1. melita0

    melita0 New Member

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    Romance What do you think of romantic novels?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by melita0, Aug 4, 2019.

    Hello! I am Melina from Argentina and this is my first time here.
    I would much appreciate if you could tell me your opinions on romantic novels. I get bombarded with ideas that writing love stories is just for girls to read...that it s a more shallow and light kind of reading and not as deep as other styles or types of stories.
    What do you think?

    Thanks! X
     
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  2. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    Are you asking the personal opinion of romantic novels? If so, I detest then and find them utterly boring. But there are plenty of people who do like them.

    Or are you asking what makes a good /bad romantic novel, then I don't know since that is not my thing.
     
  3. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    On a simply personal level I, like @Necronox above me, have absolutely no interest in them whatsoever. In fact - and I appreciate how utterly snobbish this will sound - I deeply mourn each and every tree that's sacrificed for their sake.

    Oddly, however, I watched The Bridges of Madison County a couple of weeks ago and it's one of the best films I've ever seen, so I'm not that adverse to a little sop now and again.
     
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  4. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure if you mean novels about relationships (like Bridges of Madison County) or something that would be classified a genre Romance.

    I think if you are talking about novels that contain a love story ...in which the central relationship may not end well, or the end is never predictible ...that's a different kind of thing from genre Romance.

    I love a story about lovers and love, but I don't enjoy Romance, and don't read it unless I'm stuck with nothing else to do. I don't enjoy it because of its predictibility. Predictibility is part of what the genre expects. Once the romantic couple is identified (usually really near the start) it's inevitable that they will 'get together' at the end and live either happily ever after, or 'happy for now.' The story is all about how the romance develops and how the characters overcome the obstacles to it. Deviation from that plotline would disappoint somebody who bought the book as a Romance.

    I've read a few Romances that were quite engaging, to be honest, but that's usually down to the author being an exceptionally good writer when it comes to creating settings, rounded characters and believable dilemmas. In general, however, I avoid Romance as a genre. In my opinion, love can take many forms and relationships can have many different outcomes. I like stories that deal with all these possibilities, including—but not limited to—endings that are 'happy ever after' or 'happy for now.'
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  5. melita0

    melita0 New Member

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    M

    More like a personal opinion! Thanks for that!
     
  6. melita0

    melita0 New Member

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    Yes that s definitely a good point. Author s magic touch is everything about it.
    Thanks for your opinion!
     
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  7. Cephus

    Cephus Active Member

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    Personally, I have no interest in them whatsoever. I don't mind well-done romantic sub-plots in other genres, but far too many that I see just aren't well-done. They're just a way to fill pages.
     
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  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Some are fun, others annoying; some are enjoyable, and others atrocious. When written well, by a good author, with strong characters, I enjoy them. Unfortunately the romance novels I enjoy are in the minority of the romance novels I've read.
     
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  9. RobinLC

    RobinLC Active Member

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    I read them often. It's what I prefer. Though paranormal romance is more my style. I think if well done, they are engaging and fun. Unfortunately, the self publish industry has created many authors that have tried their hand at romance and flooded the market with bad "romance" books. These have little substance and should be in the erotica section. Not that I don't like a panty ripper scene a time or two, but when the book is entirely about sex with no character development and little theme and plot, then it's just not something that should be published under romance.
     
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Spitting .45 caliber grammar.... Contributor

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    Not much.
     
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  11. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    If we're talking genre Romance (happily ever after guaranteed), they're what I almost exclusively read and write so it's pretty obvious I think they're quite nifty. I think that love is infinite in its permutations, and I can never have enough stories where people carve out a safe place for themselves in this crazy world to support and love each other. I especially like stories where platonic and familial love is part of the journey as well, in regards to side characters and relationships.

    It's for sure that quality can vary, and I'm not really a fan of insta-love; but give me a rich, character driven storyline of two people finding their way to being each other's better half and becoming better versions of themselves along the way, and I'm sold. Load up my Amazon cart, y'all, you can have all my dollars.

    Media that is primarily created by and for women has traditionally been often seen as less worthy, and I would advise you not to fall into the trap of believing that bullshit.
     
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  12. Laughing Rabbit

    Laughing Rabbit Active Member

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    I dislike the romance genre and will not read it (there were some western romance books I read when I was younger, they got old fast with their predictability and forced romance plots so I stopped reading them). Unfortunately it seems to permeate many other genres and it drives me crazy. Two people on an adventure or trying time together are almost guaranteed to be a couple by the end of the book, especially action/adventure and science fiction (my preferred genre). Love triangles are usually resolved by one of the people dying (heroic sacrifice) so someone doesn't have to make a choice. True, deep friendships are very rarely explored in place of forced romantic relationships. Also, true romance or true, real love is rarely explored in these out-of-genre romances in favor of "oh, he saved my life, it's true love!" sort of shallowness. I haven't read an original book in years because of this problem (not based on well known characters or tv shows/movies). I've been sticking to Doctor Who novels for a while now, but unfortunately romance snuck its way into that series and so there are some books with certain characters I will not purchase because there is guaranteed to be some sort of 'love' sickness in it.
     
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  13. GrJs

    GrJs Active Member

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    They can be alright, funny even but that's a rare case. The worst thing I've found that just really pisses me off is the "You should have told me" moments when the characters bad background comes to get them and they've known their partner for like two weeks but are madly in forever love with each other from spotting the other across the room.

    First, no, the person doesn't have to tell you shit about their past, especially if it's a bad thing. It's not the SO's business. The information the person gives up about their past is at the discretion of that person.

