Saturday, January 18, 2014

Writing without Romance

Hello, Fellow Bloggers and Friends,

This is a post about writing without romance.

Yes, it can be done.  I have nothing against well-written romance in books, but sometimes it is refreshing to read a story that is plain adventure or plain mystery.  We all need a story like that sometimes.  Some people, though, don't like to recognize this.

For those of you who have read CatT, you know that it is a romance-free novel.  One of my friends practically had cardiac arrest when I told her that there was no romance in the book.  She couldn't imagine a story without romance in it.  It's not that hard, though.

Just because there are two people in the story that are different genders and close to the same age doesn't mean that they have to fall in love.  Jessamine Warbling and Jeremy Marchmont are my prime example.  They are really good friends and have been for quite a while, as you discover in The Fey Castle.  Unfortunately, their mothers are trying to make a match of the two of them.  The result is some humor but no romance.  Yes!!!!  Seriously, though, we all know people of our own age in the other gender that we are not in love with.  It's simply not realistic to have it happen every time in stories.

Do I have a problem with writing romance?  Certainly not!  Lonish the Swordmaster has a nice love story in it.  My big problem is the huge premium that is placed on romance in modern stories.  Why does every story have to have that mushy-gushy stuff in it?  Romance is such a small part of normal life for most people, and that is why I believe that it should take a corresponding place in books.  It's nice in small amounts, but please, spare us the details!

One of the reasons that writing without romance is so nice is that you can avoid the many cliches that are popping up in just about every romance story today.  I'm thinking in terms of love triangles, tough girls, overly sweet boys, and trite troubles that plague the relationship.  If you're going to write a romantic element into your story, for goodness' sake make it original!  But if you have a story that is absolutely dependent on romance, then chances are it has been written before.

Give your readers a little respect.  Don't insult their intelligence by giving them warmed-over leftovers from a story that was published four years ago.  If you want to reach the intelligent readers, then write up to them.  Give them plots that abound with excellent themes and complex characters.  Don't subject them to another love triangle, please!  Your readers are too smart for that.

Please leave your thoughts in a comment.  I want to know what you guys think about romance in writing.

Thanks for reading and God bless,


  1. Really, Kathryn, this is such a small post for such a large topic. ;)

    I probably shouldn't comment, as you of all people should know my thoughts on this subject. But I will say that I'm having trouble agreeing with one of your statements. Romance isn't a small part of normal life. If God sends romance your way, it'll change your life forever. If it's the *right* romance. What I deem as romance might not be what others deem it as, yet the "romance" that I think of is the selfless, affectionate bonding of a man and woman under the ordinance of God. The modern idea of dating and having candle-lit dinners isn't true romance, not in my mind. There's so much more to true love, and most people don't even realize it, sadly.

    That, however, doesn't mean that romance has to have a huge part in stories, and I am all for books without any romance at all. Which is one reason why I'm very much looking forward to reading The Fey Castle. *cough*

    1. I agree with you that Biblical romance can change your life. Perhaps I should have been more clear on the topic. I meant in the grand scheme of things, romance takes up a very small part. Speaking in a strictly bookish sense, I am a bit annoyed at how many people, and more importantly, many authors, think every story HAS to have romance in it when there are so many other interesting topics on which to write.

      And, yes, it is a small post. If I had more time I'd write a larger one.

  2. I agree. I like romances sometimes, but I don't want EVERY story I read to have it. It gets old.
    I barely write romances myself, and when I do they are in the background usually, only hinted at so the reeader can ignore it or acknowledge it according to what they feel like. I like reading books that are like that


Thanks for your comments! I love comments! Thrive on them, actually! Please just remember to keep them clean. I don't care if you make them long. The longer, the better, in fact! I really appreciate it when you take the time to tell me what you think.