The Romance or Fantasy Genre Dilemma
Lately I’ve been wondering if I should be thinking of my new series as romance or fantasy.
The current manuscript isn’t my first. I’ve written fantasy, paranormal fantasy and contemporary romance. But I’ve struggled with each of these genres. Fantasy plots challenge me. Contemporary romances interest me less and less. And almost all of my paranormal fantasies turn into love stories.
So now, with my first series, I’ve started to think that a genre adjustment is in order.
Romance or Fantasy First?
There is a difference between fantasy romance and fantasy with a romantic subplot. With some books, I’ve read this difference is immediately apparent. With others, it’s a little harder to figure out.
One of the reasons for this, is that I’ve been coming across a lot of popular series that blur the line between primary and secondary plot lines. In some of the paranormal series I’ve read, the romance arc spans three books or more.
Because of this book 1 doesn’t end in happily ever after – which is a requirement in traditional romance writing. Which is kind of what I’ve been wanting to do with my new demon tracker series.
So are the books in a series like this romance or fantasy?
I think that the best way to answer that is by looking at the tropes.
The Importance of Tropes
To me, this isn’t just about what kind of tropes do you use in your writing. It’s about what kind of tropes you like to write about. One of my favorite tropes is “love conquers all.” And, while this is never the only trope in my books, it usually is the one that comes through strongest and moves me the most.
Love conquers all is a romance trope. So I’m pretty sure that this makes me a romance writer. Or more specifically a paranormal romance writer.
Where This Leaves Me
So how do I feel about this?
Honestly my feelings are mixed. While I do read a lot of fantasy romance, the writers I admire most, like Ray Bradbury or Cecelia Holland, write in other genres. And I have to admit that I like the idea of being a fantasy writer.
But who we are isn’t supposed to be based on an idea. It’s supposed to be based on the truth.
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