Contemporary Romance Writers: Telling the Truth

I love the characters I run into when I read a novel. It doesn’t matter whether I’m reading a romantic suspense, a la Susan May Warren, a low country romance, a la Rachel Hauck,  an historical a la Siri Mitchell, or even a contemporary romance, a la … well, all three of those authors (and even my upcoming debut novel, Wish You Were Here. I know, shameless plug.)

Where was I?

Oh, yes.


Novels always have heroes. Heroines. Villains. (Boo! Hiss!) Sidekicks. And one of my favorite characters: the Voice of Truth. (Key appropriate background music. Something … with trumpets and drums, perhaps.)

The Voice of Truth (VOT) serves one purpose in a novel: She is the one who speaks truth to the heroine. Or perhaps he speaks truth to the hero. (Or you can mix the he/she thing up however you want. But I digress.)

The point is, the VOT speaks truth.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But in a novel, it’s never simple. Because the heroine (I have to choose one character to make my point for the sake of sanity, both mine and yours) may not want to hear the truth. And this gets her into all sorts of trouble. And until the heroine stops and listens to whatever truth the VOT is sharing — Mr. Right is all wrong for her, or maybe that dress does make her look, um, not thin — she’s going to keep making mistakes.

Here’s the funny thing: Voices of Truth? They don’t just show up in novels. I’ve had them in my life–and I’ve needed them too. I haven’t always heeded their wisdom as soon as I should have and, yes, that’s created problems I could have avoided.

In Your Words: Any favorite VOTs from novels you’ve read? Even more important, are you blessed to have a VOT in your life? Someone who will speak the truth to you–even when it’s tough? And are you willing to listen?


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  1. Pat Trainum
    November 3, 2011, 9:08 am   /  Reply

    My voice of truth is and always will be my mother! lol. She is the first to tell me when something I’m doing is great…and when it’s not. And in words only a mother can use. And I do listen…now. Not always, but I learned she really had been there, done that and had plenty of tee-shirts to prove it.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 3, 2011, 9:17 am   /  Reply

      LOL! There’s no one like a mom, Pat, that’s true. I think a mom is our first (unappreciated) VOT. 🙂

  2. Loree Huebner
    November 3, 2011, 9:33 am   /  Reply

    I love this VOT idea! This is the first time that I’m hearing this term for writing. (I also love the song by the same name by the Casting Crowns) It’s funny that I’ve always written a VOT in my novels. I guess it’s because we have them in our own lives…I have one. So important.

    Excellent post.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 3, 2011, 2:54 pm   /  Reply

      Loree, I need to go listen to the song by Casting Crowns. Thanks for the encouraging words. Now to go check out your website. (I’m assuming you have one!)

  3. Jeanne T
    November 3, 2011, 11:30 am   /  Reply

    VOT’s–yes,thankfully, I do have them in my life. I like what Pat said about her mom–who shares positive and negative truths with her. My mom does that too. She and I look at life through different lenses (she’s very abstract, I’m very, um, not), which makes it fun to hear her perspective.

    My DH is also a VOT in my life. Sometimes it’s difficult to hear truths from someone who knows me so well, but it is also meaningful, because I know he has my best in mind when he shares tough truths.

    I have friends, too, but this comment is getting long, so I’ll let it rest here. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      November 3, 2011, 2:53 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, VOTs come in all shapes and sizes! Family members, spouses — that can get tricky — and friends 🙂

  4. Rachel Hauck
    November 3, 2011, 3:36 pm   /  Reply

    Some day you’re going to see your name in a blog like this one, “I love reading a Beth Vogt book…” WooT!

    • Beth Vogt
      November 3, 2011, 4:00 pm   /  Reply


  5. November 4, 2011, 10:02 am   /  Reply

    Love this post Beth, because the other day, I realized what was missing for my heroine. A VOT! That is a HUGE miss. But something was missing and that’s what it was. So I’m changing the character around that is her sister.

    Anyway, good stuff girl. 🙂

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