On Writing Romance: Myths and More

On Writing Romance: Myths and More

Romantic Myths Debunked!

I found this article recently by Anne Gracie: Romantic Myths.

I should admit right now that reading this article felt like I had just made some sort of breakthrough with my psychologist.

THANK YOU, ANNE GRACIE, THANK YOU.

Why so important? I hope you read for yourself, but I’ll summarize here the most relief-worthy moments of the piece:

  • “Romance is about how two people overcome obstacles to make a relationship work. In murder mysteries a detective overcomes difficulties to unveil a murderer. In both genres, the focus is on the journey — not the end result. Crime novels are whodunnits, romances are how-happened-it. “
  • “In every genre, there are novels that are clichéd and poorly written, and some books that are wonderfully written with unforgettable characters and prose that sings. Romance is no different. It’s a huge genre, with an enormous range and variety. Don’t judge a whole genre by a few books.”
  • “To quote Robertson Davies, ‘It is dangerous to condemn stories as junk which satisfy the deep hunger of millions of people. These books are not literary art, but a great deal of what is acclaimed as literary art in our time offers no comfort or fulfillment to anybody.”

Although I am proud of what I do, there still exists the secret fear that newcomers to my life will sneer and liken it to smut or sub-par writing attempts unworthy of time or consideration. While I don’t need the approval of acquaintances or strangers, I feel that writing romance exposes authors to a wider possibility of critique or scorn.

People, for some reason, feel that it’s okay to comment negatively on this profession as opposed to others. I can’t think of many other jobs where relative strangers tend to write off or otherwise demean the profession so quickly. I’ve definitely experienced this in my career, and I know I will continue to face it.

Luckily, the response is usually positive. But the negative experiences have left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, cause me to cringe in advance before those words “Oh, what do you write?” even come around.

I’m working on it. I think most of us are.

And finally, the best takeaway from this article….”There’s nothing pathetic about wanting to read books that celebrate love. There’s nothing dumb about reading books that makes you feel good at the end.”

Read Anne Gracie’s article, Romantic Myths, and pass it on to other romance authors who struggle with debunking  or defending themselves against these myths.

 

Image credit: http://www.fantasy-illustration.com/science_fiction/

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