Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Romance versus Love Stories

I listened to an interview today with a famous author who carefully explained why he wrote love stories instead of romances. He said people read romances when they want to know what's going to happen, and people read love stories when they want to be surprised. He explained to the interviewer that he follows no formulas, wherein romances are predictable and formulaic.

I've read some of this author's books and though they can be romantic, they truly aren't romances, thought I disagree with his reasoning as to why. He believes because you know that the book will end with an emotionally satisfying ending that there aren't any surprises in the book. 

But he's absolutely wrong. 

Romances can thrill, twist, turn, surprise, engage and inspire through unexpected plot turns and endings you could never in a million years predict. I've read paranormal romances that knocked me out of my chair with the unexpected, historical romances that widened my eyes, contemporary romances so funny they kept me guessing page-to-page and young adult romances that break all the rules. 

This author likes to feel a sense of superiority over romance writers, but in the end every book is unique and every story is a familiar arc with unexpected surprises built into it. A dead heroine at the end of a book is a hardly a surprise when reading this author, it's more just the formula he uses. The result of that formula is that I find his books depressing. Anything that's more depressing than the news is not going to make my To Be Read list and that's why I rarely read this author's books. 

I want to be shocked, surprised, terrified and brought to tears. 

But, I also want to know that in this one small world, at least, everything is going to be okay. I'll take my romances over love stories any day of the week.