Why write romance?

It's all about the happy ending. Romance as a genre of fiction is a very uplifting one. Everyone wants to fall in love, live with their loved one and keep that special love their whole lives, don't they? Even men. And that "happy ending" is not really an ending at all. It's the beginning of the rest of their lives. The beginning of many happy years together. We all know the divorce rate is high, but despite that bleak reality, we as humans need to have hope. We need to believe the ideal is possible. And even if a person's life is depressing, for the time they're reading a romance they again hold that hope and belief close to their heart. Romance is about an ideal we all want--unconditional love and acceptance.

This is the reason I don't understand why romance is looked down upon by certain types of people. Mostly I think this happens because they don't understand romance. There are good and bad books in every genre and you can't judge the whole of any genre by the bad books. Look at the top-selling, award-winning books of that type if you want to understand the appeal of it. Some people say romance is formulaic. Guess what, all popular fiction and most movies (especially top-grossing ones) are formulaic. Most of them follow the three act play structure, an ancient method of storytelling. The only difference is, in a romance, the main journey is emotional, the development of a relationship against all odds.

Many movies out today are romances at heart. Not just romantic comedies. But many big name, award-winning movies like Walk the Line and Memoirs of a Geisha have romance and enduring love at their heart. I love discovering movies like this.

In addition, romance is empowering to women. All women deserve to be treated well by the men in our lives. We deserve respect and love. We deserve to have our dreams come true. We deserve our own "happy endings."

4 comments:

corporatewhore said...

i think the reasoning for this is simple, often the picture is too rosy, romance such as walk the line and memoirs of a geysha show the hard life, i.e that romance is perfect and sometimes not everything is as it is portrayed in your average prince charming way

Vonda said...

That's a good point. I'm going to put my response in today's main blog.

Terry Spear said...

I read to be entertained. I've seen many of the movies you've mentioned and loved them. You're right, Vonda. They're fiction. Some are based on truth. Many are not. But at the core of a romance story is the emotional trials a man and woman go through to have that special relationship. Granted, some romance stories aren't great. The same with some mainstream fiction stories. Same with Young Adults. Same with magazine stories. Should I lump all magazines together as unworthy because I've read a lot of lousy stories in them? I've read a lot of good ones too.

I didn't used to read romances, but when I began to write them, I fell in love with them. I love seeing the hero and heroine struggling to overcome all the difficulties and coming together at the end. I particularly love stories that add another element: paranormal, suspense, historical, rather than just the sweet comical romance.

In almost every story I see at the movies, guess what? There's a romance, even if it's not the total plot of the story.

In a world where we have so much strife, I want to see HEA. :)

Vonda said...

You have some wonderful insights, Terry! I agree with you on each point you made.