Romance. Romantic Suspense. Historical Romance. Inspirational Romance. Paranormal Romance. Contemporary Romance. The list goes on and on. All of these genres have one thing in common--romance.
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I have no idea how many genres of fiction there are, and it seems as if new genres pop up often. However, I do know that romance novels are still wildly popular, and I predict they always will be. But maybe you're not familiar with romance. Sure, some of the books you've read have been romantic, but have they been romance novels?
When a book's genre features romance as a primary tag, you can bet on one thing: the book is about two people falling in love. Their love is the primary objective.
In a romantic suspense, two people fall in love in dangerous circumstances. In a historical romance, two people fall in love in a past time period. In an inspirational romance, two people fall in love and grow spiritually. In a paranormal romance, two people--or creatures--fall in love in a paranormal setting. In a contemporary romance, two people fall in love in modern times. The key is that the main story is about two people falling in love.
If you're at all confused about the genre of your book or a book you've read, study the plot. Romances start and end with the romantic journey. The hero and heroine meet relatively quickly in the book, and the last thread that's wrapped up is their romantic dilemma. Also, the couple will share most scenes.
If the plot begins and ends with anything other than the love journey, the book most likely is not a romance but contains romantic elements. It's important to have a good grasp on the difference between the two when querying agents and editors.
Do you read romance novels? What draws you to them? If you don't, what turns you off about them?
Join me on Wednesday when we'll look at romance as a sub-genre.