Updated: May 9
Did you think I would ever attempt a werewolf or CEO romance fiction? No? Neither did I. You can thank or blame Sunscar9 for encouraging me to get out of my comfort zone.
While regular CEOs are Mr Perfects, Richard Taleman wasn't one of those men.
After his son picked up yet another sibling, CEO Taleman, a single father of many, was forced to listen to hire a maid.
What will happen when the very capable new maid win the hearts of the Taleman clan and learn their furry secret? Will she stay or will she run away?
Follow the fluffy romance between CEO Taleman, the alpha of his ever-growing family and Emily Horton, a regular household expert.
Initially, this was written to participate in the Goodnovel "Love Conquers All" competition. My dear Sunscar told me all the good things about the Goodnoel platform and exclusive contract perks that I decided to jump in before I got cold feet.
Thus, the idea of Single Dad Alpha (previously known as Alpha CEO's Troublesome Littel Pups) was born. Some of you might see that the name on the cover page isn't Destiny Aitsuji. That's because I originally didn't want to be known under this pen name for writing something I swore to never do.
It's not that I look down on CEO romance and werewolf romance writers. I simply don't find the appeal or enjoy them. Personally, writing is all about escapism from the PTSD of my past. I love writing and creating amazing worlds and adventures that I cannot experience in reality. The crazier the adventures are, the more fulfilled I feel. Romance is at the bottom of my list of desires simply because I've had many relationships but not one that's decent or made me happy without ever feeling a nagging feeling that something was terribly wrong that I chose to overlook.
Patreons to credit: -This could be you. Join now.-
You can probably understand my frustrations when the editor of my newly created second account refused to accept this story's idea nor give me a concrete explanation for the rejection. Despite multiple emails and Facebook messages to follow up, she never replied back. Please note in mind that I only got to know that she was the assigned editor because I bugged all the other editors on discord to find out why nobody was replying me after reaching out to them for a month.
Naturally, I have to question the professionalism and standards of Goodnovel. It was only because of Sunscar9 that I persevered and gave up posting with a second account. I tried shifting my work to my main account under what most of you would know by now (DestinyAitsuji).
Sick and tired of this bullsh*t, I asked if applying for a different contract type could help me qualify for the competition's judging requirements and my regular editor Claire (a lovely but busy lady) said that non-exclusives worked too. Hence, I applied for a non-exclusive contract instead.
Lo and behold, not even 2 weeks in with hardly any follow-ups were needed when my original editor approved it and sent me a non-exclusive contract. The book is currently available for reading although I might not complete it as quickly while struggling to finish The Haunted Vibrator. There were no comments about the content or any of that vague reason for rejection that Jessica Jones gave. How surprising.
Honestly, Goodnovel is pushing me out of what I'm comfortable and happy writing. Neither of these projects mentioned above were enjoyable. However, I learned a lot from the experience. Here's my takeaway about writing a werewolf and CEO romance story.
#1: The characters sell better than the plot.
I don't read a lot of romance novels apart from BL or fan fiction. Honestly, most of the romance novels I chance upon as 'best-sellers' are just unoriginal in plot, settings or world-building. Nothing really stood out to me.
However, there was one thing in common despite all the ordinary and predictable 'plot'. The characters were extremely captivating and relatable to the readers it pulled it right from the beginning!
As a writer who experiences the world and adventure through the eyes of my main character, I hardly focus on more than one person's POV. In writing romance, there is no one set of eyes to see the world through. Everything is uncertain and it is only through observations and constant guessing about the other party that keeps the interest growing.
Characters are the stimuli of a romance plot. They have individual lives and how a series of encounters entangle them on the same path, their reactions to these plot pushing events, are what makes the story interesting. Everyone can experience the same signs of falling in love but how they would react to it differs from person to person.
Just admit it! We all love a good gossip about those fluttery feelings another person develops. If that person is your best friend, that's all the more reason to want to make them spill every last drop of tea. It's the same with the main character to a reader. They make the gossip worth listening to, the story worth staying for.
#2: Werewolf lores are all over the place! There is no fixed rule to follow, so feel free to be creative!
This was something unfamiliar to me namely because I don't read anything relating to huge human dogs. I'm terrified of canine creatures and I don't want to relive my trauma of getting mauled by one as a kid up by reading them.
I had Sunscar9 explain to me the general gist of werewolves and after some brain-cell killing, I finally understood something. Apart from the fact that they have wolf-related behaviours and characteristics that sometimes extend to their physical appearance, there are no real fixed rules about how a werewolf is portrayed.
