’ regarding what the hero musn’t say or do, and what the heroine also mustn’t say or do. This is so that the whole reading experience isn’t cheapened by taking away the fairytale element, and the suspense. We mustn’t forget that we’re writing Cinderella stories for girls who need to hope and dream – rather like me.

The other rule is that the hero and heroine mustn’t get it together as a couple too soon. Unless they’ve got something fabulous to fight about and split them up again immediately, all the sizzle is lost if they’re doing bedroom gymnastics in the first chapter.

Erotica is another matter. It’s usually about fetishes and fantasies, which don’t want to be weighed down with chocolate, girly chats and shopping habits. It’s all about where to do it, how it’s being done, and who (or what) it’s being done with.

Sadly, something that I’m DEFINITELY not qualified to write about. But I do admit, I’ve plenty of experience in support of keeping the protagonists apart indefinitely. 🙂