This week: Cozy Romance StoriesEdited by: Lonewolf
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A cozy romance is often a puzzle where all the pieces are available for assembly, even if the one which points at the killer needs to be flipped or examined more closely. The crime will either occur before the story starts or soon after it begins. The main character becomes involved with the situation and sets out to solve the injustice.
As the sleuth gathers clues and gossip, there may be a threat with which increases the tension. There may also be fear that a second crime will occur. The cozy is not a roller coaster ride as much as it is an examination of human experience. Instead of unexpected plot twists, cozies are known for surprising revelations.
In mysteries, cozy or not, the most important thing is for the protagonist to jump into solving the murder or other crime and reach a satisfying resolution to it by the end of the story.
Cozy Romance stores often revolve around small towns. Most cozies are written in a series and are character-driven with an underlying theme that draws the reader in. What happens to all the people in them, particularly the protagonist is vital to the story. The protagonist often stars in a number of stories within the series, and in each one he/she stumbles into murder situations that they must dive in and solve.
If you throw a romantic interest in a cozy it only adds to the unique environment that helps cozies because they are character-driven. However, unlike in romances, what happens with the love interest does not need to be resolved in the first story in the series, the second, or any of them.
Most cozies feature amateur detectives with police officers or private investigators as friends. You must still focus on personal relationships and should downplay realistic aspects of the crime and investigative practices or you'll be crossing into the police procedural sub-genre.
The relationship between the protagonist and their chosen love interest doesn't always have a happy ending. This element added to the cozy is a piece that remains true to life. You could start with one person and end up with someone totally different.
It also gives the writer a chance to mix and match different characters that allow the main character to develop and find who is better suited for the character. Most rules can be bent and some can be broken. As long as you remain true to the overall sense of the cozy, you do have some leeway with your characters and plot.
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