On Romance

Romance tends to work it’s way into every type of genre. Part of this is because people naturally bond, part of it is because authors and writers believe that in order for their stories to sell, there must be romance.

The problem with the latter is that romance often times ends up being forced, or taking too big of a portion of the plot. Now, this article is written by someone who is not a romance fan – so this might have a different perspective than a lot of readers.

The number one problem with romance, as I said above, is when the chemistry seems forced. When two characters are forced together for no reason other than because they need to be in a relationship, it comes across as… well, forced. Force relationship are dry, and much worse than letting characters stay single.

And what’s the problem with single characters in the first place? Life doesn’t revolve around getting a significant other, as much as fiction makes that out to be. Even in other genres like adventure, characters are often given SOs as a way to give them a happy ending. But SOs aren’t the ultimate goal, and not every character has to have one in order to have a happy ending. This is especially true for teenagers – most people don’t meet their spouses until they’re out of high school, but in fiction teenage romance is taken way too seriously.

The other big problem is when romance becomes too big of a plot point. It’s okay to have romance in genres like adventure, fantasy, or sci-fi, but the fact is that the readers don’t want a romance story.If romance overrides the adventure in an adventure story, or if there’s more romance than action in a superhero movie, than the audience is being let down.

This is especially true when it comes to angsty romance. It’s one thing for couples to have bumps in the road, but when a crush becomes more important than an impending apocalypse, a character appears to be petty and their priorities seem off.

Of course, their can be good stories without any romance at all. Moana and Rogue One are two recent examples. Sure, a story might not sell as well (unless it’s part of a big franchise like Disney, like Moana and Rogue One are), but you shouldn’t be writing for money in the first place.

Image from http://shipping.wikia.com/wiki/Percabeth (Percabeth is a good example of a well-written, well-developed couple if you need examples).

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