What Do You Think Is The Most Common Misconception of The Romance Genre?

The most common misconception of the romance genre is that it is emotionally shallow.

The first genre in which I read and wrote was science fiction. My favorite genre continues to be social science fiction (futuristic or sci-fi romance) that some folk call soft science fiction as opposed to the techie and analytical hard sci-fi.

 I’ve written romantic love stories all my life, even when they were sci-fi, but I did not consider myself a true fiction writer until I became involved with the romance genre and RWA, Romance Writers of America.

 Everyone experiences emotional pain and doubt. It is possible to explore behaviors of characters who translate to their outside worlds overt behaviors and dialogues–however, many who choose the cinematic and omniscient viewpoints have trouble allowing the reader deep into their character’s psyche.

 I love conflict arising in romance novels because of the two juxtaposed intimate points of view of the hero and heroine. Even more challenging is taking a past POV limited to third person and making it as present, or maybe more present than the first person present POV.

 I’m still learning about how, in deep POV, I force my characters to narrate their own story and what this means to me as an author—what I can and cannot do.

 Remember when we added internal thoughts by saying something like:

 That’s just silly, Josie thought?

 Well, words that we use to tell the reader what the character is doing have to fall away once it’s the character narrating his/her own story. We don’t need to say that our character heard something, or saw something, or experienced any such verb to describe what our character is doing. We simply state what it is they saw or heard, because they’re telling us what they see and hear and making a big deal out of seeing and hearing takes the reader out of the conscious mind of our characters.

 Now that both author and reader are inside the character looking out, we have a greater opportunity for intimacies like discrete thoughts (simply in italics) or for internal dialogue, which, frankly, are the character’s own unique attitudes, their take on their inside and outside worlds.

 Now once we’re ensconced deeply into the character’s mind as described above, we can explore our characters’ doubts about themselves. Today an alpha male or female has the emotional intelligence to understand their motivations and doubts. Each character has their own emotional perspective that may bear little resemblance to the objective truth others might see.

 Deep POV and emotionally intelligent characters are still a new evolution in romance or speculative fiction, and many readers and writers are still unfamiliar with the unreliable characters constructed this way. Characters narrating from their own points of view, accurate or not, form the basis for entertaining conflict .

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