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May 5th, 2009
Romance and Realism

Anyone ever tell you that romance novels are unrealistic? I get that a lot. Sometimes, when a female acquaintance finds out I write romance she’ll say, “Oh, sorry, I don’t read those.” When I ask why not, she’ll say, “Well, romance novels are so unrealistic.”


What exactly does that mean? I’ve always wondered.

Okay, yeah. I get that our heroes are not exactly realistic. I mean, hello? This is fiction we’re talking about. And I for one get more than enough of real men out in the real world. Give me a little fantasy. Please. I want my romance heroes to be better than real. I want a hero who’ll sweep me away with his strength and understanding, and yes, his really, really big… er, heart. ☺

So…can these women mean that reading about a hero like that is a bad thing? That they eschew an entire genre because they think it would be far better to read about real men? The kind who want dinner when they walk through the door (preferably served by you in a French maid outfit), after you’ve been picking up his dirty socks and taking care of his children all day? And then after twenty years leaves you for a younger model?

Wow, that sounds entertaining.

No, it’s got to be something else these women are talking about.

But what could it be?

Maybe they think love is unrealistic. That when our heroine meets a man she’s attracted to, she shouldn’t want or expect a white dress and a picket fence and a happily ever after with him. Because it is so unrealistic to believe in that stuff. I mean, jeez. When does attraction ever grow into a love that lasts a lifetime? Totally unrealistic.

Yeah, I’ll admit I’m stumped by their attitude.

So. What do you think they mean when they say romance is unrealistic?

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