My Kind of Romance

Fairytale, by Celestria

I recently read a book; Firebird, by Kathy Tyers. Yup, you know, the one I keep ranting about. It was a science fiction romance. The reason I can’t get it out of my head is because I recently classified by own novel as a science fiction mystery romance. So I’m here to explain the difference between a romance and a Romance.

A Romance is character driven. You can have character driven fiction without having Romance, but you cannot have Romance without it being character driven. It works like this.

In the beginning there was the Romance.
Then there were the characters, who affected the Romance.
Then there was the plot, which affected the characters, which affected the Romance.
Then there was the technology which affected the plot, which affected the characters, which affected the Romance.


The Justice Project is character driven, but it’s also a mystery. So it looks more like this.

In the beginning there was the mystery.
Then there was the technology, which affected the mystery.
Then there were the characters, which affected the technology, which affected the mystery.
Then there was the romance, which affected the characters, which affected the technology, which affected the mystery.

Romance is a loving relationship between a man and a woman as it occurs in the plot. It’s usually a plot device, used to toss the characters into conflict and confusion. Romance can serve any purpose, from splitting friends apart to reuniting estranged families. It’s an extremely useful tool.

Romance, on the other hand, is the plot. Symptoms that your book is a Romance may include long internal monologues on the part of the involved characters, usually related to how they feel. Angst is bound to be present in some form. Even if the world is at stake all your characters can think about is each other. Even if they hate each other all the characters can think about is each other. Even if there’s a billion more interesting things going on elsewhere all they can think about is each other. Even if the reader is bored to tears… all they can read about is internal monologuing about each other.

I do not write Romance. I use some form of romance in almost every book I’ve written. I never sit down to voluntarily read a Romance, but somehow I keep tripping across them. It doesn’t help that my mom and my sisters really enjoy them. However, I have nothing against romance, either in real life or as a plot device! I have described myself as a fairytale writer, and I’ll stick to that assertion until the day I die. And we all know that fairytales are just love stories.

My faithful heart is my only charm,
But my good broadsword is keen.
And love for the princess nerves my arm
With the strength of ten, I ween.
Come weal, come woe, no knight can fall
Who goes at love’s bequest…
~ from The Rescue of Princess Winsome


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