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Writing Love

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by TheCrystallineEntity, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Thank you!! Although this is a fantasy site, so I doubt many here read romance, which one needs to do a lot of in order to understand it's not just kissy this flirty that. There are real emotional journeys with real consequences and impact for characters. 50% of all books sold are in the romance genre (which include the different subgenres like fantasy, sci fic, mystery, etc. There is no romance category under other genres. If the story's main plot is about two people falling in love and staying together forever, then it's genre romance no matter what the setting or catch is).
    Heliotrope likes this.
  2. but seriously we've gone off on a huge tangent. Does anyone else here love writing sibling relationships? They're my favorite and I want to talk about it.
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    Ooh, those are fun. I have a few of those in my main WIP. There's a pair of adult brothers (the MC's dad and uncle) who kick ass together and support each other and generally get along great; a dysfunctional brother/sister relationship between a prince and a princess (the prince is the villain, the princess is an ally to the MC) that drives a significant part of the backstory, and identical twin brothers who are friends of the MC, and minor characters.
  4. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    Biggest and most profitable does not equal quality.
  5. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    It's absolutely normal to dismiss the romance genre if you don't like it, just as it's perfectly normal to dismiss and deride the fantasy genre if you don't like it, or all genre fiction if you are a literary snob, LOL. Heck, I know people who only read history and who mock all fiction, they have no interest in it whatsoever. More power to them.

    I for one have zero interest in the emotional journey of a love story as the main plot of the story (romance genre)... none whatsoever. I just don't give a shit, but a whole lot of people do. So what, nothing personal.

    In a sense, romance and fantasy (and maybe all genre really, but these two at least are known for it) are similar in one thing at least... they have a core audience who reads a lot. The audience compared to the general population is relatively small, but voracious, and when a romance can be blown through in a day or three's read, and the reader is popping open the wallet again... and when combined with the formulaic style of the genre which allows for pumping out volumes to keep the reader slobbering for more it equals money maker. That's all good for writers.

    Romance could be considered a subgenre of fantasy, but then, isn't all fiction? LOL.

    I won't pick on the writing of romance too much, because most genre fiction's writing is iffy or bland or worse. However, because of the pulp nature of romance in general as breeze through reading, the formula of story is more important than quality of writing (I'm differentiating here... you can write a great story and write not so great, so to speak... and a whole lot of genre fiction is done this way... honestly, IMO, so is much of literary fiction, it's just a different bad). Again, whatever works, I just won't read it. I've only got so my breaths in my body left.
    Aidan of the tavern likes this.
  6. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    I'm the same. I don't have any problem with romantic elements and character romances taking place in the story, as long as that isn't what is driving the main plot.
  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    Well it's huge. And it's only a part of the whole notion of "Writing Love." But I think that discussing the various aspects of romance stories is fitting for the topic.

    That said, yeah, I think the love family members have for one another is a great sort of love in fiction. It's the one I most enjoy, or at least it's tied with the love between friends/comrades.
  8. Russ

    Russ Istar

    The Romance genre is a funny thing. It makes a lot of money, but gets no respect. I have a bit of a perspective on the romance genre and why people think about it that way.

    Firstly let me say some of my good friends make their living writing romance/erotica and I have known a number of very senior people at Harlequin over the years.

    Romance got a bad rap, to some degree because of its success. The books turned over very quickly and the demand was (as is) very high. So they needed to put out a lot of material to keep up with demand. This led to a need to standardize the series and imprints so that a lot of them could be produced in not a lot of time. This made a great deal of romance formulaic, and publishers were quite happy to let aspiring writers know exactly what those formulae were in very strict terms. This lead to a perception that all romances were formulaic and simple.

    Some of them are, and some of them aren't. They still sell like crazy.

    I can actually think of at least one romantic subgenre of another genre. Romantic Suspense is a subgenre of the Thriller/Mystery genre and is doing very well these days.
  9. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    The only romance I've read over the last 5-6 years–and really, ever–has been what is called "m/m fantasy romance," i.e., romance between gay/bi men in a fantasy setting. It's a genre that's taken off compared to what was once available.