    Second, you have to be some kind of entitled bitch (applies to all genders) to demand someone tell you the ins and outs of their life days after meeting you.

    Another thing that's annoying is that the characters meet and then are immediately in a relationship. Like, you've known each other for two hours, you know nothing about the person, yet you think you're gonna last forever. You think you love that person. The time span is one that does not lend itself to actual love.

    If it was like, a slow burn across multiple books where the characters spent time getting to know each other and then, on the very last page, of the very last book had their first kiss. That's a true romance.

    A romance novel is only not shit if either the characters already have history that allows them the ability to have a relationship together, or they spend a long time dancing around each other and getting to know each other before they decide they're gonna devote their entire life to the person.

    Also, the characters in romance novels are often super creepy, sometimes abusive, other times (vampires) pedophiles, stalkers, generally an asshole or have no personality.

    The genre, as far as I've experienced it, isn't that great.
     
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  14. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Laurin Kelly - You were one of the writers I had in mind when I wrote this, above :
    Under The Knife is still one of my favourite books. Yes, the Romance itself was predictible, to an extent. But nothing else was predictible at all, and the ending created an excellent story double ...it both surprised AND pleased me. I did one of those little air fist punches and said YES out loud when the ending finally came.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  15. Lawless

    Lawless Active Member

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    I can totally enjoy a good love story, but as concerns "romance" as novel genre, someone explained to me some time ago that it means that there's supposed to be a protagonist and an antagonist who compete to get the girl and by the end the protagonist gets the girl – that's what readers expect and if it's anything else then it's not romance.

    If that definition is true then it can without doubt be described as shallow and light. It would be the equivalent of a soap opera for women which they like to have flowing through their brains on a regular basis but have no reason to reflect upon seriously of to remember for a long time.

    I have read one novel of the romance genre in my life and I didn't finish it. The actual romantic content was quite interesting, but some other things got too silly.

    That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with writing light and shallow content if that's what many people enjoy.
     
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  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Yeah, but the antagonist doesn't have to be a person, it could be literally anything that's keeping your protag. from romance. Plus, if you replace the word "girl" with "goal" then you're not only describing romances, but, you know, most stories, from Beowulf up to and including The Lord of the Rings.
     
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  17. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Beautiful novel; one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read. Loved it, and I have a general hatred of most novels. All genres have gems I just happen to stumble luckily into this one thanks to a friend recommending it. I also greatly enjoyed Shogun which had a strong romantic element to it.

    I think when people hear Romance the usual image forms (probably unfairly as I imagine there are far more great romance novels out there). In reality if the piece is well written it will hit home.

    Note: Don’t settle for the damn awful film of CCM! Complete travesty!
     
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  18. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Spitting .45 caliber grammar.... Contributor

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    Nicholas Cage, right? He's one of our most treasured actors!
     
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  19. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Senior Member

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    Hello friend. :superhello:

    Unfortunately, I can't give you an opinion about romance since it isn't the genre I read, but I do like a story with interesting relationships. My guilty pleasure is tragic stories so yeah, I will not expect this kind of tales to be happy after. :superwink:
     
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  20. marshipan

    marshipan Senior Member

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    I like romance a lot. I do think they are light and shallow. That's one reason I like them. Romance is fun! I love the sexual tension, the funny moments, the drama... it makes me feel happy. I think the aim of romance novels is different than literary works and its a little unfair to compare them. There are different skills being put to use when creating literary works compared to romance.

    There are A LOT of romance books though. Which means a lot of bad ones. Also, lots of good ones. I don't mind. I'm usually pretty good at not wasting much time on what I consider bad ones.
     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    For me I like well written books with interesting plots, I don't like formulaic dross, regardless of the genre ... well written, interesting romance (like Laurin's under the knife), bring it on. Formulaic girl meets two boys which will she choose? complete with two dimensional characters straight from the stereotype mine yawn zzz thunk
     
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  22. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    The only true definition of the Romance genre I am aware of is from the RWA (Romance Writers of America) is that the store must have a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending (in other words, Happily Ever After or Happy For Now).

    It absolutely does not have to involve a love triangle - I hate them personally, and have no problem finding tons of Romance novels that don't utilize that trope.
     
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  23. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Aw, you are so sweet! All those years of watching Top Chef really paid of in the execution, I think.
     
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  24. suddenly BANSHEES

    suddenly BANSHEES Senior Member

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    I used to turn my nose up at the romance genre as a whole because it was "shallow" and I thought books were only worth reading if they had some kind of Deep And Meaningful Message. And then I grew up and got over myself :p

    For real though, I do enjoy them, though sometimes not for the reasons I think the author intended. I like the ones that are gung-ho on how campy they are - the niche subgenres of romance novels, like the classic "woman who owns a bakery/cafe who also solves crimes for some reason." Why is something that specific such a staple of the romance genre? Who knows! Give me more.

    But romance is also one of the genres where the characters can really make or break the story. A poorly written romance novel will just present the protagonist and her love interest as some kind of fantasy, some kind of Perfect Man/Woman as opposed to a human person with flaws and quirks. There's also a lot of Alpha-Male BS where the protagonists' "perfect man" is possessive and aggressive, who demeans the protagonist or treats her like some helpless idiot who needs a Big Strong Man to take care of her, and it's framed as something desirable and romantic. (Lookin' at you, 50 Shades.)

    Romance is one of my guilty pleasures, and what I write almost exclusively. I'm a big sap and I'm not afraid to admit it. Real life is heavy and dreary enough as it is, sometimes it's nice to just curl up with something light 'n' fluffy.
     
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  25. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Well shucks, you and @jannert are certainly making my day today. :p
     
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