There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

Dare I Say It? Romance in Fantasy August 7, 2013

Filed under: Reading,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 12:55 pm
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Kathi’s post, From out of Nothing, reflected me this week with my own post. It must be going around. Her statement, “As the deadline for my post slithered closer, I sat and banged my head against the desk praying for inspiration because, quite frankly, I had nothing”, is EXACTLY how I’ve felt. So I’m just gonna tell you what I’ve been up to in my current WIP——>Nothing.

Yep. Nothing.

I swear I’m not in a funk, nor do I have writer’s block. But I do have a slight issue with my story. I struggled through my plot issue and resolved it a few weeks back and I was like, Yeah, baby! But when I got down to writing and revising I realized I had another problem: the chemistry between my mc and her love interest was totally flat.

I hear some of you groaning already. Romance in fantasy? Enough already. Give. Me. A break.

Sorry, can’t do it. All my novels have romance. It’s how I’m wired. Anyway, while my two characters are off on their mad quest, battling blood thirsty monsters and defying vengeful gods, they fall in love. Writing sexual tension is nothing new to me, but these two characters have me pulling my hair out by the roots.

So what’s a writer to do?

Read. That’s what.

I’ve read twelve, TWELVE, contemporary romances in two weeks. Some were meh, with the emotional charge lacking even the smallest spark, while others were strong enough to jump start my SUV. I’m now going back through every one I read, and making notes as to what worked and didn’t, and why.

And though my FANTASY novel doesn’t have “in your face” romance, what is there should be as strong and powerful as every other element in the story. I’ve read fantasy novels where the romance or mystery seemed like an afterthought, which left me wondering why it was there in the first place. I don’t want any reader to say that about mine, so I’ll spend just as much time perfecting each glance, each kiss, as I do with world building and swordplay.

What do you guys think?

Happy writing! Kate


10 Responses to “Dare I Say It? Romance in Fantasy”

  1. Kate Sparkes Says:

    I don’t understand why people are opposed to romance in Fantasy. I don’t think it’s a requirement, but I think it can add amazing flavour to a story- not to mention an abundance of complications! I know the romance in my Fantasy isn’t going anywhere.

    And hooray for resolving plot issues! Hooray for you! I’d be interested in your thoughts on the things that worked in the books you read.

  2. I like romance in any story, even if it isn’t the main focus. My fantasy has a romance that is important to my plot. I, too, am curious about what your “research” showed you works.

  3. Aldrea Alien Says:

    I’m trying to think of a fantasy book I’ve read that didn’t have at least some inkling of romance in it … apart from some of the Discworld books, I’m coming up blank there. Not sure what that says about my reading choices.
    Clearly, if it’s not meant to be there it shouldn’t be forced, but my fantasy stories have all got some level of romance going on in them. I must also be wired that way.

    • Kate Michael Says:

      I’m so glad we all love romance in fantasy! I’ve read so much fantasy I’d have to look through my old books for titles. I’ll make a list and add it to my notes to share. Thanks for visiting!

  4. I have to echo the comments above. As you said, as long as the romance advances your story, go for it. And even so-called serious, lauded SF/fantasy books have had a romantic element–eg. Paul and Chani in DUNE.

  5. kathils Says:

    “others were strong enough to jump start my SUV” I snorted. I admit it. That’s a good line there.

    I add romance in my writing. I used to be dead set against it. Thought it was weak. Girly. Would take away from the action and adventure. So, I used that. It’s how some of my characters feel. Love? That makes me weak. Oh yeah, smarty pants? Well then, let’s examine that, shall we?

  6. devenluca Says:

    Yay for finishing up your plot but the main thing is that there should be romance in fantasy. If there isn’t that’s not acknowledging a major part of being human, being interested in others.

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