Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Fine Lines of Labels

Genres are labels. Labels can be frustrating. For example, my current annoyance involving the romance genre and Vows From Darkness.

I never thought to put the label of romance on The Angel simply because the relationship between Seth and Eirianna is more of a side-plot. Yes, he saves her life, but he would have done that for any of his other friends. And yes, the reason Brian went after her was her connection to Seth, but a lot of people are connected to Seth.

In Vows, though, the relationship between Coulta and Wildas (and Myri and Anil) is a much more important part of the plot. Without it, there would have been no story at all. And that’s the reason why I find myself thinking of the story as fantasy and romance. Unfortunately, I feel like the romance genre is not very open to writers such as myself. Every romance novel I’ve read this year (my M/M romance obsession has already been confessed to) has been more erotic romance. Do I have a problem with that? No. What I have a problem with is erotic romance books that simply get labeled romance.

It’s not exactly fair to writers like myself. At this point, I do not feel comfortable writing a graphic sex scene. I tend to lead up, then skip over. That shouldn’t stop a novel where a romantic relationship is the key plot driver from being called romance. Sex shouldn’t make or break the romance label – that’s what erotica is for. My characters don’t need to have every detail of their lives exposed. I like giving them some freedom to decide how to… do certain things.

Erotic romance is one thing, but if readers or reviewers spazz out at me and say “you can’t call it romance without graphic sex you idiot!” I will punch something. Many somethings. Because it seems that readers want lots of sex in romance novels, and they associate the two. My characters do it, I just choose not to write in all the details. Romance should be about the relationship, and how it moves the plot. If there’s sex there’s sex, if there isn’t, deal with it.

And that’s my rant for the day.

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April 2, 2011 - Posted by | Life, Reading, Writing

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