Writing Wrongs

February 15, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

So, in honor of Valentine's Day . . .

  1. Love stories? Yes or No?

  2. If yes, "romances" as a genre? Or just, well, stories that have love stories? (Nobody's going to call "Pride & Prejudice" a "romance," right?)

Oh, ho, ho, ho. Letís open the can of worms with this one, shall we? First, why isnít P&P a romance? What else is it? A classic, sure. But what does the plot revolve around? It does many other things, but at its core is the love story or romance, if you will. If you subtracted Elizabeth and Darcyís relationship, you really donít have a story. This smacks of the line of reasoning that goes: well, it canít be romance/mystery/chick lit, because I donít like those. I like this, therefore, it couldnít possibly be that.

Believe it or not, you can actually sink lower on the genre food chain than romance. Try writing YA sometime.

Anyway, my issue isnít so much with people who simply donít like kiss books. I donít like horror, almost never read it. Amazingly, I feel zero need to malign the genre or its authors. Go figure.

As much as I love love stories, I have issues with romance. Most of these issues stem from problems found in all successful commercial fiction genres.

As a reader, I have issues with the insular story world of romance. That being said, I have issues with the insular story world of the cozy mystery.

In one, Mr. Hot Alpha Male CEO can work an eighteen hour day and magically still has ten hours remaining for hot monkey love, never mind the energy. Likewise, in the cozy world, cats sometimes solve mysteries.

I no more believe that Mr. OmigodHOT CEO has an extra four hours per day than cats care enough about humans to interrupt their schedule of eating, napping, sunning themselves, and staring at things that arenít there. Seriously, thatís less plausible than the whole happily ever after if you ask me.

Check out some of these very smart women:

Teach me Tonight: Musings on Romance Fiction from an Academic Perspective

Smart Bitches who Love Trashy Books: pretty self-explanatory, no? Check out the comment threads for posts by Nora Roberts--now thereís one smart, classy woman.

A Natural History of the Romance Novel: I heard Pamela speak at the 2003 RWA National Conference in NYC--to a packed audience. If we didn't give her a standing ovation, we should have.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 9:57 a.m.