Friday, February 8, 2013

Reality In Romance

Yes, I fully understand that romance can be viewed as escapist literature. We like those stories that take us away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday world. We like those stories that have the happily every after. But, with that said, I think it is important to consider that there is another angle to romance that many people seem to miss. Romance is reality.

When we read a romance, this is our chance as human beings to come to an understanding of who we are and the relationships we form with each other, either through friendships or through romantic connections. This is a safe environment for men and women to explore relationship issues in a safe environment. In other words, we as readers can let the characters make the mistakes while we learn from their mistakes.

We see the same thing with women's fiction. Instead of studying a building and growing relationship such as what we find in a romance novel, these stories give the reader a chance to explore the human, and more specifically, the female psyche. Again, this is a chance for a reader to see how a woman views the world and deals with issues that we might face in the real world sometime.

When I look at potential new projects from writers, this is one of the first "go to" areas I use as a criteria. I want to see if the characters and the situations the author develops in the story are "real." Now, don't get me wrong and think that if the story is not based in reality, I won't look at it. Paranormals, Urban Fantasy, Science fiction and other stories can also have those elements of reality. What the characters do in situations and how they form their relationships can still be grounded in a real-world paradigm - so what if the characters are Were-Buzzards!

I think it is important that as writers, we always stop to consider what the characters are doing in every situation. It is important to think, if this were to happen to anyone, what would be the normal reaction?

So, your homework this weekend? Explore the things your characters say and do. Are they being true and real?

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