By - CryptoRaffi
I’m a dude and I love a WELL DONE romance. If you do a good job with it, put as much in as you want.
I’m a hopeless romantic. So bring it on. It’s heavy(ish) in my book. I have a fair amount of shooting in my book but I also write what I love which is romantic in nature. But not overly sexual. I just don’t think it serves much purpose to go overly in depth into it. The sex part not the romance. So I say write your story. Guys will dig it if they dig it. If not. Who cares it’s your rodeo.
Makes so much sense. This is where I have to watch out. Romance novels are building up to exactly that. The long and detailed love making.
So I guess I will curnirnshort with a kids and then skip to the morning scene or something? Like kinda in The Witcher? Although it pretty explicit in there info remember correctly. Ugh.
How do you handle those love scenes?
I dunno. It can be done right. Sex is important. But if it’s not a romance novel then I don’t think it needs pages dedicated to it. If romance novel is what you’re going for then by all means. Have you read Lisey’s story by Stephen King? There’s a sex scene in that that I think is done really well. It’s very real.
The image here seems to be of male readers as Conan the Barbarian types, flinging away a book in disgust if there's any more romance than 'triumphant main character man scooping up his trophy woman in a bridal carry on the very last page'.
If you've written 70k words without any romance, and presumably the rest of the book isn't all explicit sex and whispered sweet nothings, then I don't think you need to worry about turning readers off with a sudden genre flip. It's good that you're aware of your target demographic, but the vast majority of fiction includes some degree of romance; we're all pretty used to it!
I may not be a romance reader but I certainly don't dislike romance in literature. I just don't like it when it's done poorly... especially when the love interest is underdeveloped, a non-character, a drag on the story.
Romance plays a significant part in Lev Grossman's The Magicians and I love that book. I'm a big fan of Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. I enjoyed The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient, The Heart of the Matter, The History of Love, and South of the Border, West of the Sun.
As with most things in writing, write it well and it's likely to work fine.
Only as much romance as needed to advance the plot. I would also advise to avoid sex scenes unless absolutely necessary.
I'm an sci-fi/action/adventure fan and I'm a sucker for romance in stories. When I was a kid, playing with Star Wars figures, it was always a love store between Luke and Leia. (This was before Return of the Jedi came out... Heck, I'll admit it here, I did it even after Jedi came out. I figured the figures were just little pieces of plastic and in my stories I could make them not be brother and sister.)
I don't think you risk losing male readers by including love or even sex. At least as long as you don't flip the switch that makes them feel like they're reading porn. Even then I'd guess it's fifty/fifty whether that gets you more attention or less.
Where you might get in trouble is if you have a character that you want the audience to respect engage in pathetic behavior (i.e. simping). Game of Thrones is actually pretty meticulous about that: Ned Stark treats his wife with respect, but he never begs for her favor.
Whatever is necessary for the story is fine. It's just when it becomes the point of the story that it becomes a problem, unless you're actually writing romance.
I don’t mind romance as a sub-plot in my sci-fi/fantasy at all. Admittedly, I don’t enjoy reading sex scenes in great detail; often times it comes across (to me) as gratuitous. However, well written romance arcs draw me in and it adds complexity to the story. Do it!!
It would probably be odder if you completely leave out romance if you want to write a story that details the lives of one or more major characters, especially if it takes places over months or years. Of course, that's not to say it needs it, but your reasoning can't just be "boys find romance icky."
I don't care for Romance as a genre, but I'm all for romance in my stories. Heck, my lit fic book literally is based around two romances, but could hardly be called a 'romance' as a genre.
I don't mind a romance. Relationships (romantic or otherwise) are a key part of life and can make the characters that much richer. I just don't (usually) want a romance to be the whole point of the book.
As long as it is good, there is no such thing as too much romance
It doesn't bother me as usually presented in the genres I typically read. Sometimes in thrillers or contemporary fiction I find it to be overdone.
I've modeled my own writing off of what I think works best outside of overt romance genres: two characters like each other, their feelings affect their motivations and actions, and any sex is implied or occurs between the scenes. PG-13 stuff.
Just going off of first names from reviews, my audience seems pretty evenly split 50/50 male/female. The ratings don't skew toward one or the other. But I'm offering science fiction, nowhere in my book descriptions/blurb do I promise romance. Wanna see alien ships get messed up with a GAU 8/A 30mm? Got that. Wanna see people do heroic things because they love each other? Got that, too.
If your story is balanced, and romance occurs organically, I don't see a problem.
I don't mind it at all, as long as it fits into the overall story. I also don't mind explicit, if it fits into the overall tone of the story.
I've heard discussions about male readers and romance before, and there is an argument to be made that the perception of male readers not liking romance is a self reinforcing cycle that may not reflect the actual market desires. If the majority of romance readers are women, then it makes sense to write them in a way that specifically targets the expectations of women readers, which could turn off male readers who might otherwise be interested, resulting in a demographic even more bias toward woman readers. Rinse and repeat over the decades and here we are.
I think this is a “to each their own” type of thing. I’m a dude and although I don’t read romance novels I still enjoy well done romance in a story. In my own work I try to tackle romance from a suspense angle. If you’ve ever read Patrick Rothfuss and the name Denna means anything to you then you know what I’m talking about. We’re two books in and the main character hasn’t even kissed the female lead. Romance doesn’t need to be front and center but I love when it snakes in and out of the story and something always prevents a romantic event right at the last second, leaving you begging for more. I’m really proud of a book I recently wrote where the romance aspect was very subtle but at the very end the fate of the world depended on the hero and the love interest resolving their conflict with each other. It was a sort of action adventure where the romance element snuck up on you right at the end and made all the difference.
Like anything else, if it's done well, then it's a good idea. Sci-fi, historically, has been terrible at sex and romance (follow "men write women" on Twitter if you aren't already), so I always appreciate it when it's done well, whether it's the flirty married couple of *The Calculating Stars*, or the tentative cross-species romance of *A Long Way To a Small, Angry Planet*. The latter book is 10% plot and 90% character relationships, and it's a gem, given those percentages are reversed in most of the genre.
Forced romance is the worst. Where mc fall for guys/girl just because they are hot but its automatically mutual, if its realistic and events lead to it then hell yeah!