Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Discussion: Romance

Romance can play a huge role in books.  It can help the plot along, hinder it, or just be there subtly in the background.  There are people who don't like romance in books.  Either they find it cumbersome, or they are just made uncomfortable by it.  And others prefer it.  I am in the latter category (likely because my life is as dull as cardboard), as long as it's not terrible (I'll get into that) or erotica.

Lately in YA literature, there have been a lot of different tropes popping up that are popular.  And I haven't the faintest idea as to why.  Here are a couple:

  • Teenage Insta-love: Authors, it's not realistic.  Every once in a while I will read something with this and think it's okay.  But usually, if it's teenage insta-love, I'm not interested.  Yes, I like my fantasy to be realistic, shut up.  Okay so there are a few instances that I can handle some unrealistic circumstances of teenage insta-love.  But usually, nothing irks me more.  This is when I generally find it appropriate
    • Souls have been (theoretically) reincarnated in some sort of way and were together in previous lives
    • When they feel strongly to begin with, but wouldn't call it love.  They like each other a lot.  It's more normal.
    • There is also a case-by-case basis where it's hard to say when exactly it seems appropriate.  Am I in the mood for reading something completely unrealistic? Okay it works.  Does it just fit perfectly with the story? Okay it works.  But usually, I'm pretty opposed.
  • Love triangles: contrary to popular opinion, I am not opposed to love triangles.  I don't like them generally because they are usually not written well.  Want to see some love triangle faux pas?  Check out Faye's video here at The Social Potato discussing love triangles (seriously guys, it's really funny).  So what are things that I expect to see in a well written love triangle?
    • A main character that doesn't flip flop back and forth between two love interests.  He/she knows who he/she wants.  But unfortunately someone else also happens to be in love with him/her.
    • Well written love triangles often contain a dense MC that doesn't know someone is in love with them.  It makes it all the more comical.
Now that those are out of the way, what do I personally like to see in a good romance?
  • Well developed relationship between the two love interests. 
    • If it isn't well developed, it can develop over time as the two get to know each other.
  • Characters need to have doubts about each other.  In some form.  No one is perfect!  If they fight once or twice, even better!
  • Love interests should be protective of each other.  If they aren't, why are they even together?
  • The romance can be awesome as a back plot as long as it doesn't take over the story (a great example of this is Incarnate)
  • Or it can be the main thing driving the plot (The Fault in Our Stars)
  • Personally, I am not a fan of erotica
So, those are the types of things that I like when it comes to romance in novels.  What about you?  Do you like romance?  Or are you opposed?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with most of what you're saying here. I hate the insta-love thing, but love to see when a relationship develops. Love triangles don't really bother me as long as it's not just for the sake of having a love triangle. What really bothers me is when publishers market something as being a love triangle and it turns out there's really only one main love interest and a secondary one with sorta feelings that don't super exist. Does that make sense?