Aug 5, 2017

The Three Stories of the Romance Genre by Patty Blount

This month I’ve invited Patty Blount here after reading an insightful post on the Published Author Network of RWA. Not only is this great advice for anyone writing romance, and it also touches on a personal peeve of mine: the 30 year out of date term “bodice ripper”. 

Writing romance is among the most challenging genres because you're actually writing THREE stories His and Hers (or His and His, Hers and Hers, depending on your sub-genre).

Two main characters. Two trajectories and two distinct story arcs. 
The third story is their ROMANCE itself. 

It really fries my tomatoes when industry critics dismiss romance as bodice-rippers and lady porn and so on because that fact is often missed. Every romance novel has THREE stories that don't just intersect...they become enmeshed, melded, just as relationships do.

We start off with one character immersed in his world, his problems, his wounds. Then, we cut to the other character and get the same experience.

What makes romance so unique and so powerful, in my opinion, is how we authors craft these two people so that the story isn't simply "Person Meets Love Interest."

It's Person Struggling Through Life
Meets Another Person Struggling Through Life
and Learns How To Love This Person Despite/Because of Those Struggles
So That Their Ending Feels Like a Beginning 

That's the Third story... the love that develops between these two characters has to be real and be forever and that kind of love becomes its own story.  That's not just good writing, it's magic.
Patty Blount is the author of contemporary “Internet Issues” novels for teens including the 2015 Firecracker Award winning SOME BOYS, which is also a Bookseller’s Best and RITA awards finalist! A new novel, THE WAY IT HURTS, drops on August 1, 2017.   

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program — and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen. He captures her in costume and posts the image and a provocative comment online. It goes viral, casting them both in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they could ever have imagined when the threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.


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