Storybook Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I saved my blog for the occasion to talk about romance from my point of view by discussing two of my characters.

I’m not a big fan of romance. A little bit of a love story is fine, but once a story focuses on the love story part, I start to lose interested. If it’s a romantic comedy I’m more interested in the comedy rather than the romance, so I’ll be interested if it’s really funny. Love triangles especially annoy me.

For example, I watch the shoe Jane the Virgin. I love that show, but not because of the romance aspect. Jane’s dream is to be a romance novelist, and I love her journey in that direction. The characters are fantastic, the narrator is witty, and the constantly twisting plot keeps me hooked.

Jane ends up in a love triangle with two characters, Michael and Rafael, and at this point I’m glad it’s over. After a couple of episodes of “who should I choose?” I’m rolling my eyes thinking “can you please just decide so we can talk about other things?”

There are love stories in my writing. One of my beta readers is intent on my two main characters falling in love. If that happens or not is a spoiler, and I won’t say. The reality is, I like to look at love from a more practical point of view. Too much romance is unrealistic. Love is complicated.

This wasn’t always true.

Once upon a time Darkness Falling was full of the sappy daydream of a teenager who’d never had a serious boyfriend. Impyra, my lovely protagonist, was highly stylized to feel my own wishful thinking. I tried to create her as a mirror to myself. Her trials were somewhat different. She suffered abuse where I’d gone through sever bullying. Despite that, I was trying to create for her the thing that I really wanted: true love.

Going back into the story and having a great deal more knowledge and research on the subject of abuse, Impyra has grown up in my head while I grew up into adulthood. She’s no longer chasing a dream of true love, but rather the hope of self-discovery. Her worries are no longer the worries of my teen years.

I know that I’ve found love in my life, and come to understand what it really means. It isn’t about heart shaped candy boxes, roses, or rings. Those are all nice things, but for me, real love is much more than that.

It’s my husband playing with the kids so that I can focus on writing.

It’s being pulled in for a surprise hug while washing the dishes.

It’s watching a movie or show together after a long day.

These are simple things, but they are precious and what make up the moments of life. The big gestures are only special because they are not a common occurrence. That is the feeling I hope to put into the love stories in my books. Quiet, unassuming, and real.

What is your favorite type of love story? Let me know in the comments


Happy Valentine's Day2


2 thoughts on “Storybook Romance”

  1. I like a love story that’s important to the plot but not all-consuming. I like characters who do real things in real ways, in the real situations we all find ourselves in. I get turned off by men who are demanding and self-absorbed, and women who allow themselves to be manipulated. Unfortunately, that seems to be a common theme in “romance” novels today.

    Maybe that’s why I read mysteries …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I also don’t like a lot of sappy language. Lines like “you complete me” make me gag. I’d much rather hear, “I vacuumed while you were at the store.” Now that’s love.


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