Love makes the world go round – it’s an old adage but is alive and well in romance novels around the globe.
Historically, romance writing has been in existence since classical times. It is thought the 1740 novel, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson to be one of the earliest true romance novels. The narrative relates a courtship told entirely by the female protagonist. A century later, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice epitomized the genre and in many ways launched the genre we know so well today.
Modern romance novels are divided into multiple genres :
Contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, time-travel, inspirational, multicultural and erotic.
These in turn are divided into sub-genres: (and more appear annually)
Adventure, African-American, category, chick-lit, dark fantasy, erotica, futuristic, gothic, interracial, LGBT, mainstream, menage a trois, military, M/M, multi-cultural, mystery/thriller, Regency, rock n’ roll, single title, sweet, traditional, urban fantasy, World War II-era, Yaoi and young adult.
The sheer choice available to authors within this one genre is mind boggling. No matter your preferred genre, you can adapt it to be included into a ‘romance’ genre. Given this free range of setting and era; as long as you have boy meets girl as the theme, your narrative can be included under either one or more sub categories.
There are still the corset rippers, as they used to be called, but now a days reader choice is much wider. For an author, the flexibility in this one genre, allows for a more personal viewpoint through their own favored format and ‘type’ of writing. The idea of romance is a personal one, affected by our own experiences and preference.
In my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch, my protagonist, Evan, had to abide to laws forbidding daily contact with his loved one, while my novel, The Twesome Loop followed my female protagonists in finding love through reincarnation and my novella, The Rython Kingdom fantasy dealt with a troubadour falling for a good sorceress. When I was investigating branding, it became clear my novels all have a ‘love’ based theme, although not always romantic love.
Have you written romance?
Which genre or sub-genre did it fall into?
How do you view romance novels?