Thursday, February 2, 2017

Reader: Romantic Expectations

I’ve said it before, I’m not a romance reader – for the most part. Which brings the immediate question, why then am I talking about this genre and any expectations. Do I have a right given my feelings?

I’ll counter with – how many books have you read where there are elements of romance, romantic conflict, character couples, and all those combinations. Stepping out on a limb, but at this moment I’m finding it difficult to think of one non-romance genre (fiction) that does not have some sort of romance within, even if the main couple is unmarried or widow/widower or married.

There is a story arc to romance-major stories and that’s where I tend to get lost in the enjoyment. Which is why this is romantic expectations and not romance-strictly expectations.

So, what are my expectations? How are they any different than my preferences for the genre on the whole? I’ve gone and written myself into a corner. The topic seemed straightforward, but now am I repeating myself.

When dealing with romantic elements, make them believable. Make them fit the scene and characters. It doesn’t have to impact the storyline or be part of the storyline…think of it along the lines of a character being married, a cop, a private eye. It’s there as it is without the need to explore or expand. Once you explore/expand it ends up a sub-genre which can muddy the story for the reader…expecting a horror, not horror-romance.

Once it’s clear there is a love/romance connection, the characters do need to act on it. Worry about each other, know each other’s quirks, argument patterns. Just because you’re not writing romance doesn’t mean you want a cold fish in the story. The romantic element becomes part of the character.

Like any elements to the genre’s arc, once you’ve introduced a romantic component don’t leave it hanging. As a reader you know when something just there to be there or when the writer started something and lost track…like this very blog writing.

And with that…catch ya later.

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