In a recent facebook post, I asked for people's thoughts on the romance genre. Specifically why they thought there still existed a negative stigma.
A few proud romance readers didn't hold back in confessing their love. (Pun intended).
A few admitted to reading them, but feeling embarrassed.
Others said they didn't like romance books because they're poorly written ... too predictable ... leave nothing to the imagination.
I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised.
See, I write romance. Granted my opinion is strongly biased, but I wouldn't say my books are poorly written (I've spent years trying to make them otherwise), that they're predictable, and hopefully they inspire the imagination rather than kill it.
My writing aside, I've read many wonderfully written insightful romances. The days of Fabio ribbing the clothes off a damsel are long gone (truthfully mostly gone, some still like those, and that's okay). In this day, smart women are writing smart books. Trust me.
A note on predictability in romance. To be categorized as the romance genre, your book must have two things. 1) a central love story, and 2) a happy ever after ending. In that way, when you pick up a romance, you already know it's about love, and you're guaranteed a happy ending. Does that really make the characters or storyline predictable? I think not.
Below you'll find my Facebook response to the discussion:
I would argue that all genres have some predictable storylines. (In fact there's a theory that there is nothing original remaining, and every thing we do is a recycling of what's already been done).
I would also argue that romance has some wonderfully written insightful gems. That while the HEA (happy ever after) ending that is a hallmark of romance can be predictable, how they get there is not.
I would even go so far as to argue that a primary reason the romance genre is seen as less-than is because it's primarily written and read by women.
Just something to think about ...