We’re onto Kissing and Roooomance! Oooooo! A and Z are sitting in the tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Ok, not quite what I mean, but I couldn’t resist. So, why am I talking about kissing and romance? Kissing and romance isn’t a writing thing. Well, they kind of are a writing thing.
Romance as a genre is often looked down on. However, as a plot element, romance (and kissing) is in a lot more stories than you’d think based on the criticism of the genre. Science fiction and fantasy often have romantic elements, and even literary novels get in on the romantic parade. Whether these romantic plot lines end in a happily ever after, or stay in the hot and steamy sexy-times area, or just fall apart because it’s all in the past, or go to someplace very scary and not particularly romantic, it’s something that pops up everywhere.
Why do I care about romance? Well, a couple years ago, I offered to beta read a novel for a friend of mine, but she mentioned that it was a historical romance. I hadn’t read very much romance, and really hadn’t read any historical romance at all. My friend started me off with a list of romance novels, and I read almost solely romance novels for most of the rest of the year. I learned what worked, what didn’t, and specifically what I enjoyed most from romantic plots. (Hint, I like nerdy and strong heroines who don’t back down in the face of society and patriarchy.)
While romance as a genre is full of tropes and specific plot set ups, the year of reading turned out to be an amazing exercise in embracing and enjoying stories that focus down on the individual. And because of reading so much of it, I found myself looking forward to well thought out romance subplots in my science fiction and fantasy. They are there, written by both men and women, and they can be fantastic. And this is why I’m writing a space opera with kissing. (Also pretty much all of my books will probably have kissing since I like my characters to have something to distract them.)
Do you look for romance in your stories or favorite reads? If you read romance, do you have a favorite type of story?