Hanging out with your girlfriends – whether for wine on the porch, with bottled water on the grass at the soccer field, or making a whole weekend of it – offers fodder for writing. The laughs, the stories, and the wicked secrets that come out after one too many glasses of wine . . .
I was just in Newport for a a girls weekend. Rarely do we get to do this, and since it was to celebrate an upcoming birthday, it was all that much more special. What was unexpected in getting six women together in a rented house – some of whom barely knew each other – was the bonding that took place over cheese and crackers and multiple bottles of prosecco. By the end of the first night we were laughing and sharing old stories and spicy tales like we had all been friends since childhood — and the writer in me was at conflict . . . do I use this material?
Well, of course I can’t, but some of it was gooood. Real good. Some of it was outright surprising — but what really got me was just how great friendships can be and how much they effect romantic decisions we make.
In many romance novels, you are reading from the point of view (POV) of the heroine and the main focus is how the relationship develops, is almost lost, then comes back strong ( think the standard romantic comedy structure: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end). Sometimes you have both POVs — but rarely does the story focus as much on the influences of our friends, how much is really shared between women about our love life, the support given whether the guy deserves or not — or the lack of support given whether the guy deserves it or not. Girlfriends are a part of our romantic lives in some way — even if just a voyeur of our single or more adventurous friends.
When I wrote The Dating Intervention a few years ago, I thought a lot about how friendships impacted decisions, choices, what is shared and when, and how relationships work when a couple does get back together and elements of the break up have been shared. To me, it just seems more real.
So, as for the fodder for writing from last weekend with my girlfriends . . . I think those stories and laughs will just stay safely buried in my memory with a smile . . . or modified and used in a way to “change the names to protect the innocent”. The only ones who have anything to fear are those who cross me . . . and then they might be written into my next book any way I see fit. :)