The argument for romance

Author Patty Jansen is not a big romance fan herself, but she wants you to write it anyway:

I think to be able to write contemporary romance is a great skill. Genre books often have romantic subplots, and it’s not unusual that the romance feels forced. Moreover, it’s likely that genre books have characters, and that you’d like the characters to be full and well-developed.

Writing contemporary romance can help immensely with both.

In contemporary romance, you strip away everything that makes a setting cool. You take away the space ships, the magic, the historical context, and you’re left with just characters and an everyday setting that’s well-known to all readers and needs no explanation … leaving the author to craft a story solely based on the characters and the developing of their relationship.

I think I did tolerably well on The way she used to be, since it’s almost entirely character-driven: not a whole lot actually happens beyond Broken Spoke’s efforts to track down Twist. And while he may have stepped over the line that defines a stalker, he’s really not malicious — though you wouldn’t expect Twist to welcome this sort of intrusion from someone she’d known for half an hour forty years before. And surely nothing in the settings — Baltimare harbor, various Ponyville locations, a hotel or two, and finally Detrot — is even remotely cool.

(Via this tweet.)

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