Friday, June 29, 2012

The Essence of Romance

She was aware of him the moment he stepped into the room full of laughing, talking people.  As he made his way through the crowd, the sights and sounds around her faded.  She could see only him, and she felt her skin tingle, her chest tighten.

They had parted in anger two weeks ago.  And when she walked away from him, she knew their relationship could never work out.  Yet here he was, stalking purposefully toward her.
When she saw the look in his eyes, her heart skipped a beat, then started again in double time.  He was silently telling her that he needed her in every way a man could need a woman.  That their past differences were nothing compared to his love for her.

That’s the essence of a romance.  Two people in love.  Aching for each other but unable to work out their problems until the end of the book and sharing their emotions with the reader who is rooting for them to solve their problems.

There’s a reason why more romance novels are sold than any other type.  And it’s not just because women buy more books than men.  Romance is a genre of hope and optimism.  An affirmation of life and the values of love and commitment.  In a romance the heroine wins.  She ends up with the man she loves, a man who puts her above every other aspect of his life--and a relationship that will last because it has been forged in the fire of adversity.

And the reader gets what she wants.  A happy ending where the hero and heroine walk off together into the sunset, leaving you wishing you could read more of their story.

Like every other genre, romance has grown and evolved.  When I first started speaking at conferences or gave workshops, I used to tell people that the plot of a romance novel is the development of a relationship between a man and a woman.  Today I say it could be the development of a relationship between a woman and a lizard creature from the planet Alpha Lasagna.  Or a relationship between two men.  Or two women.

Yet the fundamentals remain the same.  And they always will as long as we want to laugh and cry, lust and love along with the characters in the books we read.  And as long as writers can give us characters who dare to reach out for love in the most unlikely place and then are rewarded with a relationship that will last a lifetime.

If you’re reading my first blog entry, I assume you’re interested in the romance genre.  Are you a reader or a writer?  And what’s your favorite type of story–historicals, contemporary, romantic suspense, inspirational, paranormal?

If you want insights into how a romance is written–whether from the perspective of a reader or a writer--come back for the next entry.  Next time I’m going to talk about great beginnings and how to grab the reader’s interest immediately.

I’m giving away a copy of my Harlequin Intrigue, SUDDEN INSIGHT, to one person who comments on this post.

 Copyright © 2012 Ruth Glick