Friday, February 5, 2016

Honest Thoughts: Fictional Romance

First off, thank you to everyone who participated in my Flash Giveaway yesterday! Talk about a HUGE success! There were over 300 entries in one day. I was shocked and super excited. Thanks to all who entered and spread the word about my Society6 shop (check it out here).

If you didn't win there's still a chance to take part in my *special* just for you promo code for 20% off on pillows and throw blankets and FREE world wide shipping.

You've got to use this link (below) in order to get the percentage/shipping:

PROMO CODE

Oh, and did I mention I added new designs??? Cuz I DID :D



All right, now on to the post that should have gone up yesterday but, amid the giveaway craziness, I didn't have a chance to get it up.

Fictional Romance

Ahhh where do I begin?
She looked into his eyes and saw her past and her future collide. All of her hopes and dreams were summed up in this beautiful being in front of her. He took her breath away with his strong jaw and deep-set eyes that always held her gaze. He was perfect for her, and she'd never let him go...no matter how much he licked her face. 

Her dog Fido was the only one for her. 
Hehe. Did I get you? I know, not fair--I played with your emotions. And isn't that what good romance does? The strength of a good story can't be underestimated. We get lost in the lives of the characters and find that no matter how many other things we should be doing we are going to read.

I have a love/hate relationship with the romance genre. *Gasp* I know, shock of all shocks the girl who writes romantic suspense has a non-romantic bone in her body? Well, kind of...

I love a great romantic story and my tolerance for cheese/sappy romance is extremely high (just ask my boyfriend who sat through a bazillion Hallmark Christmas movies over the holiday). But what I don't have a tolerance for is half-hearted, bad romance (I apologize now for all of you that are humming the song--if you don't know what I'm taking about, that is perfectly fine).

This may not be what you were expecting, but I like a little bit of the unbelievable when it comes to romance. No--hear me now, I am NOT saying that it should be an "insta-romance" where she looks across the room and just knows she's going to marry the tall-dark-handsome-etc man. But I think the beauty of the romance genre is it's sparkle. (Um...technical term?)

The fact that anyone finds anyone in this world is just shy of amazing, let alone the fact that a man and a woman could see past each others flaws (because isn't that always what we're needing to do?) to the true character beneath. Many of my favorite romances delve deep into these things. They take a real-life thing and wrap it up in "what if" and send it out into the world in the shape of a book hoping to remind us that there is such a thing as a happy ending. (tweet this)

But isn't that unrealistic?

Yes, in some many ways a great romance can be unrealistic, but I've always thought of it this way: Great romance takes moments of time and expands them, pulling and stretching them apart, to see them for what they truly are (tweet this). A moment of his touch on her arm. Their gazes locked together. Her heart pounding and face flushing with the fact that he sees her--not just her beauty, but all of her.

*Sigh*  

That to me is what makes romance so beautiful. The feelings of emotion that jump off the page and sink deeply into our hearts. It makes us remember that we can believe in love, no matter how bleak the world is.

This is not to say that reality is as shining or nearly as exciting as the romance contained in the pages of a book. Nor is it to say that we can gain a completely accurate picture of what romance should be, but a good author can spread truth about what love is (tweet this). It's patient, kind, doesn't envy or boast, is not arrogant, isn't rude... (see full list here). So, in that way, I love romance.

What don't I like about the romance genre? Well, the very same things. I know, I know, talk about confusing right? I think the issue comes out when we take what is shown to us and make it an ultimatum in real life. He must love me this way--all the books say so. What a dangerous notion. We must realize that a book is just that--a book (though it pains me to say it). You are reading entire seasons of characters lives at once (sometimes in one sitting if the books good enough) and suddenly we start to think: this is the way life should be.

I read for the sheer pleasure of it. I have a big imagination and love story worlds created by talented writers. I shouldn't read to compare my life to a fictional characters or their fictional romance. I should be more concerned with my own story (and trust me, the Author of my life knows exactly what He's doing). Yes, I will gain insight into my life from books and that's a good thing, but the moment my expectations of real people are based on the actions of characters from books (from the mind of other people not in my situation), I need to ask myself if I'm being fair. And if my pleasure of reading has become a standard rather than an escape.

So there you have it, my honest thoughts about fictional romance.

Now it's your turn to be honest: What do you readers think of the romance genre? Do you like it? Do you prefer sub-genres instead? What's one of your favorite romance novels and why?