M. C. A. Hogarth (haikujaguar) wrote,
M. C. A. Hogarth

When is it Romance with Fantasy Elements vs. Fantasy with Romantic Elements?

My readers, I turn to you for your opinions. I have been reading romance novels to see if I can get a handle on the tropes; I admit this because romance makes better money than SF/F, and because I like writing relationships even if I’m not really fond of writing sex. But I’m really not clear on when a book with fantasy or SF elements belongs in romance versus when someone decides it’s a fantasy novel with romantic elements and doesn’t belong in the romance section.

This is already pertinent because, for instance, Audible tried to shelve Wingless in the romance section. And I was terrified this would cause Great Ire because I don’t think it has the required romantic elements. But some research indicates maybe I was wrong? Now I’m not sure anymore.

So help me out, if you read both genres. What makes a book a romance novel? What things make it no longer suitable for a romance audience? And vice versa: what makes a book a fantasy novel, if it has romantic elements?

Also, if you have any notion, how much explicit action do romance novels require? Does that differ depending on the subgenre?

If my notes are correct, I have accidentally written one romance, “Unspeakable.” And purposefully written a different one, “Skip-leveling.” But I still have no idea what makes, for instance, some of the Jane Austen-rewrites that involve magic fantasy, but a similar book set in the time period with magic very strictly a gay romance.


Mirrored from MCAH Online.

Tags: fantasy, genre, poll, romance, writing
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