is it considered a romance if the characters are already married at the start?

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The Second Moon

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I've never written romance before so pardon the newbie-ness of my question, but is it considered a romance if the characters have already been married for a few years when the story starts?

BTW, I know the definition of romance is that the characters are together by the end, but what if they were already together?
 

BenPanced

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No, not really. The main draw of romance are the standard tropes: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end. You'd be ignoring a major chunk of what readers look for in the story: the meet-up, the pursuit, the angst/self-doubt/worry it'll never work, one of them finally says "I love you" for the first time. If they're already together, calling it a romance wouldn't work; maybe it'd be a story with romantic undertones but not a romance by standard definition.
 

The Second Moon

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Actually I didn't want it to be a romance because one of the two main characters is a vampire and vampire romances seem like the thing people groan "not again" at . Thanks for the info.
 

KBooks

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I've never written romance before so pardon the newbie-ness of my question, but is it considered a romance if the characters have already been married for a few years when the story starts?

BTW, I know the definition of romance is that the characters are together by the end, but what if they were already together?

No. Although, I enjoy reading books where a married couple or a couple who is already together works together as co-MC's. One of my favorite FBI thriller series features a married couple. However, if they're already together as an "us" it's not really a romance. I also read a paranormal romance series by JR Ward. She'll write a couple's first book (where they get together) and then sometimes, that couple will get a second book that features them (after they're married) that's more focused on say them having a baby or something, and I guess I'd still call those books paranormal romance. But it's a long 20+ book series with multiple pov's in every book, so there's always someone with a new romance forming.

Actually I didn't want it to be a romance because one of the two main characters is a vampire and vampire romances seem like the thing people groan "not again" at .

Kind of disrespectful to those of us who write paranormal romance.
 

The Second Moon

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No. Although, I enjoy reading books where a married couple or a couple who is already together works together as co-MC's. One of my favorite FBI thriller series features a married couple. However, if they're already together as an "us" it's not really a romance. I also read a paranormal romance series by JR Ward. She'll write a couple's first book (where they get together) and then sometimes, that couple will get a second book that features them (after they're married) that's more focused on say them having a baby or something, and I guess I'd still call those books paranormal romance. But it's a long 20+ book series with multiple pov's in every book, so there's always someone with a new romance forming.



Kind of disrespectful to those of us who write paranormal romance.

Oh my god. I am so sorry. I didn't mean it. I'm just not a very good person. Or at least that's what the little voices in my head say. I feel terrible. I shouldn't write this story. I'm just too disrespectful to good people who actually have hearts.
 
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KBooks

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Oh my god. I am so sorry. I didn't mean it. I'm just not a very good person. Or at least that's what the little voices in my head say. I feel terrible. I shouldn't write this story. I'm just too disrespectful to good people who actually have hearts.

Of course you're a good person! :) Not AT ALL what I was saying. Totally write this story. My point was just that there are people who write and enjoy vampire love stories out there, just like every other type of story.
 

Marian Perera

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I've never written romance before so pardon the newbie-ness of my question, but is it considered a romance if the characters have already been married for a few years when the story starts?

I wrote a romance where the couple were married but bitterly estranged at the start. Romance means people falling in love, or in the case of reunion romances, falling back in love. So as long as the marriage isn't one where the characters already love each other and behave as a happy couple, it fits my definition of romance.

There are quite a few published romances where the characters are married at the start. Sarah Maclean's The Day of the Duchess comes to mind. The characters just can't be "together" emotionally at the beginning.
 
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lizmonster

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I've read some regencies where the hero/heroine had been married for convenience reasons, and then separated because of Big Scandal/Misunderstanding. But that was all backstory that happened off the page; the tale itself was why they got back together.

Keep in mind that romantic subplots are common in just about every genre there is. You're not going to get tagged as romance just because you have a romance in the story. (Well, you shouldn't, but that's between you and your marketing people.) Capital-R Romance[tm] has genre conventions that go beyond "oh hey here are some characters in a relationship," and generally if you're writing it you know it.

And yeah, don't be so hard on yourself. :Hug2: We are all learning, all the time, and you're doing fine.
 

Gillhoughly

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Write the story YOU want to read more than anything else that's out there and do not worry about the genre.

One of my friends bucked the genre thing some 30 years ago, writing something that was not in keeping with the tropes of the time. She won an award for being a pioneer.

Ignore what does or does not make a genre. YOU make your own genre!

Here's a book about a married couple. Read it for tips. It will be at the library.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GTLVP4/?tag=absowrit-20
 

Carrie in PA

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I wrote a romance where the couple were married but bitterly estranged at the start. Romance means people falling in love, or in the case of reunion romances, falling back in love. So as long as the marriage isn't one where the characters already love each other and behave as a happy couple, it fits my definition of romance.

There are quite a few published romances where the characters are married at the start. Sarah Maclean's The Day of the Duchess comes to mind. The characters just can't be "together" emotionally at the beginning.


(bolding mine) - That's my opinion exactly. Sweet Home Alabama (yeah,yeah, I know it's a movie and not a book) immediately sprang to mind. They were married, but not together and happy.
 

Marissa D

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+1 to what Marian and Carrie in PA said--it can absolutely be a Romance if the protagonists are married but not emotionally connected; the romance happens with their falling (or re-falling) in love. But make ure your story is actually a romance, first--a wander around the Romance Writers of America website (rwa.org) might be helpful.
 

amergina

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Yes, you can write a romance with a married couple (or committed relationships in the case of more than 2 people). The one's I've seen have been about rediscovering the love they have for each other. That's actually a trope. It's just not as common.
 

Marian Perera

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But make ure your story is actually a romance, first--a wander around the Romance Writers of America website (rwa.org) might be helpful.

Yes. Write the story for yourself, rather than trying to fit it into a genre mold.

However, when getting the story to readers, be aware of what romance readers expect from stories in the romance genre. And label accordingly.
 

Roxxsmom

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The main requirements for genre romance is that there be a central love story (where the couple overcome obstacles to fall in love and be together) and there be a happy ending (with the couple still together).

I've read romances where the characters involved are married. Generally the plot has been two people in an arranged, or otherwise loveless, marriage falling in love with one another in spite of obstacles.

Courtney Milan's Trial by Desire is an example.

I've even read sequels to romances where the couple who had fallen in love in the previous book was now on the rocks for some reason, and they fall in love again.
 
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Sonya Heaney

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I've never written romance before so pardon the newbie-ness of my question, but is it considered a romance if the characters have already been married for a few years when the story starts?

BTW, I know the definition of romance is that the characters are together by the end, but what if they were already together?

It *can* be a romance - if the characters break up and get back together (making it a "reunion romance", which is a popular trope).

However, if they're married and the plot has nothing to do with conflict in their relationship, then no, it's not a romance.
 

saltylasagna

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It depends on the story itself. Can it be a romance? Of course. But if the only romantic thing about the story is the fact that the characters are married at the start, and the story doesn't revolve around their marriage/finding love, then no, it's not a romance.
 

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