Do I even write romance?

How do you know what you’re writing, especially when others define genres for you? I usually consider my writing to be part romance. I don’t always write a love story, but a lot of stories have romantic elements centered on the protagonist’s romantic relationships. They may not be the central focus, but they are a very strong element and are usually deeply woven with other plot elements. Does that not make them romance? I consider them romantic fantasy, romantic alternate history, steampunk romance, or paranormal romance. Yet people keep indicating that #romance needs to follow certain patterns.

I’ve never been one for too much conformity. I know some people will read my stories and say “This isn’t romance!”, but I disagree. The problem with the concept of genre’s and sections is having to define everything. I often wonder do I, as an African American author, go in the African American section or the science fiction section? Do I get put with Maya Angelou or do I get put in “poetry”. Things like that aren’t me overreacting, as some have told me, it is me being conscious of how genre placement can impact me. It is me being aware very few non-blacks will bother venturing to “black” sections of the book store. It is me being aware that someone who picks up a romance novel has different expectations then someone picking up a fantasy novel.

Do I have to conform to standards of Romance to make a romance? I don’t believe so. Every author in the world has probably wondered about their works classification at some point. Not because they don’t know what it is…but because the world may not agree with it.

Do I write romance?
I believe I write my romance. For now I can only hope that is enough.

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5 thoughts on “Do I even write romance?

  1. I’m not much for conformity either. Where I grew up, non-conformity was called being a brat. I’d much rather be a brat than a lemming. I don’t give any real thought to the race or gender of the author of what I am reading. I do like to know the author’s story, but those two things are not deciding factors on what I read or don’t read.
    Have a blessed weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting! Its hard as a writer to figure out how to conform in marketing terms, so your fans will find you and keeping your style and story. I think we all try to find that balance even as a bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I don’t really worry about it even with my blogging. I write what feels right to me. Either folks like it or they don’t. I hope that they will like it, of course. We all have to do what works for us. But, if one is trying to sell their writing, then it does have to be considered. It can be very difficult to figure how to market it.

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  2. Being caught in a niche is something I’m very wary about. I mean, I get the marketing side of it, but I can’t predict what sort of story I’m going to write next -hell, I don’t usually know what the story I am writing right now will turn out to be, I can’t plan a story to save my life.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, and trust me I know where you’re coming from. For a number of stories I never know where I’m going and it has only been in the last few years that I’ve been planning more because I realized it makes me more likely to finish a story and not get stuck.

      The thing about falling into a niche is that there are ways to work around it by having pen names and such, but even then it is so hard to balance appealing to a genre and being original. We should all write what we love, but you’re still writing for an audience and people still react to who you are perceived to be as a writer. Not many people buy kids books from authors of erotica…which is bullshit and shitty but it is what it is.

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