About Writing

Romance Genre

I’m not entirely sure which genre Alice and the Warden properly belongs to. I call it Romance because the primary focus is on the relationship between the two main characters, but it’s very different from your stereotypical romance novel — it’s not based on any self-serving fantasies (*cough*50 Shades*cough*) that the ‘romance’ label usually connotes.

I also joke that if AatW were Women’s Fiction, Alice would immediately put her baby in daycare, go to college in pursuit of friendship and career, and desperately seek to regain her “lost” years — while Hackett was relegated to the background as a supportive cardboard cutout. Bonus: She’d call herself a good mother after constantly complaining how much time and energy babies take up.

Then there’s the Damon chapters…

(Yes, I am fully aware that I could never be a Hallmark movie writer.)

It’s always a bit awkward saying, “I write romance,” because people automatically think of books like Twilight — the whole, “Oh, you’re just writing shallow fantasies about rich men off the top of your head,” reaction. Personally, I see it as a very serious topic; one that I’ve applied years of research and real life experience into, because frankly, successfully writing marriage and love actually requires a deep understanding of psychology and relationships, and doing it wrong alienates readers.

And yes, writing romance even requires a philosophical stance, too. I portray “complementary” relationships, instead of the more popular “egalitarian” model.

So maybe it’s time to revamp the “romance” genre to include actual research, to reflect how real relationships work, instead of being purely the realm of self-serving sexual fantasies.

Goal number two: Write romance that appeals to men, lol.

6 thoughts on “Romance Genre”

  1. Well, see, this is why I enjoy your stories. They’re genre-defying.

    Romance and Women’s Fiction have fallen into stereotypes and can’t seem to get out. Romance has a funny way of depicting love and Women’s Fiction seems to cater to career-driven women. Would it kill someone to just write about a woman figuring out her place in the world regardless of whether it’s career or family or something different? And maybe cut out the million and one sex scenes and sexual encounters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Women’s Fiction makes me feel like I don’t qualify as a woman.

      My husband is always telling me that I should write more sex scenes. In fact, the other day, he said totally out of the blue, “You should write corruption fetish erotica; you’d be good at it.”

      I’m kind of worried what it is about me that makes him think that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Women’s fiction is biased and increasingly feminist literature, so I’m constantly wondering how women who are perfectly happy living the opposite life feel about not being represented. Now I think I know why my stay at home mom latched onto romance instead of women’s fiction.

        Well, I have heard that sex sells…


      2. I’ve complained quite a lot about how there are no fictional characters that I can relate to. Even just finding shy female characters is pretty hard.

        I’ve heard that, too. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Same here. I like reading the feisty females, but really wish the shy girl would get the guy now and then. Or that there would be a shy girl anywhere in the cast. Well, guess I know what kind of story I should write next!

        Liked by 1 person

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