It's not as if they were real. I didn't really need to know every goddamn detail about their diet, workout regime for those amazing abs or the colour of their fur! They can be green like beast Boy for all I know and honestly, the lore extends to shape-shifting at times.
Unfortunately, werewolves mean that the animal restriction has to be about wolves and not tigers. I'd like to write about werecats but unfortunately, it's not on the mainstream market as a tag yet.
Why wolves? That's the same question I had. You know the desire for a monogamous relationship full of all the good things in fairy tales that most ladies read about when they were daddy's little princess? Yeah. There is probably no other animal more loyal than a wolf to their mate. Perhaps it's the animalistic desires portrayed in an unbridled whirlwind romance that drives the readers crazy over a werewolf romance book. Perhaps it is their ability to pull readers into a fantasy world full of powerful, handsome and loyal men that we can't have in reality because we're all secretly ugly potatoes sitting at home and too afraid of meeting real men at clubs that draws us in. It could also be that we're mothers and haven't had a fulfilling love life after we had four kids that we love a high-action and steamy romance story to lose ourselves in.
Who cares? As it stands, werewolf romance isn't going to die out anytime soon.
#3: Romantic chemistry in romance fiction works rather similar to irl friends who get along with the exception of sexual tension.
I had a problem defining what romance and chemistry were when I first outlined my draft. I read up almost everything I could about relationship ideals and asked almost everyone I could on my contact list what they thought romance and chemistry in a relationship was all about. Typical INTJ problems.
Some people told me that it was all about the level of trust, similar communication styles, common goals and values. Others told me that romantic chemistry was the ability to trigger certain hormones in both parties instinctively where everything connects like a puzzle the universe created.
Either way, they were things that I'd never experienced before. Hence, it was a huge problem for me. Personally, I found this to be my greatest stumbling block. Writing romance had me feeling like a fish out of water. With the lack of ability to understand 'romantic love', felt as if it was the end of road for me. Thankfully, Sunscar9 is a fellow INTJ and she understood where I was coming from. With a bucket of enlightening water, she told me to think of romance between people as a form of friendship with a deeper level of commitment and a sprinkle of healthy sexual tension.
After all, romance is an emotion to inspire procreation. That was just how nature worked for most people. I identify as a genderqueer so I can't really relate but from the scientific point of view, it finally made some sense.
#4: Rich people can have non-rich people problems too.
For this part, I'm not completely in the dark, unlike the romance and werewolf portions. Not to brag but I previously worked as a home tutor a few years back for a billionaire. I'm also in contact with some people who are from the upper class even though they might claim otherwise. Many of the children I teach piano at the school also come from rather impressive backgrounds.
Not all rich people are flaunty and snobby like on social media. They're actually rather humble. With ready access to all the rich people around me, I did a little discreet interview to find out the kinds of struggles they might have. After all, they wouldn't struggle to buy a new pair of shoes if one was worn, right?
I wouldn't go into details about their problems. However, I did learn enough to conclude that rich people can have non-rich people problems too. For example, the rich parent and average or lesser-income parent would all worry about their child's future. They would worry about covid spreading. They worry about the world's unstable political situation and global warming. They worry about work and family relationships.
It's not a lie that money cannot solve all problems. If anything, it only amplifies a person's ability to manage situations. If you are not worthy of money, money would never choose you as a master. That is probably the only difference.
#5: Readers on Goodnovel would probably suck up anything that has mainstream tags like CEO and werewolf so just title it as such in an obvious manner even if it sounds tacky.
Although my journey as a mainstream romance writer is only beginning, the market research and statistics do not lie. My original title garnered some attention and I have a feeling it was thanks to SEO. However, it was too cringey that I decided to go for a simpler title. It's not the best by a far shot but it's more bearable until I move it out of Goodnovel for publishing on Amazon as a paperback.
Don't hesitate to title your book like how top retailers title their products on taobao! It works and isn't against professional ethics. All is fair in love and war!
Romance stories (webnovel in particular here) are actually not that difficult to write about. However, it really isn't something I would consider doing regularly. It was a lovely change of pace from the intricate plots and mysterious motives that I normally include in my writing. The pacing was relaxed and the words flowed like melted butter in a hot pan.
Snuscar wasn't completely wrong about the favourable prospects in writing such a thing. However, I think I'm not entirely ready for it yet. I'd slowly update the story since I already committed to starting it. However, after the series ends, I won't be writing another until I'm absolutely sure I have everything on my schedule under control. Hopefully, I'd have a fulfilling relationship to derive my inspirations from too!