Mr Wonderful and I recently watched a movie which ticked my “rom-com craving” box, but left him wanting in the subplot department. I reminded him not every film unfolds like a Bourne thriller. This spurned conversation about genre in books, and I experienced a split-second moment of feeling intelligent as I explained the intricacies of romantic fiction and the expectations of readers.
While multi-layered rom-coms exist, romance focuses on the central Love Story: the journey from singlehood to #couplegoals, ending with the all-important, satisfying story completion as the new couple rides into the sunset.
As we chatted, I realised something (which should’ve been obvious to me!). Although I enjoy reading romance novels of varying subgenres and tropes, my inner author craves the deeper, beyond-the-surface inner workings of the protagonist. My writing juices flow when I peel away the layers and discover what each character is “made of”. Following the protagonist’s treacherous journey to a place of peace is my reward.
Although I weave romantic threads throughout my writing, it wasn’t the “be-all and end-all” when I wrote Punctured Heart (or Wounded Soul, which releases on 30 March! Woot!). Victoria’s journey was less about who she kissed and more about whether she attained her peace and faith in God as she struggled against internal and external forces. Yes, the kisses mattered, as did her relationships with the different men in her life. But so did her grief and loss, and the crushing weight of her memories and unfulfilled desires. Her need to connect with others and feel loved. Her determination to live a God-pleasing life despite her world disintegrating.
Do you enjoy reading novels which deal with harder topics and dive deeper into the human experience?
Until next time,