Ok I should first preface this with the admission that I am not a Romance author. I say Romance with a big “R” to indicate a book or author whose books are placed in the romance section of a bookstore and handled by editors and agents within that genre.
I am however a author who writes romance. By the little “r” I’m referring to the fact that romance is the heart of my stories. It may not be the plot driving mechanism that it is in Romance books- but without romance my books would be less dimensional, have less feeling and heart.
Whenever I come up with my heroine (or hero) I almost always immediately think up their significant other. Again- even though my plots (so far) could exist quite well with no romance- I find my brain automatically switches onto “Ok, here’s my lead- now where is her partner- where’s the guy who’s going to join her for this adventure? “
I, however, don’t really put much in terms of sex in my books (yes, I know- I have a few folks who hate me for that ;)). It’s not that I’m a prude; I read Romance books and enjoy them. I just don’t feel it fits with my writing at this point. Or with my current projects. And there really aren’t undying declarations of love either.
So is it possible to have romance without Romance or Sex?
Probably the easiest example would be a tv show. Doctor Who (new incarnation) had a massive low level love story between the Doctor and his first companion, Rose. This was played out slowly and there were no overt sexual or Romantic elements for the most part. But there is no denying there was romance. An example of this was in a video made by an extremely talented friend of mine Ryalin.
There is no doubt from the clips that these two characters loved each other (which you can get even if you have never seen the tv show ;)).
Yet there is no sex, no deep passionate embraces. However the emotion is there.
So this all comes back to what is romance? Can I in good conscience say that I am not a Romance writer, yet I write stories with romance?
Here’s what the dictionary has to say:
1: a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural (2) : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious (3) : a love story especially in the form of a novel b : a class of such literature
2 : something (as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact
3 : an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity
Hmmm- it does mention “a love story” but there seems to be so much more. It appears that by the above definition most all fiction that has some emotional pull is in fact a romance.
I would state that romance is the emotional connection between two people, a pull towards each other. And that it's pretty much in most everything.