It’s February, the month of romance. Not only is this a genre, but it is also a story element, and an emotional beat. This topic in generally is usually most appreciated by young women. The reason for this is closely tied to hormones and the need to feel loved and appreciated. Men and women, old and young all have the need to be loved and appreciated, however, the need in a romantic way is stronger in young women.
Romance is the act of treating an individual with elaborate, doting care to express affection. Since young women are usually the most appreciative of the expression, they are generally the subject of the attentions. I believe that intimate expressions are very private and personal, so I prefer clean versions of romance. This keeps the details between the individuals involved. Readers don’t need to know the details to know how the characters feel.
Romance as a genre is a categorization of a story with expectations; involving a couple beating the odds to be together. In a romance, the primary plot is the love story, and the conflict is always in relation to the couple getting together or adding complications to their attraction.
A romance book can be categorized a number of different ways. There are sub genres within romance which include clean romance, erotica, contemporary, young adult romance, and a number of others. But they can also be categorized with other genres such as fantasy, science fiction, western, etc. Romance is simply a way to describe the type of story, but that doesn’t have to be all that a story is about.
Romance as a story element is any inclination of a character towards another. The attraction that should be present in almost every type of story. This often may be a subplot, and may add conflict to the overall story. No matter the age group or genre, some romantic interest is almost always present.
Middle graders have crushes, young adults fall in love at first sight, and adults always have people they care about. An adventure has higher stakes when the love interest is at risk. No matter the type of story, putting in a romance will increase the conflict.
Romance as an emotional beat, is the scene or scenes in which the romantic emotion is stirred in the reader. Either through the character, or because of a character. Emotions are powerful, and stories are supposed to evoke them from the reader. This creates an attachment to the story, which means the reader will like it enough to share it with others.
With a connection to the character, the reader will find that events will feel real and personal. Enough detail in the key scenes will invite the reader to feel admired, or to admire the casanova of the story. However, the success of this relies on the relatability of the characters.