Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thoughtful . . . About Romance

It's a topic I've written about before. Romance in novels--what we expect from them, what we expect from life because of them. There are some people who have been adversely affected by them, drawn astray or given unrealistic expectations. There are others who had found inspiration and the draw of the Lord.

I firmly believe that the call of a Christian romance writer is to try for that second option--we want to pain a picture of love and romance as God intends it to be. Maybe not perfect from the get-go, mind you, but with characters who are all messed up and find the one the Lord intends for them anyway.

We've been discussing this on one of the groups I belong to, and one thing that came up was how quickly things tend to happen in romances. Ignoring the disturbingly-fast tendency to jump into bed with each other in secular novels, even in CBA a story usually only covers a few weeks. Is that really enough time to fall in love? To know?

Yes and no. In my opinion, it's plenty of time to feel that burst of love and know this is one God has in mind for you--it's just not enough time to be ready for marriage (generally speaking). And in thinking about this, it occurs to me that in the majority of my manuscripts, I avoid this problem by having main characters who already know each other very well by the opening of the book.

In Fire Eyes, they grew up together. In Mafia Princess they grew up together. In Peculiar they grew up together. In Note to Self, the one I just finished on Tuesday (woo hoo!), they'd known each other for about five years. Sure, once in while I'll write something where they don't--but it's an issue for them. One that requires certainty from the Lord and some serious prayer before they make any decisions.

This is a broad topic, and I might touch on other parts of it in later weeks. But for now, I'd love to hear other opinions on the pitfalls and virtues of the romance novel (Christian ones in particular) and how they should be handled--in writing and in life.

1 comment:

  1. Something I'm starting to get burned out on is how everyone is beautiful. The guys are hot, the girls are stunning ... I'm ready for a romance of regular looking people.