The Scary Genre: Romance

It’s time to talk about it.

At first, I thought I was scared to write horror. Everything else was like, eh, I could do that, with some practice and research of course, but Horror? No way I can be scary. Then I wrote the cutest little horror story for my short story collection and…

I was RELIEVED! I loved the story idea, I loved the characters and I thought it was moderately scary. lol. It may not really be but hey, I think so! I think, as an author, that’s the biggest thing. We have to think so or there is really nothing. We don’t have a leg to stand on if we are not confident.

So after I did that, I was like fuck yeah! I got this writing thing. I can write anything… Then I stopped short and was like:

“Anything Except Romance.”

Dun dun dunnnnn.

Romance is not really scary to me BUT I find romance unrealistic. In my own personal experience, romance isn’t real.

Not that I feel unloved personally. I’m in a super, solid relationship as I write this, but it ain’t romantic. I’ve never been in a romantic relationship and I don’t know anyone who has been in a romantic relationship.

Not romantic as portrayed in stories, at least.

I have also never been a cop, so it’s not the lack of experience that stops me from writing. I’ve never been in a haunted house, worked for a stock brokerage, been to space, caught an endangered alien being, etc. but I’ve written all these stories.

The true, deep down issue is that I DON’T want to lie. I don’t think romance is real and I don’t want to make up some crazy over the top lovey dovey bullshit. I wonder, without that, will it be romantic?

This brings up another experience issue I have with romance. I don’t watch romantic movies or read romance books because I don’t enjoy the genre. Is it fair to say that if you don’t enjoy a genre you shouldn’t write it? How ridiculous would a non-lover of romance look, writing a romance? Tell me please.

Before I go on, here is this:

Romance Writers of America says that there has to be a central love story to a romance novel and an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” 

Rebecca Graf – The Writing Cooperative

So, then I think of it a few ways…

because I AM WRITING A ROMANCE, damn it.

  1. I am planning to write a story that is true to me. I NEVER write for commercial success. I only write from the heart.
  2. A story that is true to me, may not conform to the romance genre completely… and I’m at peace with that.
  3. My story will have lots of love, tragedy and maybe some crime (cause that’s how I roll. lol).
  4. I will make sure romance/love/relationships are at the heart of my story.
  5. I will write a story that people can read and enjoy EVEN IF THEY DON’T LIKE ROMANCE. This is so important for me. I want all my books to appeal to lots of people, so I don’t write them to corner readers into the genre. My romance story may not genre hop, but I want them to feel open and available to all readers.

So, I’m facing my fears – the fear of writing a story that doesn’t hold up to the genre. The fear that true fans of a genre will boo me! lol.

I’ll do my best.


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