View Full Version : Okay, we need a romantic pow wow

12-30-2004, 10:02 AM
I'm really saddened when I look at younger people reality t.v.

My kids watch MTV shows, and I watched a part of an episode of Big Man on Campus.

I think there's a real crises out there where a whole generation doesn't believe in love, or faithfulness or commitment, but just hooking up with a hot body. It's like "winning a game".

I'm at wits end. I'm wondering if there is a way to do Romance with a purpose, in essence to put love back into Romance.

I'm not saying there is no love in Romance Novels, in fact, that is probably what draws people, nor am I criticising any Romance writers. It just seems like we are facing an epidemic of cynicism, and people who are settling for sex without any concept of longterm committed relationships.

I know that "Preaching" in a story isn't going to get far, but I'm sure a brilliant mind can find a way to say something profound without it sounding preachy.

I'm wondering if any Romance writers are actually hoping to effect positive social change? If you know of any in particular, let me know.

Any thoughts on this?

12-30-2004, 10:38 PM
I think that traditional romance should take on a greater deal of realism (at least in some imprints) so that it can be seen as having a bearing on real life. For example I would love to see biographical romances telling true stories. Romance can be great escapism but also great inspiration.

12-30-2004, 11:38 PM
I think you make an interesting point. Remember that romance is the number one selling category in publishing right now. I think one reason for that is the superficial nature of reality TV doesn't provide emotionally satisfying escapism like a great romance novel does.

(In fact, I think reality TV will help writers. I'm hoping people will be so disgusted by it that there will be a mass exodus of people turning off their televisions in disgust and picking up a book instead.)

As far as "enacting social change," I really don't know. Books are part of the entertainment industry, first and foremost. But I certainly believe there is a lot of great literature, not only in romance, that concentrates on the fulfilling nature of relationships, not to mention illustrating the ill-effects of casual hook-ups.

12-31-2004, 10:48 AM
All social change begins with ideas. And I don't mean a conscious preaching of ideals, but simply packaging them the way that all tv shows do, you market ideas by making them entertaining, and playing upon natural sympathy.

I think young women of this generation have been sold a bill of goods that you need to compromise who you are, and what you want in order to fit in and play the game.

Let's face it, women are more relationally oriented than men out of the womb, and desire to forge strong bonds. But this concept of hooking up and friends with benefits, and a lifestyle where lap dances at parties are the latest in the "Let's top this" category, has really drawn young women into giving more and accepting less in return.

I just think it would be great to have Romance aimed at the younger audience, which tends to have a really lasting impression.

To me it's coming to, "Hey, do you remember way back when people still believed in love? How corny was that!"

I don't think that older people are so jaded, but I think the younger people are.

12-31-2004, 09:23 PM
Nate: I just think it would be great to have Romance aimed at the younger audience, which tends to have a really lasting impression.

Sounds great. Will your novel be a single title or a series? What is age group are you targeting?


12-31-2004, 11:52 PM
I'll be honest, I've written a massive story, and Epic fantasy, and not a Romance novel. But it's full of romance.

I just can't help that, because I do believe in love, and tend to write that into my stories.

In reality, the difficulty for people is not that no one exists that they can love, but they simply can't find them.

I've always loved hearing circumstances that threw people together, and how the pressures of those circumstances forced them to see what was important.

My story won't be typical by any means. There's a lot of human growth dynamics in the story. Pressures also force you to see what is inside of you, why you do what you do. "Why do I run away?" "Why do I isolate myself?" And especially the risk of losing everything will make people evaluate what is really important, and for most people, that answer is the relationships that matter.

Yet, I don't see that my story will accomplish such a lofty task. However, perhaps if the reader is on the journey with the characters, they'll start to grow with the characters and see where they are coming from.

I think people need to dream. And you have a cynical nation, but look at the young women and even the mature women who see an Aragorn and Legolas, men committed to a cause, who are faithful to the death. Those kind of men bring out that princess in every woman, who would be willing to say, "I'd abandon all for someone so noble, because I see in them that they'd abandon all for love's sake."

