Anonymous said: what do you think should be included/excluded in romance stories? i want to go a different route than usual and knowing some helpful ideas might just guide me to someplace new
Romance novels are like any other type of novel where virtually everything is fair game. That being said, there are some things I would like to see more or less of in romance stories:
- The woman being stronger (emotionally, physically, magically, etc.) than the man (in heteroromantic stories)
- Asexual/gray-a/demisexual characters
- Gray-romantic/demiromantic characters (also aromantic characters, but those are harder in romance novels)
- Realistic consequences for unequal relationships (teacher-student, employer-employee, nobility-non-nobility, etc.)
- Romanticizing of abusive relationships and/or dubious or non-existent consent
For going in a new direction, my biggest suggestion would be to read a bunch of romance novels and see what you want from a romance novel. Write about that. And if there are similarities, that’s totally okay. Here is a list of random romance possible plot points/premises for you to think about:
- Have to rely on each other for survival
- One person knows about the other/unequal knowledge
- Secrets that affect each other
- Ex(es) that become important
- One-night stand that leads to more
- Accidental pregnancy
- Pregnancy scare
- Reunited old friends
- Arranged relationship/marriage
- Slave/master relationship
- Bodyguard/protectee relationship
- Met at a BDSM/kink club
- Met at a bar
- Exes who rekindle the relationship
Also, think about your romantic ideals/fantasies. Those can give some pretty good starting points for writing romance (though make sure you don’t then turn the story into an author-insertion-fantasy, because those are usually not very good).
ahaha the LAST thing romance novels need more of are slave/master relationships, especially considering that is a literally non-existent relation type because it is inherently rape. PLEASE DO NOT WRITE MORE ROMANCE NOVELS ABOUT THIS IT IS AWFUL AND DISGUSTING AND LITERALLY THE SINGLE MOST ABUSIVE “RELATIONSHIP” SET-UP IMAGINABLE
I want to clarify two things with this, because aliceinpunderland made a good point. The slave/master relationship is not a healthy relationship. Neither is the kidnapping one (unless both people are kidnap victims simultaneously, and then it probably still isn’t healthy). The unequal knowledge one isn’t really either. That doesn’t mean that they are not relationships, or that you can’t write about them. As odd as this may sound, you can write “romance” novels or erotica or whatever other type of novel you want to about them. You just need to be careful to not suggest that it is a healthy relationship.
Also, to aliceinpunderland (and many other people in the world), I don’t think you understand that romance novels can exist without sex. If there is no sex (or sexual activity) it is not rape. Yes, it is a really terrible and unhealthy relationship. Abuse doesn’t mean that it is rape. Just as a clarification.
I actually do, and I’ve written about it before, and I was going to be very polite about this but then you were super super condescending and so now I’m not.
You are being deliberately obtuse if you’re going to sit here and say you thought I was just /forgetting that there doesn’t have to be sex/. You are being deliberately obtuse if you are going to sit here and say you added slave/master to the list expecting people to know that NO NO BUT NO SEX IN THAT ONE THAT WOULD BE RAPE. I can’t even think of a /word/ for what you are being if you’re going to sit here and compare /”unequal knowledge”/ to /slavery/. Kidnapping is not slavery unless you enslave the person you kidnapped, are you /absolutely shitting me/ these are /morally bankrupt comparisons/ are you quite sure /you/ understand what /slavery is/?
SLAVERY IS NOT AN “UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP”.
WHITE PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE AN “UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP” WITH BLACK PEOPLE
Please deposit your complaints about my tone in the trash right next to virtually everything you just said to me.
I apologize if I offended you. My comment about rape was in regards to the phrase “inherently rape” and I realize now that my explanation was unclear. I will entirely agree that in most cases romantic relationships involve sex, and that in cases of master/slave relationships the sex would 100% be rape. I will not say that every action involved in a master/slave relationship is rape, because that is not the definition of rape.
My comparison between unequal knowledge, kidnapping, and slavery came because I don’t know of a stronger word than “unhealthy” that maintains the same connotation in this context. I am also not using the word “unhealthy” to describe slavery (or kidnapping, etc.) but to describe an additional romantic and/or sexual relationship resulting from the existing slavery, etc.
I realize now that I was unclear and possibly offensive, and that was not at all my intention. I will never advocate for the romantcization of slavery or condone slavery in any form.