    A quote I think I've cited before:

    Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

    –Antoine de Saint-Exupery. (Some begin the quote with, "Life has taught us that....")​

    I include it here because it helps explain two sides of the m/m fantasy romance I've encountered.

    On one side are those stories which really are about the two men forming a relationship, like Ginn Hale's Lord of the White Hell [2 books but really only one story split into half, for sales presumably.] I greatly enjoyed it for its characterization and interesting worldbuilding, but the typical fantasy plot, involving a villain, was extremely threadbare, a veneer really. The two characters who'll form a relationship don't spend much time planning how to defeat this villain, are reactionary only, because they are too busy gazing either within or at one another. The circumstances of the villain's existence are incidental and aren't given much attention by Hale.

    The other side would be a series like Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. For the most part, the two characters gaze outward together, have a shared interest in solving a mystery and defeating whatever foes exist. Even in the first two books, before they are a solid couple, their attentions are greatly focused on the exterior threat.

    Now, the first example really is a romance story, although I do think it's something of a milieu story also. The second example probably shouldn't be characterized as a romance story.

    The second example is interesting for me because it's the sort I'd prefer to read. I'd say that after the first book and a half of the Nightrunners series of books, the characters have basically moved into a state of married love. The question of their being together is a non-question. And as a married couple, they can focus on shared endeavors instead. In the Random Chat thread recently, I'd said that "Bones" Brennan and Seeley Booth were a favorite fictional couple–and I think it's for the same reason. Married love, rather than romantic pursuits. Even in the earlier seasons, when there is some romancing and they haven't yet established a relationship, they often break away from romantic pursuits to focus on a common goal of solving a murder and catching the bad guy. So I wonder if this "married love" is basically like love of a friend/comrade that I generally prefer in my fiction, but with some added romantic elements.
    Heliotrope likes this.
  10. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

    Heh! if you think it's so easy I invite you to try it.
    Russ likes this.
  11. This is an interesting point to make. Aside from love stories/romance stories, I think that writing about an established relationship ("married love") is a different thing altogether.

    The relationship is still evolving, as is any relationship, but it's stable. There's no question over whether the characters will be together because they're already together. Difficulties in the relationship might cause conflict, I guess, but the "how are they going to get together?" thing isn't there. Yeah, I suppose it is similar to the friend/comrade type of love

    Is it me or are there not many stories like this...?

    I suddenly have the urge to read a fantasy story about an elderly married couple roaming the countryside slaying orcs and dragons...
    FifthView likes this.
  12. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    A fellow Indie shared some stats that she put together (on another forum) and it showed Thriller & Suspenseful romances being the highest selling ones. So...here's an idea for you. :D

    Also, @ Miskatonic, there's a lot of crappy books in every genre, unfortunately. And seriously, for everyone who thinks writing believable romances is easy, try it someday. It requires specific elements done carefully, and it takes a lot of study in order to be able to understand it, just like fantasy. All of us have probably read a million fantasy books and know what goes into them--so if a mystery writer decided to write an epic fantasy, there's a lot they would get wrong writing one based on their inexperience with the genre. Same goes for romance, which, btw...is a big deal for humans in general. How many love songs have been written and become huge hits? What drives us to go to the clubs Friday night or to treat cuties with affection? Many of have fallen in love and lived happily ever after. Not to mention if romance didn't exist none of us would be here.

    You guys act like it's a dirty thing lol. It may be "formulaic" but so is epic fantasy and space opera. Genre fiction, as Des said, in general is formulaic. Who cares? We all still read it.
  13. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Marriage stable? HA!

    It's hard work, cookie.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2017
  14. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    Well the universal Romance Story theme song would probably be this:

    --although to be truly accurate, both parties would be singing it to each other simultaneously, heh.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  15. The two main characters in my next book are married, and have a child to look after as well. They aren't 'heroes' in that they save the world; they just try to live the best they can.
  16. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    Which is why I don't binge read genre fiction in the first place. :)
  17. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Fair enough point. :D
  18. Stable as in...the characters are together, and they will remain so. There's no question about what their relationship is.
    FifthView likes this.
  19. Same...

    I think most of what I read would fall under literary fiction? Not 100% sure of the division between the two though.
  20. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    Well, divorce is kinda a thing.

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