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13.07.2011 13:50    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Romance  Creative Writing  Writing Tips      Tags: definition  romance genres  

A romance is a love story that focusing on a changing relationship between two central characters, normally a man and a woman. It is about two people falling in love. The story ends in a positive, satisfying conclusion (happy ending). Usually, there is some sort of misunderstanding or conflict between the man and woman and the plot tells the reader how that is resolved into a strong, lasting relationship. Characters grow and change. Because the story focuses on this central relationship, dialog is often more important than description. Characters are often stereotypical.

CATEGORY ROMANCE
Category or SERIES refers to a publishing format. These are shorter works that released by publishers like Harlequin and Silhouette in order with a series number. Here publisher may be more important than author. In contrast, SINGLE-TITLE ROMANCES are longer works released individually and are not part of a series. Here the author is most important.

CHICK LIT
There is some controversy as to whether this is genre fiction or literary fiction. Dorchester's Making It is their chick lit imprint.

CHRISTIAN CHICK LIT
Chick lit without explicit sex and with much less materialism, including no recreational drinking. "These novels typically feature Bridget Jones types looking for the right man, the right chocolate, the right friends -- and the right relationship with God.

CHRISTIAN ROMANCE
Romantic story that reflects Judeo-Christian (family) values, especially those of more conservative Christians. Normally, this means no explicit sexual activity, no explicit violence, and no bad language. It also means that the woman finds the right man while finding the Lord. Romance without sex until after marriage is a key element.. Begins in the U.S. with Grace Livingston Hill and then Janette Oke in the 1980s. Sometimes this sub genre is called INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE. Historical romances often popular within this sub genre.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
A romance story set after World War II.

ETHNIC ROMANCE
Romance story featuring main characters who are not white and of European origin. Sometimes called MULTICULTURAL ROMANCE. The most popular ethnic romances deal with African-Americans and Hispanics. The ethnic culture provides a different context for the traditional romance elements.

EXOTIC ROMANCE
Romance story set in an exotic location, but usually in the current time.

FANTASY ROMANCE
Romance story with a magical or supernatural element. May include vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, and witches. Some may be erotic, dark, and intense while others are light and humorous. Harlequin's Luna imprint is an example as is Dorchester's Love Spell imprint.

FUTURISTIC ROMANCE
Romance story with strong science fictional elements. Again, the traditional romance plot elements separate this from science fiction.

GOTHIC ROMANCE
Romance story that includes both a mystery and a notable dark influence that may include the supernatural. A vulnerable, perhaps orphaned, younger woman takes a position at an isolated old place with dark secrets. " Heroines are plucky, curious, and tough-minded although they may not chose the right man at first. Unexplained events, ancient family secrets, and a general feeling of impending doom often characterize these tales." Usually set in the past.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Romance story set before World War II (some would use WWI). The American frontier and the Civil War are two popular time periods. EDWARDIAN ROMANCES are set in Britain between 1901 and 1910. ELIZABETHAN ROMANCES are set in Britain between 1558 and 1603. GEORGIAN ROMANCES are set in the 1700s in Britain. HISTORICAL REGENCY ROMANCES are set in the 1811-1820 period, but lack some of the traditional regency elements. VICTORIAN ROMANCES are set in the 1837-1901 period in Britain. MEDIEVAL ROMANCES are increasingly popular. Amanda Quick is a well-known historical romance author. Setting and period are increasingly varied.

HOLIDAY ROMANCE
Romance story set during a major holiday, often Christmas.

INNOCENT ROMANCE
Romance story with little or no described sexual activity. Christian fiction is a good example. LIGHT AND FLUFFIES would fall into this category with 48 books per year scheduled..

INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE
Usually CHRISTIAN ROMANCE, but stories free from explicit language, sexuality and the like. Solutions often involve a strong spiritual element. Religious faith solves problems. Janette Oke and Brodie and Brock Thoene are good examples.

MAINSTREAM ROMANCE
Romance in the story, but lacks all of the traditional romance genre elements. May not have a happy ending, usually focuses on a variety of relationship. Often published in cloth. Several romance writers, such as Nora Roberts, have had success in moving to this general fiction category. Often called WOMEN'S FICTION.

MATURE ROMANCE
A romance story featuring characters in their 50's and 60's with themes such as divorce, teenage kids, aging parents, and the like.

MULTI-CULTURAL ROMANCE
Romance with heroine and hero from non-white ethnic background. AFRO-AMERICAN romances are especially popular and sell well. Arabesque is a well known publisher.

PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Romance stories with otherworldly or out of body experiences such as angels, ghosts, vampires, telepathy or ESP. Paranormals may be sexy, funny, suspenseful, or futuristic. May also include TIME TRAVEL ROMANCES and SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCES. There is a discussion list devoted to paranormals.

REGENCY ROMANCE
Light comedy of "manners, custom, and social consequence" of the British upper classes between 1811 and 1820 and usually involving the aristocracy. Wit, subtle humor, and accurate descriptions are crucial ingredients. Georgette Heyer is the standard example. Jane Austin is the pioneer author. Amanda Quick and Jo Beverly are more recent ones. SEXY REGENCY uses the setting and themes of the regency romance but adds more explicit sexuality.

ROMANCE
Stories with a central love story between a man and a woman as well as an emotionally satisfying and optimistic conclusion. Usually, there is a misunderstanding between the two main characters or external factors force them apart. There is considerable emphasis on character development and the changing relationship between the two main characters. Characters are often stereotypical. Women are almost always interesting, independent, strong, and bright. Stories are easily read and understood. Almost always there is a happy ending.

ROMANTIC ADVENTURE
Strong, sexy, "savvy" women with martial and other skills "who save the day" and get their man along the way. Harlequin's Silhouette Bombshell imprint is the leader here. These have been called "kick-ass" romantic adventure.

ROMANTIC EROTICA
Romance stories with notably explicit sexual activity. As one editor said, these are "hot, hot, hot!" Sexy historicals are popular .

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Harder edged romance story with strong mystery/intrigue elements. "Blend of love and danger." "Is he going to kiss me or kill me?" Tami Hoag is a good example. This sub genre is growing in popularity. May include romantic adventure or vice versa. Stories may range from the dark and gritty to the light and humorous.

SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE
Rapidly growing in popularity, includes SF where the romantic element is substantial and an integral part of the story. Sometimes called FUTURISTIC ROMANCE. Along with other ALTERNATIVE REALITIES, accounts for about five percent of the romance titles published. There is a helpful website and newsletter devoted to this category. Includes reviews of many books issued by independent publishers.

WEDDING ROMANCES
Romantic stories of brides and weddings, often involving heroines and heroes who don't wish to be married, but find love and marriage anyway.

WOMEN'S FICTION
Fiction about women which deals with a variety of relationships and not just the relationship between the hero and the heroine. Often, thought to be more "literary."
 
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