(image not owned by me)
Recently, I had a discussion on another writing site about writing romance. In the past and even today, I’ve noticed some writers have a tendency to look down on romance writers. Now, I know romance isn’t for everyone, and I respect that. However, I feel like due to recent popular books
(cough 50 shades), and maybe books from the past, I don’t know, but writers seem to believe romance is nothing but love and sex. Yes, I know that romance has been beaten to death with clichés, similar plots, and dry characters, but I feel that romance is still important today.
In life, for most – not all people – finding love is still important. Pairing off, finding a life partner and starting families is still a big goal for a lot of us today. With romance stories, essentially we are writing that story. I feel like that is one reason romance will never die, and why it’s so popular. Everyone has a romance story to tell, and romance writers just enjoy bringing their own versions to the world.
I will agree, though, some romance books are cringe worthy and make me wonder why I spent two hours of my life reading the book. Sometimes, it’s like a watching a bad movie, where you think, dang, I just wasted my life.
For me, I prefer romance books that have more substance than just romance itself. I find the best romance books feature amazing subplots. Subplots that focus on character development, their own themes about humanity, and further expand on other characters besides the two lovers.
Clash of Tides may have a strong romantic plot, but the overall story is about one woman’s struggle to rise above what she is – poor and a black. My other subplots include:
Making tough decisions when growing up
Finding the best path in life
Strong ties of friendship
Dealing with parents who abandon you
Letting go of the past
These are just some examples, but I have a lot more. Often I wonder if I didn’t include the other subplots well, but that is something I’ll worry about during the rewrite.
Overall, my goal was to bring more awareness to romance books. One of my favorite books with romance is The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.
This blog post is already going long, so I’ll hurry it up. While at first glance it seems like another vampire book (mind you, I strongly disliked Twilight!) it’s not. The Anita Blake books are about friendship, corrupt businesses, morality, and dealing with our inner demons. In fact, I’ll say that most of the books have a great balance between romance and action. The other characters – besides the two lovers – get a lot of speaking time and focus.
I know some, if not most romance books are just love and sex, but not all of them =) I hope you remember this blog post next time you see a romance book. There may be more than meets the eye. 🙂
Whew! This is my longest blog post yet. Please let me know your thoughts! I love reading everyone’s comments.