Topic: A broader sense of Romance?

A broader sense of Romance?
    Let’s say most readers of novels would think of Romances as being like a typical Mills and Boon story about two people who fall in love, with some complications, and eventually live together happily ever after.  Let’s say that most novels of whatever genre contain elements of such a basic scenario.  We as readers or writers almost always expect a novel to have Romantic elements even if only as a secondary plot.
    Let’s say the plot of a basic love story could go like this – A meets B and they fall in love.  B meets C and is seduced into leaving A.  B and C don’t get along so when A re-attracts B, B returns to A and they live happily together for ever after.  There would be little character development in a basic love story and almost no social comment.  A basic love story may have elements of other genres such as crime, S/F, or history or adventure.  For an extended love story we can see Jane Austin’s stories of Romance which show character studies and social comment as well as a complicated plot.
    If an author or reader were to look at any of my novellas the focus is on a simple plot line with some social comment.  Sure a basic love relationship is central to these stories but there is little character development.  To take a wider view of Romance one may look at that epic work, The Odyssey by Homer. Going on a long voyage in which many and various events happen to the main character can be called Epic Romance.  There is no basic love relation going on throughout the novel, it is not like Mills and Boon stories at all.  One could say that it is the first great lifestyle/adventure Romance because the main character loves his life, whatever happens.
    My French New Roman novella, - Devils’ Playground is more like a short Epic Romance.  There is no basic love relationship but many and various events happen to the main character including much extended travelling.  This novella is told in the first person with much interior monologue.  It is so very different from all my other works that one may be excused if one thought it was written by another author.  Taking my Opus Grande, two volume postmodern Romance novel, - Palma de Mallorca Mystique here we find exquisite and evocative descriptions of the environment and in-depth character studies, lot’s.  This work allows for social comment and a great slice of cultural commentary – dialogue is predominant.  The themes of love and romance are explored in depth.
    Some young writers write sex novels these days and call that Romance.  Would you say that sexually themed stories are Romances, or only pornography?  I would be delighted if anyone would comment on my points of view and perhaps offer some points of their own.
Thanx  -  Raymond Crane


Re: A broader sense of Romance?

Hello Raymond. I took the time to read this post and I find it very interesting. First, The Odyssey was one of the first books that caught my attention in the 8th grade(many moons ago). We had to contrast and compare the story plot to that of "O'Brother Where Art Thou?' Funny thing is, now that I have had some experience in love and writing, I do agree that most romance novels have become more pornographic by nature. Sex is a driving force in nature but we as lost souls finding our way back home have deemed love to being just material and earthly attachments. There have been multiple books written on the 5 love languages which will explain that love has no bounds. With that being said, I feel as though writers should broaden their horizons and search for that which eludes your average man. We should also try and live a little and let stories end unhappily, not everything that glitters is gold. Thank you for letting me share.