Thrilled to be part of the indieBRAG bloghop this week – there’s a list of the other blog stops at the end – and if you haven’t heard of indieBRAG before, now is the time to get better acquainted. The team over at bragmedallion work super-hard for indie authors, and they’ve just unveiled a gorgeous new website, as well as a new rating system for books. But now, on with my special post …
Why Every Story Needs A Touch Of Romance
It’s funny how the romance genre is one of the biggest selling genres in the world, and yet romantic novels are often looked down upon. They’re rarely taken seriously as literature – despite the fact that many of the classics were romances – and romance readers are frequently derided, often in quite subtle ways. But if you take another look, romance is actually EVERYWHERE in fiction. There is no such thing as a genre that does not have a romantic element.
No Such Thing As No Romance
You don’t believe me? It’s true. Take any popular genre and you’ll find romance running through it. Crime fiction? Absolutely. The sub-plot of most crime novels focuses on the love life (or lack of) of the crime-solving hero. Thrillers? Often the romance takes centre stage, with the thriller action revolving around saving the love interest of the hero, or connected in some way to, or affected by, an emotional entanglement. Science fiction … would be meaningless without a good romance to act as a counterpoint to the action. Mysteries, westerns, young adult, fantasy, military, etc – each and every type of novel is improved by having some kind of romantic element.
Does It Have To Be Love?
Of course, the type of romance – and the development of the romance itself – will change depending upon the type of story. It doesn’t have to be love. It can be desire, or unrequited love, or passion, or friendship, or deep mutual regard. It can be fireworks, sizzling hot, or it can be relegated to the sidelines of sub-plot, something to tick over in the background, keeping us interested, wondering what if …? It can be lost love, a maybe-love, forbidden love, marital disharmony, wishing-for-love, never-to-be-found-love. Quiet love over a cup of tea, or the kind of pairing that makes planets collide and saves worlds from destruction. It doesn’t matter what kind of love it is – it just has to be there.
So do ‘pure romance novelists’ have it easy? I’ve read that the definition of a romance novel is that it is a novel where the plot is driven purely by the romance – by the hero and heroine pursuing their love-relationship – and not by any other plot line. This, of course, is debatable, but most pure romances do follow this fairly loosely. In other genres, even most women’s fiction, the romance is secondary – albeit a close second – to the main plot action. The Romantic Novelists’ Association (of which I am now a proud Independent Member) says: “The trouble with trying to define a romantic novel is that there are so many sub-genres. The words romantic novel cover an amazing variety.” I agree 100%.
So if love makes the world go round, do romance novelists have it easy? Well, it’s not easy – but we sure do have a lot of fun!
February 13 VL Thurman– Delilah Dunnfield the Valentine’s Vamp
February 14 C.L. Talmadge A Touch of Romance
February 15 Janet Leigh -Where art thou?
February 16 Lucinda Brant – Autumn Duchess
February 17 Anna Belfrage –The Consequences of eloping with your cousin
February 18 Joanne Phillips-Why Every Story Needs A Touch Of Romance
February 19 K.J. Farnham – Be Still My Heart
Prize & Giveaway
To win a copy of Can’t Live Without simply leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner on February 29th and email you to arrange posting out your prize.
Click on the indieBRAG Website to enter your chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card!
Each author is providing a print copy or e-book in the book giveaways, so be sure to visit their websites and comment on their post to enter a chance to win a copy of their book.
- The chance to enter for the Prize and Giveaways ends February 26. The winner will be given a gift card from Amazon. The prize will be announced on the indieBRAG Website on February 29th. And each author will announce the winner for their giveaways on their sites on February 29.
- You must be 18 years or Older to participate in the prize & Giveaway.
- Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.
February 18, 2016 at 10:40 am
Ha! Great post & couldn’t agree more. Why would we care if someone lives or dies in a thriller unless the protagonist is emotionally involved?
February 18, 2016 at 8:57 pm
Absolutely! And more often than not the back-story is romantically linked, or there is a romantic element driving the plot in most action genres. Men need romance too 🙂
February 18, 2016 at 11:28 am
Hi Joanne, writing pure romance is NOT easy! When a reader picks up a romantic novel he/she already knows how it will end i.e. boy & girl will live happily ever after. A romantic novelist needs to be able to write a compulsive story despite this. A difficult skill!
February 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm
Exactly! Not easy at all – which makes it all the more annoying that the genre is often dismissed so readily. It’s incredibly hard to write a compelling romance – romance writers are an amazingly talented bunch! 🙂
February 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm
Thanks so much for the chance!
February 18, 2016 at 8:58 pm
Good luck Marnie!
February 19, 2016 at 4:22 am
Oh, how true! This is an ongoing dilemma at indieBRAG – is it a historic romance or a romantic history, a mystery romance or a romantic mystery? There are subtle differences. We could make a dozen sub-genres for Romance. One thing I do know is that it is the easiest genre for us to get out to readers. It is also a fact that readers are tough on romance novels; proving it is not easy to write a good romance!