Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Romping through Romance

WOW! A big, huge Thank you to all of you that stopped by and enjoyed my interview with Heidi. According to my Google Analytics, I had 50 page visits yesterday! The most so far! I didn't expect for her to bring me fame. I love our blogosphere. Have I told you this lately?

Today has been one of those days already. We got up way too late, got the girls to school too late after threatening to make them stay in bed all day if they didn't hurry up and get dressed, do you HEAR ME?! LOL We love those mornings, right?

Today I wanted to bring the stage to you, again. I know, I know, I've got to stop making you write my posts. Really, though, I am curious. Do you think romance should be a factor in all YA books? Or all books in general? Should it be author's choice, or is there a standard?

I do not know the answer to any of those questions. I will tell you why it's been on my mind though. I have my nano project and another one that I started this month. Both of them have female leads. While the nano project, Addiction, has only fluttering heartbeats...no kissing, no dating, no "I love you's," but my new project appears to have a love interest. I don't *think* it will turn into anything, but my character could be a little rebellious and challenging me to a love scene. (Ick)


I don't really like big romantic hooplah in the books I read or write. I don't mind it in a movie, but for some reason, I lose interest in a book that revolves around a girl getting a guy or a guy getting a girl. It can be a small part of the book. But once characters are all goo goo and running everywhere with hearts in their eyes, I can't do it anymore.

However, the more I read about YA, the more I notice there is always some sort of romantic involvement. Which makes sense, obviously teens are in the dating phase of life and feeling all those giddy moments of "ahh true love" and they can relate with a character going through the same. My character has some giddy moments, but for the most part she feels dating is not worth her time. Or at least, she doesn't end up dating, kissing, or otherwise engaging in bodily connections anywhere in the book. I purposely wanted to portray her strength as an individual. Especially through her choices. (BTW, this is NOT to say that other authors try to make their characters conformists or co-dependant or anything!! PLEASE do not be offended.) Is this wrong?

I have two daughters, my princesses. No, really, they are MY princesses. My nine year old is not allowed to have 'boyfriends'. Even though yesterday the first words out of her mouth when she got in the car were, "Riley asked me to the dance!" And, yes she was flushed with excitement, grinning from ear to ear and I had to smile and pretend I didn't want to find this Riley kid and punch him the nose. I want to scream, "You are NINE! NINE! No need to worry about emotions and boy/girl crap right now, right?! I mean, REALLY?" (sorry about that tangent, apparently I needed it...don't you love that about writing?...oops, I'm soo ADD, I swear!)  Anyway, the point I make with them is that they have plenty of time to find boyfriends. Are they going to be with this one 9 year old for the next 10 or 15 years? No. So, why bother right now? Why put the strain of a 'relationship' so to speak, on top of schoolwork and obeying parents?

I believe this way of thinking subconsciously...okay, consciously, makes my way into these books I write. In my new project, which we will call Stolen Years for now, my MC is again a female and rather than be lovesick, she is more....manipulative with boys. Of course someone needs to come along and try to change that about her...sooo romance is impending, I think. Lord, help me. So, weigh in, fellow readers and tell me what you think. Do you think romance, as in boyfriend/girlfriend, is necessary in YA?


  1. I'm much more interested if romance is present (though perhaps not the main element-- I hate when the whole book is about the girl getting the boy or their sappy romance). Books are interesting to me because they are commentaries on the human experience. Romance and love are a huge part of that (at least in my eyes).

  2. I agree that romance is a huge part of growing up. I think that's why I'm struggling with my former MS which has very little. Other than forming a little crush, but she doesn't become involved.

  3. I think you have to write the book you want to write. There are plenty of books out there that don't have romances, I know they're out there even if I don't read them. I'm one of those that quickly looses interest if there be no romance or interesting relationship. Now movies, it's the opposite for me, I just hate it when they throw in a romance just to throw in a romance, keep it action-adventure darn it, throwing in the token romance does not make it better. Of course, I'm also the first one to admit that when the romance is done well, I like those action-adventures way better than the ones that don't have any romance.

    Truthfully, if you don't like to read it, you really shouldn't write it. It'll show up in your writing (there are always exceptions to this rule, but it pays to be careful).

  4. Most books mirror parts of life. Most parts of YA life involve relationships of some sort. I'm with Natalie - I don't want romance to be the focal part of the story, but I'm okay with it as an element of the story.


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