K is for Kissing and Romance #atozchallenge

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?


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Lori Carlson says:

    Great post, Clarice! I don’t mind a bit of romance in my science fiction stories… just not full-blown ones and I don’t write many in my own work either. In mysteries and romances, it’s more expected. I don’t read just straight up romances, although I do occasionally enjoy a good historic romance or Gothic romance
    Many Blessings,

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clarice says:

      By straight up romance do you mean contemporary romance? Totally ok not to want full-blown romance in your science fiction. I’m just enjoying bringing some variety to the table as there is a lot of science fiction out there with absolutely no romance in it at all. Heh. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lori Carlson says:

        Yeah, I mean contemp romanace.. not my cup of tea.. I think scifi needs a bit of romance now and again to make it seem real 🙂 Thanks, Clarice!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My favourite genre to read and write is fantasy, but I always want some romantic element woven into the story. I think it helps you connect with the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clarice says:

      Definitely! Lots of people know what romance, or longing, or hope for love feels like, so having some element of that woven through helps with making the characters have more depth and (sometimes) be more sympathetic. Great point and addition!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rian Durant says:

    Great post! I didn’t read romance until about two years ago. Honestly, I also thought I’m just into “more serious” literature. However I somehow ended up with an MM paranormal romance while I was looking for some book in Spanish and from then on this is what I read mostly. It was kind of logical for me to be MM as the first stories I tried when I was at school were MM and I also had yaoi obsession. But yeah, romance is looked down on, but I like it. I also like Murakami but I’d certainly not choose him after a hard day at work…And kissing I find essential anywhere and anytime. Keep writing!
    Rian from https://riandurants.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clarice says:

      Thanks Rian! I like that there’s a reason behind your MM interest. And that you somehow ended up with an MM romance. How did that happen? Heh. Also, I’ve read a bit of Murakami and lots of other “serious” literature as well, but definitely agree that it’s not always what you want to indulge in after a hard day at work.

      Liked by 1 person

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