This week: The Romantic Side of Fantasy Edited by: Dawn Embers
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|Fantasy Newsletter by Dawn|
For February we look at romance side plots in speculative fiction. Even aliens or orcs can have a love story.
|When it comes to stories, I love fantasy and appreciate a little romance. I write both, often separate, but sometimes find that the two genres have a need to merge. While romance has a specific requirement that the love story is the central part of the plot, in fantasy a good element can be found in having characters who experience a little romance on the side of the main story. For example, I've been watching the tv rendition of The Wheel of Time and there are a few love aspects involved. That is not the main focus of the story but it does create some conflicts along with character development whether it's about Rand with Egwene or the warder and the wisdom from Two Rivers. There is something special that the romance adds without taking over the main plot.|
Exactly how far on the side is the romance? Well, that can range depending on the story. While it's often important to think of the main characters and the ones who are the point of view, we can't forget the cast that is in the background. Many different side characters come into play with a speculative fiction story. Even if it's a fleeting moment, the minor inn owner, bar maid or blacksmith can have an aspect of romance that shows in the story even if it's not a vital element. Give the little guys who don't get more than 3 seconds of the spot light a little love too.
Of course, the main characters can also have a romance. Whether it is successful or not can vary. If it's someone in the group or a character on the side (Harry Potter example maybe) will depend on the story. How much of an influence does it have on the plot can be a big deal too. It's all dependent on the characters and the plot. While it's fun to see romance stories that use fantasy worlds and characters (please more people write some for Weekly Quickie, hint hint) there is some merit in particular to the not main plot romance.
The thing about romance is it's something that many different readers can relate. Yes, some will not like romance but if you consider common reader demographics, it is known that romance is a big seller in books and movies. Sure the occasional character works who has absolutely no romance interest, that doesn't mean you have to stay away from the relationship questions when focusing on speculative fiction. We want to give readers characters and stories with some aspects they can grab or relate to, which is where a side element of romance can help.
On a last note, I will add a complete opposite to this newsletter. Give the no romance a chance. There is a whole section of orientation known as asexual/aromantic (just some of the titles but there is a wide range on the spectrum) that would appreciate representation in fiction.
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|Does your character also have a romance side situation involved in your speculative fiction story?|
“…There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest man go mad.”
― Homer, The Iliad
“It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.”
― Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
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