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Main | The wonderfully crappy first draft »
Thursday
Dec272018

Writing romance in the age of #MeToo

My great-grandmothers used to exchange trashy romance novels. The dated covers and titles spoke of the two roles that women were relegated too in early romance novels. They were either pure-hearted virgins who needed a man to make awaken them sexually or scandalous harlots who needed a man to make an honest woman out of them.

I've been reading and writing romance and erotica for over twenty years now. While forbidden romance is always sexy, I'm glad to say goodbye to the two traditional roles for female characters and some horrible romance tropes.

These include:

  1. Women who are passive recipients for the sexual pleasures of men
  2. Men who force themselves on their supposed romantic interest because they cannot control their lust
Consent in romantic fiction is often implied. A good romance author will reveal to the reader the intents and desires of their characters on both - or multiple - sides of the romance. When done poorly, scenes that should be thrilling come off as creepy.
Someone said the only difference between a romance and a horror movie is the score. It's so true. So many romance films involve stalking, obsession and often unprompted displays of physical affection.
Fortunately, romance writing has evolved with the times. I find myself having characters state consent or ask for it explicitly. Done right, it adds to the tension of the scene.
What romance tropes are you ready to leave behind?

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