I love a good love story.
I am equal parts teenage edgelord who never grew up and absolute mush.
This is why my books have mass shooting and meet-cutes. Pipe bombs and pining. Killing and kissing. I need all of it.
One of the best parts of writing in the romance genre is writing what I feel needs to be written. The genre truly is broken right now. I obviously make do with what is out there, but there really is very little of the kinds of romance I want to read.
Not all sub-genres are equally toxic. I’d say contemporary romance probably has the cleanest wrap-sheet. The problem is….I like historical, specifically time-travel romance. There are a lot of sick women using historical to excuse rape and kidnapping. There’s so much room for improvement in historical romance. There’s so much ground that hasn’t been covered yet.
Aside from that, there’s just the pure joy of writing two characters falling in love! You get to sit down and figure out: Okay, how are they the same and how they different? How do they compliment each other’s weaknesses? What does each admire in the other?
You get to figure out which of the two will be more active, which will be more passive. They can also each be active and passive in different ways (that’s what I did with Veronika and Vincent-he initiates almost everything romantic, but Veronika is a very active character in other ways).
That first kiss scene is the BEST to write! I get so giddy writing that first kiss between characters. I tend to draw it out and not let it happen too early in the book. In Desire and Destruction, I think we were past the 200 page mark when Cole and Ingrid finally kissed.
Basically, I don’t write romance for the same reason I write horror. When I wrote Combustion it was to really revel in all the negative emotions, particularly those around family. When I write romance, it’s to feel the warm and fuzzies.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of outspoken backlash against romance.
“Sigh….but does every book need a romance sub-plot?”
“Why do people like romance so much? I just can’t even.”
Or my favorite….this new SJW antic…they’re freaking evolving…the virus is mutating
“Us poor asexuals! You’re erasing us! When romance is everywhere, it’s like we aren’t valid!”
Okay so, here is my rebuttal: I fucking love romance and I will not stop writing it. You don’t like it. I do. It appears we are at a standstill.
As for the whole erasure thing, I don’t think I can suffer any more made-up nonsense for the rest of my life. I’m sorry. My entire childhood was hippy-dippy woo-woo nonsense and I really can’t take anymore. Then I went and got a Master’s Degree in a humanities field….I’m full, thanks. No more made-up nonsense for me. I’m very sick of pretending things that aren’t real are real.
Listen, as an asexual, you are different than the vast majority of people. That means you won’t be able to relate to many characters in the romantic sense. But hear me out…
I was raised by a Wiccan lesbian mother. Do you think I can relate to the childhoods 90% of main characters that grew up with straight parents in a two-parent home? Probably some variation of a Christian home? Nah, I can’t. I can relate to the characters with BPD mothers doing tarot card readings and yammering about chakras and astral projection. But there aren’t a lot of those in fiction. And I don’t even (usually) write those kinds of families myself. Mostly because it sucked. Not the lesbian part. That’s fine. The Wiccan part….let me not throw too much shade….just…ugh, if you’re thinking of taking your kid ghost-hunting or explaining the “powers” of different crystals, maybe get a fucking grip. Maybe a little. There’s too much nonsense in your head.
Also, I don’t write families like that, because I know that’s not the average experience. Most people won’t relate as well to a character who grew up doing rituals and assisting a coven and all that woo-woo-ness. There’s more to books than representation. There’s emotion, character, plot.
Books are usually going to reflect the typical experience, just because of sheer odds. If most people are not asexual, then odds are, most people writing books are not asexual. That’s the reality mathematically. You could argue people should write characters different than them, but I know that trick! #Ownvoices. No way, dude. You can’t trick me with that. The simultaneous push for diversity and backlash against writers “colonizing” the experiences of others…..no way. That’s a damn trap SJWs created so they always have someone new to cancel.
But for the asexual (aromantic, whatever it is. Call yourself whatever, but I’m done learning new terms-nobody cares enough about who you do/don’t want to fuck to constantly learn new words-y’all had one chance to teach me-I’m not taking a refresher course every six months, keeping up with advances in the field-Stop making up words), you can write whatever you want. You can write books without romance. I am not going to stop writing romance to make you feel more included. That’s on you, my guy. You don’t have to be included in everything. Not everything is for you.
To summarize, I love romance. It gives me so many warm, fuzzy feels. I want everybody in the world to be in love (if they want to be). I want everybody to be happy and get married. I love writing chemistry and deep bonds between characters. I’m not going to cave because romance is the trendy genre to shit on. Even if you sprinkle it with some SJW-shaming tactics. I’m going to keep writing romance. Honestly, sprinkle on the SJW-shaming tactics and you just make me want to write it more.
Good try though. The SJW antics are about the closest thing the bookish community has to drama, so that’s something I suppose. Thanks for keeping us all entertained.
Have y’all ever thought about how we stack up to other online communities? Like, my husband is super into the gaming community online. Have you ever seen gaming community tea? It’s not even hot tea, more like hot radioactive waste. Piss someone off in the gaming community, you get swatted and die. It’s like a totally different planet than the one we’re on.
Meanwhile, the book community is crying about their feelings. “But…there isn’t someone exactly like me in this book!”
Ugh…this community is so soft. We’re such marshmallows! We don’t need to be as hard as the gaming community, and I wouldn’t want us to be as cut-throat as the beauty community. I would love to see a little less of the SJW-antics though. I feel like people don’t value resilience anymore.
Get your feelings hurt! Feel left out! You won’t die. You’ll be fine. You aren’t entitled to a life free from any and all negative emotions.
And I’m not going to contribute to the coddling.