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What do you want from Romance?

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LadyArkham View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 Dec 2020 at 4:33pm

So, I'm reading through other entries, and hoping I make it to the next round of microfiction, and absolutely dreading getting Romance/RomCom. It's because I don't read romance, and more than that, I don't get anything out of romance. It's not a mark against the genre, it's just that I flat don't understand what people get out of it, unlike SciFi or Comedy or Action. I have no way of telling if a microfic is an effective Romance story or not.

When I read Sci Fi, I feel like a story is good if there's a new technology or aspect of the universe used in an interesting way, in a clever plot way or a way that reveals something about humanity. For Horror, I feel like a good story is one where at some point my stomach drops and I think "Oh no, not that, that can't be true/happen." 

Does anyone else struggle with a particular genre, and can anyone tell me what makes a really good Romance story? (Maybe with examples?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TelepathicTeaTime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2020 at 5:11pm
Romance really is just one of those tricky genres, isn't it? I think one of the biggest reasons behind romance being so difficult to write, and finding solid footing with an audience, is that what qualifies as a "good" romance will change definition person to person- usually based on their own experiences with love.

Like, I myself tend to enjoy romance stories with pre-established couples who tend to act more silly with one another like best friends as opposed to stories focused on dramatic affairs or tooth-ache sweet meet-cutes between strangers. Of course, this doesn't make these stories better than the other's. It's only preference, because I read stories like that and see a little of my own life in them. And you could get a thousand different answers in this line of thinking alone! Hell, some people even lean way opposite from this- they want romance stories that are nothing like their own experiences and go beyond their fantasies of what true love must be like.

Should you ever get assigned romance, and with your aversion to the genre in mind, I think you might find success in looking inwards. You could remember dates that left you floating on cloud nine, gestures that made you feel truly understood and appreciated for the individual you are. Or even thinking back on negative experiences with heartbreak- How do you wish it had gone? What could they have done differently so it was something wonderful as opposed to heartbreaking?

 Using your personal well of experience might make the story easier to write than trying to piece together some grand, sweeping romance that transcends all expectation of reality and what people really do for one another. You know, like better to write a more grounded, believable romance than one that's too cheezy or over the top. (Something I find a lot of romances suffer from, unfortunately.)

I don't want to ramble on here when you're just asking for basic advice, so I'm gonna stop here lmao!  TLDR; If you're unfamiliar with romance as a genre- stick to what's familiar about romance to you from personal experiences and go for something more grounded than cheezy
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NMiller View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NMiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2020 at 5:32pm
There are so many aspects to romance that it can be as variable as as elements of sci fi or fantasy. Definitely reach out for some beta readers to help you if you are chosen either romance or rom/com to help critique your piece. 
Choosing examples to give you is hard, since there are romances across literature that play out over pages and make you want the main characters to get together so badly (Pride and Prejudice) to understated romance that is part of a bigger story (Kitty and Marco in Paul Auster's Moon Palace). 
One type is when two beings finding a intimate connection and deciding that they want to get to know each other more. One, alluded by the previous commenter, is the relationship of an established couple and a romance born out of time together. Like the pervious poster, you are best working from the heart. What works to make you swoon, will translate better on paper and not feel forced or fake.

Rom-com to me seems to follow the tropes of those types of movies but at the heart of it, is two people finding a connection, keeping a connection or near misses of connections with the element of comedy driving the story.

This all being said, I am more a reader than a writer so I know what I like to see in romance and that guides me. Not all people may agree with my choices but that's part of what makes romance so varied.
I would not mind helping you should the need arises in any way.
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jennifer.quail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2020 at 7:52pm
Straight romance: whether it's an established relationship, a how they met story of some sort, or something more esoteric (I got romance/an abandoned building/a disabled person and had two romances, one of which involved the disabled person and their partner, neither of whom was actually IN the story) I want to either want the couple to get together, or I want them to stay together. 
FFC 2020 Ch 1 Gr 21: Cellared
Ch2 Gr 21: The Spy Who Came in For The Cake
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