I know the stigma associated with the genre. But I read and write romance. You know, the one genre that depicts stories that a vast majority of people actually experience…
Okay. I’m not saying everyone meets “the one.” (And for the record, I don’t believe in “the one,” but I do believe in good timing.) I am saying that a lot of people fall in love.
That is not to say that everyone experiences romantic love or even wants to, but a lot of people do. That’s why there’s a whole genre devoted to it, and why it’s the subplot in like every other genre.
I’ve been writing a lot of romance lately, and I even shared about my romance novel outline. But today, I thought I would share why I read and write it, and how I was basically destined to do it.I know the stigma associated with the genre. But I read and write romance. You know, the one genre that depicts stories that a vast majority of people actually experience... Click To Tweet
Romance Is My Destiny
Here’s a fun story.
My parents picked a first name for me. It’s not Marisa. It took them nearly the entirety of my mother’s pregnancy to come up with said name.
Then, on the date of my scheduled C-section, they drove to the hospital, content in their choice to not give me a middle name. After all, it took too long for them to come up with the first name, and they were tired of arguing about it.
The birth went as planned, and my dad left the delivery room to update family in the waiting area. While he was gone, my mom told the nurse filling out my birth certificate how to spell the first name. And then when the nurse asked for the middle name, my mom told her Marisa.
Where did that name come from?
Well. You see. My mother had been reading a romance novel featuring a Mexican heroine named Marisa. And after having her body cut open, organs placed on a table, and a baby removed, my mom decided she had earned the right to make Marisa my middle name.
When my father came back in the room, my mom, still a bit high on drugs, told him about her clandestine titling. And my dad said, “Oh. I like that name. Let’s call her that.”
So yeah. Not a ton of thought went into my name. (I’m also a mistake baby, so there’s that.)
Am I saying that naming your kid after a romance novel character means they will write romance? No.
But I’m also not not saying that.
Why I Read and Write Romance
There are a lot of reasons to read and write romance. I mean, especially if you enjoy the genre. But here are some reasons specifically why I read and write romance.
001: The squee factor.
Okay. So. You know when you’re reading about people falling in love and you can’t help but make that “squee” sound? You know, the really high-pitched almost squeal?
I love that. I love reading a few chapters of build up and getting to the place where the two characters fall in love because they deserve it.
Now, that isn’t to say that sometimes some squee moments fall flat. But that’s not necessarily a problem. Generally, that just means I’ve been reading the wrong books. When it comes to reading romance, you have to find a style and subgenre that works for you.
That’s how you get your squee.
002: Smaller problems are harder to solve.
As a writer, I like setting up character problems. It can feel almost impossible to solve them, and sometimes I just write myself into a corner.
When it comes to solving the problems between two people, it’s always harder. The bigger the issue in fiction, the easier and more clear the answer. And I would argue the less your audience is invested.
Take a look at your favorite stories. What’s the central conflict? Or, for example, take a look at the Marvel movies. Generally speaking, the fan favorites are the ones where a character is solving their own problems or learning about themselves, not the stories where the entire fate of the universe is on the shoulders of one character.
All that is to say that I have a lot of fun writing miscommunications between two people or two people coming together to solve misconceptions that have been thrust upon them by others.
003: I like optimism and hope.
I have to believe that there is a happily ever after out there for everyone. Or at least a happily for now.
Maybe it’s silly, but I don’t care. I like the optimism of it.
I also like how mundane it truly is. The best happily ever afters are two people agreeing to just live their lives together. Sure, some romance novels feature billionaires that solve all the money problems the other character has. But for me, I like stories with two regular people.
004: I laugh out loud.
Give me a story with two witty characters just flirting RELENTLESSLY. I love it.
It’s been a long, long time since I was single, but on occasion, when I pour Mr. Marisa a drink, he’ll wax poetic about the day we met.
I was bartending, and he sat at the bar, and he thought I was funny. I may or may not have flirted with him.
A girl needs to earn her tips, after all.
But I love the cadence of witty conversation. And when that conversation can accompany funny moments where two characters are trying to play it cool but also falling on each other or spilling drinks, or just not being cool at all…
It’s the best.Give me a story with two witty characters just flirting RELENTLESSLY. I love it. Click To Tweet
005: Banter is my love language.
Speaking of witty conversation…
I love banter. I know it’s almost cliche at this point with how popular it’s gotten in TV shows and movies, but banter is fun.
Also, when a heroine can tease the hero and make him blush, well. That’s absolutely the best.
Just imagine yourself in that scenario. Imagine being as witty and clever with your banter as the character in a novel that has the benefit of several drafts and edits. Oh, wouldn’t it be amazing if we were all that great at talking!
006: The world needs more happy endings.
Okay. Not to be too philosophical here, but like. Let’s get happy, gang.
I understand the value of a tragedy or an ambiguous ending, and sometimes, I even enjoy them. But for the most part, I need to know that everything is going to work out, no matter how impossible it may seem in the middle of the conflict.
And as a writer, I need to push myself to get to that happy ending, even if I’ve made the conflict so tangled that it might even feel impossible.
Do You Read and Write Romance?
Tell me about how you got into romance. Do you have a specific subgenre that you prefer to read or write? What’s your favorite thing about reading romance? When you write romance, how do you get out of tangled conflicts?