Romance ALWAYS Has a Happy Ending
One the nicest things about real romance novels is the fact that no matter what your heroes go through, there WILL be a happily-ever-after (HEA), or the more recent happy-for-now (HFN) ending. If you don’t get one of those, then it isn’t a romance novel. It’s always grotesquely entertaining when people try to argue away this fact. Sure, there are novels that have very heavy romantic elements, but if the two heroes don’t waltz or hobble away together at the end of the story, certain that they are capable of loving and being loved, then my friend, you simply just read some other kind of story with a lot of romantic elements in it, but it wasn’t a romance. Don’t get upset. It happens. A romance novel always has a happy ending, even if it’s “for now”. Period.
Romance is is Predictably Unpredictable
The fact that romance is predictably unpredictable is the part that keeps me coming back time and time again. I only started getting into romance novels when I was working on my dissertation and needed something to help me decompress during those myriad sleepless nights. I’ll never forget how grateful I was to be able to divert my overactive mind to focus on two main characters who were fate-bound and were destined to be okay, if not more than okay, at the end of it all. No matter how unpredictably the plot line may shift or twist, predictably, everything will turn out alright in the end. More or less. You may end up with fewer characters, but oh well. The two heroes are really what matter most.
I generally average about a book a night, and every single night, I’m getting a bird’s eye view of other people’s lives. At this point in my life, this has also become research, but I welcome it every time. Each book is different, and the journey may be as unique as the characters are, but they will be rewarded with the ultimate prize – requited love – every single time. Yay!!!
Romance Has a Place for EVERYONE
Although the genre has a loooooooong way to go in terms of representation, people in the industry are starting to wake up to the fact that readers want to read about people falling in love who are like themselves. This means that not every hero can be blonde haired, blue eyed rail thin model, or have honey-wheat locks that frame a heart-shaped face with piercingly green eyes but “curves to die for”. Characters who are People of Color want love just the same, and People of Faith want their chance, just as anyone in the LGBTQ+ community does. Love is love, folks, and that’s what romance it all about. It’s up to us to choose what we personally enjoy when we read, but it’s important to emphasize that we readers should have a choice. And it’s our responsibly as writers to provide options to the best of our ability and personal preference.
It’s refreshing to see that Rom/Coms are making their way back into the mainstream, from book to film, giving us all the feels we’re familiar with, but with different faces and different shapes. If tons of folks can get into paranormal romance, then I suppose people with “diverse backgrounds” shouldn’t be that much of stretch for people…. but only time will tell. Keep reading, keep loving, and keep an open mind – and heart.
Sending Love and Light to all of you.
©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™
– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.