Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What Makes a Romance?

What am I reading now?  Demon's Heart
(Emily H. Bates)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? 

Young ruffian Rustav is determined to escape his abusive uncle and hated homeland, even if it means braving the demon-infested forest. His escape is halted, however, when a race of legendary beings reveal him to be the country's fabled heir. As the people rally around him, Rustav teeters precariously between raising his people from the dust or destroying them from the inside.

When I first read a request to feature this book on my blog, I thought it might have a romantic element (main plot or subplot). It doesn't, yet--maybe it will in future books. 

But I read everything and still enjoyed this fantasy story.

What makes a book a "Romance"?

•The main plot focusses on the romantic relationships between the main characters. If the book has a romantic sub-plot, the remaining elements in this list are there although it isn't called a romance novel.

•One or both of the main characters have blocks to being able to commit to relationships.

•The characters' personalities clash but opposites attract, and they are drawn to each other.

•It all starts off with a Cute Meet; it could be a memorable, awkward, stressful, or accidental first meeting.

•The thoughts shared with the reader reveal the changing attitudes toward the other person and the relationship possibilities. This one is HUGE! The character helps the reader fall in love with the other person by revealing their own experience of falling in love! 

•The relationship is earned in a step-by-step progression of emotional and physical relationship building.

•The book answers the question--Will they be a couple? Before I ever read the first word of a romance, I know the answer to this question is YES--so this is not the most important element to make something a romance. Instead, the most important part of the romance is the emotion being transferred to the reader through the characters' experiences of falling in love.


Donna K. Weaver said...

I really like that part about how the relationship is earned. Sometimes in books it makes me crazy that they only thing the lead is interested in is how hot the other person is. Nothing about what makes that other person special to them

kbrebes said...

I COMPLETELY agree with Donna. Readers have to understand exactly WHY one character loves another or the reader can't fall in love either. Plus, it's okay for characters to love intriguing and compelling characters who aren't model perfect!

Renae Mackley said...

Ditto on both above comments. Plus I like that you mentioned the emotion the characters feel has to transfer to the reader. Great stuff, Canda.