Yikes, that's the core point. Love is "other" oriented, not "I, me, mine", yet, you have people who are trying to protect all of their options, worrying that everyone is a loser and a user. "Well, if I chose you, I can't play the field, and what if someone else comes along"

They need to see that one person as the opporunity of a lifetime, "If I don't jump now, it won't pass this way again."

01-01-2005, 01:38 AM
I'll be honest, I've written a massive story, and Epic fantasy, and not a Romance novel. But it's full of romance.

Sounds great. What are you working on now?

I just can't help that, because I do believe in love, and tend to write that into my stories.

Do you feel others do the same? Perhaps younger audiences are getting the type of love stories you are looking for from sources other than situational game shows (otherwise known as 'reality tv')?

While we are a cynical nation, we are also a nation of dreamers and hopeless romantics. We love a good story about love triumphing over all odds.

I don't believe anyone sees The Bachelorette as the ideal way to choose a mate. I think most people watch such shows for the same reason they watch World's Scariest Car Crashes. You know something bad is going to happen, but you just can't turn away.

01-01-2005, 07:57 AM
I haven't submitted the story yet. I'm making revisions.

I'm thinking my sons generation and younger. The bacherlorette/bachelor are a slightly older crowd.

They're mostly an MTV real world crowd.

Writing Again
01-03-2005, 09:32 PM
It is hard to believe in love when your parents and your friends parents don't show any examples of it.

I took two sisters in my family and their friend out for ice cream. Their mother has given up on men. Their father is talking about marrying a woman they hate. Their friend's parents are divorced. He goes through a succession of girlfriends, most of whom she cannot stand. Her mother lives with someone who is seldom home and her mother is cheating on him by having an affair with a nineteen year old whose little sister is her best friend. All three of them have older sisters who seem to get raw deals from their boyfriends and get cheated on.

All three of them cry at romantic comedies but love is becoming a myth that you see in the movies, like the dragon in Braveheart.

01-05-2005, 11:13 AM
It's not a myth, and we still believe in it.

Love hasn't changed, and that's the point of my concern. People have lost sight of what love is. Sure, the tide that beats against relationships has grown stronger, and because of that pressure, people have given up, and grown cynicle. But mostly because of one of two reasons. 1)Ignorance. 2) Lack of character.

But I'm hoping those who comprehend that which makes for strong relationships will have the strongest voice in this generation, because the world needs strong voices.

02-02-2005, 06:10 AM
I'm new to the boards, and as I romance writer thought I'd poke around in this thread.

I'm a little disappointed, as a 22-year-old, that we're viewed as a generation that does not believe in love, or conceptualize "happily ever after" like those before us.

I'm fully with Write Again, the examples set for us have not been ones of Leave it to Beaver. It's a combination of actually seeing real life through the collaspe of the "perfect marriage" facade that has been held on to for generations, and being in a culture than markets sex and emotion like never before.

Despite those things, the idea that we don't "believe" in love is not particuarly fair. Our definition may be a little different, but there's no doubt that finding an emotional connection in disconnected times is the center of "this generation"'s desire. Inside every cynic is a romantic, but half of all marriages end in divorce, and from what we've seen, there isn't anything all to great about 2.5 and a minivan.

We believe in Love, it's just taken a different shape, as it has many times in history.

Done venting. :\

02-09-2005, 03:30 AM
Sorry I didn't see your message right away. Some threads are dormant from time to time, and if I see no activity I might not check for awhile.

You bring up a good point. In describing the "perfect marriage facade", you are saying that you don't believe in a perfect marriage.

Obviously, there is some degree of truth in what you say, but only insofar as people's definition of a "Perfect Marriage" may be lacking. But insofar as two people finding and faithfully loving each other till death do us part, that isn't a facade, although it seems that way to more and more people.

Not all fairy tales are make believe. You can build one, but not upon shallow definitions, especially in this day and age.

The right questions are a starting place, but the right answers to those questions are more important? What leads to contentment? What does true love require? Why don't people believe in love, and how did we get in this mess anyway?

Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Do you find that person, like "Where's Waldo?" or do two people become that person to each other through wisdom and perserverance?