I just started and finished reading my first novel for this year. Don’t judge me! I get it…EIGHT DAYS IN. I’m so behind…Usually to ease back into my arduous Goodreads annual goal, I prefer to stay away from heavy, thought-provoking topics and keep things light. Just my luck…what I assumed was meant to be a quick book about “best friend, puppy love, silly high-school dramatic bullshit” turned into “girl gets bone cancer, leg amputation, can’t live with or without you love”. So after sobbing uncontrollably through what seemed like five chapters, I pulled myself together and powered through.
Has anyone else ever underestimated the power of a romance novel? From different conversations I’ve had over the years with “professional readers” such as myself, I think more than not we tend to snub the romance genre. We too quickly label it “dramatic bullshit”.
There is a misconception that romance is easy to write…because authors like Nora Roberts spit out a gazillion books a year. And haven’t we all experienced love at some point? So that means we could all write about it, huh? And isn’t the formula for a romance novel the same almost every time? Two People+Sexual Tension+Insta Love+Sex Scenes (tastefully sprinkled throughout)/ Miscommunication + A Huge Falling Out+ Triangle= HEA or Not
But I am here to remind those that snub (even myself) that these novels are capable of something powerful. They speak to our inner most selves. They creep into our souls and claw at our hearts. While reading romance I have felt love, sadness, desire, regret, nostalgia, longing…
My point to all this is that all writing is art. Art is meant to make us feel something..anything. Authors carefully paint with words…and honestly, some of it is pure, cringe-worthy shit…but all of it is magic.