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Thread: What do you like about writing romance?

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  1. #2
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Heaven is a place on earth called Toronto.
    Quote Originally Posted by Earthling View Post
    I'm sure we've all experienced some kind of sneering about the genre we write, or at least seen general criticism of romance as 'easy to write' or 'porn for bored housewives' or 'not real literature' or whatever.
    My favorite is that romance novels give people mistaken ideas about relationships that can lead to abusive situations.

    It's not as though every other genre depicts real life faithfully. And I'll go out on a limb and say that most if not all romance readers are aware that they're reading escapist entertainment, rather than non-fiction about how relationships work.

    - Knowing I have to have a happy ending.
    Yes, this. Life can be incredibly unfair. Even in the rest of fiction, doing what's right doesn't mean things work out for you (that was the point of the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire).

    But in romance, the scales balance. If my main characters struggle and suffer and make painful sacrifices, they'll end up happy. That is a guarantee neither real life nor any other genre can make.

    While we have the opposite challenge - trying to hold a reader's interest when that reader knows from page 1 how it will end - it's a challenge I would prefer over having to come up with something totally unexpected yet believable.
    I like tossing something totally unexpected yet believable into the pot anyway. The twist just doesn't have anything to do with "will they or will they not end up together". It's more like, who the villain is, or whether the other woman will end up happy.

    It always boggles my mind when people say romance is too restrictive because it must have a happy ending, when the other 99% of the content can be anything you want it to be.
    The people who say romance is too restrictive are usually the people who don't read it.

    Once you start reading, the variety is overwhelming.

    - The romance. I'm not much of a my-writing-is-my-baby type of author but I do get very fond of my characters, and it gives me a little glow to be able to write them those happy moments.
    This too. My characters work for their HEAs. They overcome their problems, make amends for their mistakes, and get out of their comfort zones to meet challenges. It's wonderful to be able to give them happy moments as a reward.

    What do you enjoy about writing romance?
    Putting my own spin on the tropes of the genre that I don't like.

    For instance, I hate it when a man pursues a woman who keeps telling him "no", and her friends chime in that he must love her, because he wouldn't keep persisting otherwise.

    So I wrote a romance where this man is the antagonist, and when the heroine calls him on his behavior, he uses that excuse. He also tells her that she's beautiful when she's angry, rather than considering why she's angry and whether she wants to hear cliched compliments from him. The hero of the story is the man who respects the heroine's choices, rather than giving her none.

    Likewise, I got so tired of virginity being equated with moral goodness, or with the story bending over backwards to keep the heroine a virgin for the hero (she was married before, but the man was away/ill/impotent/gay/all of the above) that I decided my heroines would not be virgins. That was no biggie when I was writing fantasy romance, because I could make up all the social rules of my world. But now I'm writing historicals, and it's been... interesting... to find ways my heroines could start with some level of sexual experience.

    Great topic, Earthling. Thanks for starting it and sharing your thoughts.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 12-19-2019 at 07:22 PM.

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