What is romance?
I googled this word for others opinion of romance.
Dictionary.com defines romance in the verb form as; “to court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness” But what I found interesting was their definition of the noun form of the word, that is, “a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.” Is this what we romance writers do? Do we write baseless stories full of exaggeration and fanciful inventions? As a romance writer who spent my early adulthood reading a lot of Harlequin and Mills and Boons, I would have to agree that those books do fall into that category. They often relate stories of this wonderful, handsome, strong man who sweeps in to love and adore some fragile damaged woman looking for someone to save her. They often do their wooing in these extravagant passionate ways that leaves a girl wishing a man can come into her life and treat her the same way. But, isn’t this part of the reason why we read? That is, as a means of escape. Romance stories like these give us just that, a world to escape into where romance is of the extravagant kind, where men are of the kind we dream of and stories often have a happy ending. Romance novels are just that, romance.
The freedictionary.com defines romance as “a love affair, especially an intense and happy but short-lived affair involving young people” This definition, I can say, I don’t believe. For romance doesn’t come to only the young and it certainly isn’t short lived. Sure, once you read a romance novel it often ends when the two people have conceded to their feelings for each other, sometimes in marriage, or sometimes just in them coming together. But anyone who reads a romance novel that ends at this point is left with the idea that this is just the beginning for the couple and not the end. In one of the novels I read lately, “Happy Hour” by Michelle Scott, the novel shows you romance in the lives of these different characters at different parts of their life. The novel is not purely based on romance, but it is a major factor in the novel. Romance is shown in the lives of a married woman, a divorced woman, a widowed woman and a woman scarred by the past. It shows romance in its early stages and romance as it is resurrected between a couple who have been married for awhile. I believe this is romance in its true form.
I have a friend who has a friend whose novel was turned down by publishers for not following the normal sketch of a romance novel. I was left asking; what is the normal sketch of a romance novel? This person’s novel is a M/M romance novel with the following plot; the MC has lost his life partner and is going through the grieving and healing process when he meets other love interests. It shows him as he heals and moves past his pain to finally let other people in, then he is left with choices and the novel revolves around which one he will choose. I agree that the writer dealt a little too much on the grieving process, and maybe that should be looked into, but I don’t see how this novel strays from the normal romance sketch outside of that aspect. The publisher’s suggestion is that the author should have the MC’s life partner cheat or walk out on them instead of dying. I believe remaining true to one’s story is important and these true facts would help readers to identify with characters and their pain and loss. What do you think this author should do? Should they change their plot at the opportunity of being published? OR should they remain true to their story and hope someone will pick it up someday?
My lesfic contemporary romance, An Unexpected Desire, is about romance between a young woman and a middle aged woman. It shows romance building from friendship. It shows romance that is different from the usual Mills and Boons or Harlequin romance.
The blurb for my story is as follows:
Fiona is a recluse, she has given up on the search for love because no one seems to fit into her puzzling life. She has few friends and is regarded as the ice queen.
Nyasha is a fiery spirit and an outgoing ambitious woman with a detailed plan for her life. She dates and enjoys her time with her women partners, but she doesn’t get emotionally involved because the last time she did, it cost her.
The two women meet in a workplace where situations push them together and they forge a friendship as they both try to suppress how they actually feel about each other.
Will Fiona accept that she has found the right peg for her puzzle and open up herself to Nyasha? Will Nyasha trust that this woman wants more than to just satisfy her curiosity? Will the two women suppress their feelings for each other or will they let go of their fears and let love reign?
What sort of romance do you like to read? What sort of romance do you write? And is there anything as a specific romance sketch that all romance writers must follow?
Anjie Harrte: Romance with some Caribbean flavour
Anjie Harrte is a twenty nine year old mother of one who resides in sunny Guyana, South America. Sometime between running a small business, having a full time job and being a mother and partner she finds time to pursue her passion for creating stories. Anjie dreams up stories of contemporary fiction splashed with some romance, a little dose of murder or an ounce of suspense and sometimes when no one is looking she dashes in a little twist. When she isn’t doing any of that, she is decorating a cake, knitting a chair back or sewing her latest design. Anjie even finds time to lurk around and stalk people and pages on facebook and you too can stalk her if you like at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anjie-Harrte/ or you can follow her on twitter @anjieharrte or keep updated with her writing at http://authoranjieharrte.blogspot.com/