Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Want Romance?

My personal preference is to read and write novels with some sort of romantic element. Romance doesn't necessarily need to be the main focus, but I want it in there somewhere. Its presence seems to round out a novel, offering a certain warmth which otherwise is lacking.

Still, if I really enjoy an author's writing style, I'll veer from my usual preference. Way too many years ago, back in high school, I got hooked on Dick Francis novels, though at the time I was mainly into Gothic romances. His books were an exception, since I enjoyed his humorous way with words.

It appears that many other authors and film makers have similar tastes as mine. Even in the most suspenseful plots, romance seems to pop up somewhere along the line. I'm guessing that's one reason why Gone Girl has done so well in book and film sales. 

Find these and more of Morgan Mandel's books at
http://www.amazon.com/author/morganmandel
What about you? Does it matter to you whether or not romance is included in a novel?


Experience the diversity and versatility of Morgan Mandel. Romantic Comedies: Her Handyman, its sequel, A Perfect Angelstandalone reality show romance; Girl of My Dreams.  Thriller: Forever Young: Blessing or Curse,its sequel: the Blessing or Curse CollectionRomantic suspense: Killer CareerMystery:Two Wrongs. Short  and Sweet   Romance: Christmas   Carol.  Twitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com    Morgan Does Chick Lit.Com.

23 comments :

  1. I was also hooked on Dick Francis' books in high school :-)

    But I'm the opposite when it comes to romance in books - I don't enjoy it at all and deliberately choose books that appear to have no romantic elements. What I do like are stories about strong platonic friendships as I find this a fascinating relationship dynamic with so many angles to explore (and this is a theme that always features in my books).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strong platonic friendships works as well. Seems that some sort of human interaction or bonding can make a reader emphatic toward book characters.

      Delete
  2. If the characters are fully realized, there will be some element of love of some kind, even if not always romance. I do prefer the dynamism that an element of romance introduces into a thriller or action-adventure novel. In nearly all of my own thrillers, a romantic thread is part of the story, but it is not always what most would regard as "romance." In the case of Web Games, the romance is what does not happen rather than what does.

    --Larry Constantine (pen name, Lior Samson)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's fun is the push and pull of sexual attraction, whether or not it goes further.

      Delete
  3. Sexual attraction is one of those very basic, near universal themes - it's something the majority of readers can relate to. The exact quality of that attraction, and our interest in reading about it, varies over the years, and from one person to another. Some like it sweet, some like it hot. Like you, I stared out with the gothic romance genre - or what I (who had yet to be introduced to the word "genre") called, "The girl running away from the house books." Think about it - that particular cover art DEFINES the genre, really, doesn't it? I was never much into treacly romance. I went from gothic to "bodice ripper." Pirates, kidnapped maidens sold into harems to become queens... whatever. As I matured, I wanted more subtly nuanced romance, and kind of preferred it NOT be the central theme - just an undercurrent interwoven with the plot, deepening the characterization. Making me care more about the characters, though not necessarily the romance. Old married couples became more interesting to me than they would have been, in my teens.

    One reason I never much enjoyed Tom Clancy's books, though - and I had an opportunity to tell him this (and he admitted it was true) - is that he had no clue how to write believable women characters or romance. He'd sort of throw them in there as perfunctory window dressing, but they weren't very deep or real. (I'm sure someone worked very hard to make them real when adapted to the screen, knowing that without them, it'd be harder to sell his movies as date night potential.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, those Gothic houses were always spooky, and the innocent housekeeper or new wife always had their hands full, sometimes just to stay alive!

      Delete
  4. While I do love romance in my stories, it's not by the book every time. In some, I call the relationships a "a love story," which to me takes away the boy meets girl, etc. formula and allows more freedom to write. I like the freedom an independent publisher gives the author in contrast to a traditional romance publisher which has a definite 1-2-3 plan.
    I'm reading a novel now that seems to be a man's book--the rise and fall of a young Alaskan Indian, from a good simple life to decades of alcoholism...see, it's a dreary book, but I can't stop reading it. Still, his downhill problems began when the girl he wrote to while in WWII had never received his letters and had married his brother. (the brother went for the mail every day and destroyed the letters so his wife wouldn't see them.) See? A failed romance became the impetus for the young Native American to almost destroy himself. (Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't--I'm not finished yet. It is a long book).
    Good topic, Morgan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a good book, Celia. I do like some intrigue in a romance at times also. Depends on the author.

      Delete
  5. Isn't Gone Girl an anti-romance? I don't mind romance as a layer. I read Barbara Cartland and historic bodice busters as a teenager. I think the tension comes from the not getting, the breath before the kiss, the yearning. Romance is certainly one of the top selling genres, as is erotica. If you are in it for the money, this genre is the best bet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, I was in the Barbara Cartland phase for a while and devoured all her books about the innocent young women and the often Cinderella aspect. And, as you mention, sexual tension makes a romance great.

      Delete
  6. When it comes to writing romantic interludes in my stuff, I'm as uncomfortable as a 14 year old at a junior high dance (do they still do those things?) ... I know I should do something ... but I don't know what. It probably shows in the end result.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I write sweet romances, so I don't linger on the how tos, and skim over that part. I write for those who know how to and don't need details and lessons. lol

      Delete
  7. Whether it's TV, Movies or Books, there is usually at least a romantic subplot. I think people expect them for the most part. And if there isn't a chance for love, what is the point? Every story is a love story or there is no story even if that love isn't romance.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, love does make the world go round, after all, Susan!

    ReplyDelete
  9. All my books have some element of romance. I have written erotica, and that is challenging. My series has a couple who are a couple. They will remain that way and did not have the push and pull of their relationship after the first book. I find that some romantic suspense relies on that as a formula, which I don't like. Fun post, Morgan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even without the push and pull of a book couple's relationship, I think it's reassuring to have the couple included, and adds a certain warmth to the read.

      Delete
  10. My protagonist in the Penny Summers mystery series has been in what she felt was love with the handsome boyfriend of the dead student (in the first book, "Katelyn's Killer") but in the third book (WiP), on the evening they plan to exchange engagement rings, the boyfriend meets an old love that he's never gotten over. Now Penny can get back to her garden-designing and sleuthing. She hasn't mentioned anything lately about the wealthy new client at her PR day job, but I suspect they'll have something going by the end of the book!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great way to keep romance alive, by breaking off one and showing the possibility of another. Many times in TV shows once the couple gets together and marries, unless the writers can come up with great ideas, the show loses its luster.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Romance is acceptable (to me) as part of a story, not the main thrust and not required to make the story enjoyable. I agree with Elle that strong platonic relationships are often more interesting. Depth of character and powerful storylines rate higher on my list of likes than boy/girl stuff, which lends itself to more superficial (in my opinion) tales. Dick Francis, by the way, is one of my favorite writers, along with Tony Hillerman.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not the only Dick Francis fan. It's a shame we've lost him. And, yes, I'll read a book without romance if the author is very skilled and can distract me into following a story. However, I'm more often happy to see a romance tucked in there somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I, too, love Dick Francis, and there ARE elements of romance in some of his books. At the very least, there are relationships, and for me, that's what it's about, whether they're "romantic" or not. I write romantic suspense and mysteries, but to me, they're all "Mysteries With Relationships."

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's a good way of putting it, Terry. Mysteries with relationships. There could very well be some romantic elements in the Dick Francis books, but I don't remember any like that at the beginning when I began reading his. Of course, that was decades ago...

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...