This post is for the February 2012 edition of the Teens Can Write Too! blog chain. This month’s prompt was:
“What are your thoughts on romance for your typical genre? Do you tend to have a little, a lot, or none at all?”
Undoubtedly, my typical and favorite genre in both reading and writing is fantasy/sci-fi and its various derivatives, including but not limited to dystopian, steampunk, paranormal, epic fantasy, and macabre. While it is most certainly possible for these types of storylines to stand on their own merits, I always find them most enjoyable when there’s an element of romance lurking somewhere in the thick of the plot.
In reading these types of stories, I find that a touch of romance in the background–or even a broad brush of it in the foreground–adds that much-needed sense of humanity to the outlandish plot, particularly in YA. Even if a group of teenagers gets involved in a supernatural event of some sort, are they honestly expected to drop all hormones immediately and for all time? Let’s face it–it’s not going to happen. My taste for a bit of romance in reading is also fed by my own secret inner idealist (or hopeless romantic). This is the girl who doesn’t like animated Disney films. And you thought I was soulless!
Writing romance, however, is a whole other evil empire to be overthrown. Reading about love is easy–all you do is soak in someone else’s words. When one has no experience in these matters, as I do as of the posting date, it is decidedly difficult to write about it oneself. How are you expected to write about that fabled Big Kiss when, to yourself, it reminds just that–a myth? It’s like the Forever Alone guy handing out relationship advice. On the other hand, if I could only write just what I know, I would only be writing stories about single high schoolers who are told by their elders that their “intelligence is intimidating” but are probably just awkward weirdos.
So basically what I’m getting at is that the best I can do when writing romance is to take all I’ve read, watched, and heard from others, put them together in a big mental jumble, and use modified versions of the pieces that work best with the rest of the story. In a few years, I’ll probably read back the so-called romantic moments I write now and spray some beverage across the room from laughter.
The one thing I am confident about when writing romance is cliche avoidance. Love triangles featuring two badass guys and a weak-minded central female character have no place in my story, and neither do trouble-free InstaLUV tales. Love polygons of other sorts are acceptable, and two characters can fall in love quickly as long as there’s some amount of conflict later on. I’m chill with it as long as vampires and werewolves don’t both get involved.
Oh no! A Twilight reference! Everyone run for cover before she starts ranting!
All right, I can take a hint, you guys. Why don’t you check out the rest of the blog chain instead?
February 5– http://noveljourneys.wordpress.com –Novel Journeys
February 6– http://lilyjenness.blogspot.com –Lily’s Notes in the Margins
February 7– http://kirstenwrites.wordpress.com –Kirsten Writes!
February 8– http://correctingpenswelcome.wordpress.com — Comfy Sweaters, Writing and Fish
February 9– http://delorfinde.wordpress.com –A Farewell to Sanity
February 10– http://thewordasylum.wordpress.com –The Word Asylum
February 11– http://weirdalocity.wordpress.com –From My Head
February 12– http://estherstar1996.wordpress.com –Esther Victoria1996
February 13– http://alohathemuse.wordpress.com –Embracing Insanity
February 14– http://greatlakessocialist.wordpress.com –Red Herring Online
February 15– http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com –Go Teen Writers (Honorary Participant)
February 16– http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com –This Page Intentionally Left Blank
February 17– http://oyeahwrite.wordpress.com –Oh Yeah, Write!
February 18–http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com –The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
February 19– http://herestous.wordpress.com –Here’s To Us
February 20– http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com –Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)