Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Monday, January 04, 2016

give it a try-- it's a new year ;)

This is an interesting article and says a lot of what I feel about writing romance novels. I know it's not respected by many people and yes, as the author of this piece said, most often denigrated by those who have never read a romance novel.

Now I have friends who had never read one, gave it a try and found out it wasn't what they expected and liked them. I have friends who gave the genre a try, but it still wasn't for them. At least they gave it a try.

The best romance novels are not about the sex. (That's erotica for those who didn't know). Romance novels are about relationships-- yes, the primary relationship is usually the sexual sort of love between two adults. Sex though won't be in all of these books. Plus, the relationship issues go way beyond that one to all the things that either bring a couple together or tear them apart. Life and romance novels aren't that simple.

"Romance encompasses fantasy, suspense, comedy, history, mystery, coming-of-age, and crime. The only difference between romance and just about any other kind of fiction is the promise of an emotionally satisfying ending. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t think readers are lazy or stupid because they want to feel uplifted at the end of a book."       From the article above.
Well, literary critics do think that's vapid, and the attitude of bleakness has spread into the movies. I cannot count the times I've tried to find a film to watch that would make me feel good when it was over. Often I had to return to classics to find an uplifting ending, as the 'make me feel bad' mantra seems a factor in films too. This is crazy. Isn't reading the newspaper enough to satisfy that need???

My latest book has gotten some nice reviews. I particularly liked this one for what the reviewer said at the end. 
"You really need to read all four books. Everyone seems to be in dire need of something or someone. Also unrequited love along the way. which is remedied along the way. The author is so interesting about the information she gives. If you like good historical fiction with a little romance thrown in, you will like Raine Trueax books."
 You see, I think of my books as novels as much as romances. And when she said a little romance thrown in, I think she was saying the same thing :). I like the romance part. I like writing about people falling in love and working against anything standing in their way. I think it's uplifting to spend my days thinking of that instead of all the ways a life can go wrong.

As the article said, there are dreary and boring romance novels. There are a few writers who turn their books out by formula, but you can avoid those by reading the sample chapter and blurb. There are also a lot of very interesting romances out there; and just because they weren't written in the early 1800s, as Jane Austen's romances were, doesn't mean they won't someday be regarded as classics.


Linda Kay said...

From a fellow Romance writer...nice job with this. I almost hate to list my books in the Romance category, as it has a certain connotation among folks. Maybe I'll try to write a sci-fi or maybe a paranormal?

Rain Trueax said...

Often, it is both. If you write historical romance, Linda, hope you are in Facebook's Pioneer Hearts. It really is a great place to connect with writer and readers. Questions are posed, contests created, and friendships made. It really made a difference for me. Of course, my contemporaries, which I am about to emphasize a little more (getting them more organized and making clearer their series aspect), don't fit there and don't really fit in some of the Facebook sites that are more erotica oriented-- or appear that way based on the ads.

Tabor said...

I used to be a big reader of romance novels. I really loved them and was a bit addicted and that is why I guess I have moved on. Some like romance others science fiction and I am now into mysteries. Addicted I am. I am so glad you got such a good review and I hope it reaches all of those who love this genre. YOu do put a lot of honest effort into them!

Rain Trueax said...

Cozy mysteries seem to attract a lot of women, Tabor. I never liked mysteries until Jim Chee and then Longmire but each of them are about nature as well as Native American cultures; so they go beyond a mystery. I go in spurts with what I read. I went through a period of reading more romances, then reading none and all non-fiction. Now I read a few romances but mostly they are short ones given my length of time for pleasure reading. They have changed from the 80s and 90s.

ellen kirkendall said...

I did enjoy romances at one point, but these days as an older lady and a lesbian in a long standing relationship I find they don't suit as well as they did. Luckily there is something for everyone in written and filmed entertainment. I think any kind of well produced content should do well with the right audience.

Rain Trueax said...

Now days they do have romances that are gay couples. I though also have gone in cycles for what I enjoy. I went a long time with reading no romances and only non-fiction. Now I read some and my only non-fiction is research oriented. My favorite romances involve communities, not just a couple. I also like it when they have suspense and some other aspect to explore. The one thing I won't read is the kind of fiction that only tears at human dignity and there is plenty out there like that. I also want a happy ending. I read the newspaper for the others...

Thanks for commenting