Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Eternal Misconception of Romance

So if you’re like me then you spent this past Saturday evening watching the Season 2 premiere of Outlander. It’s best to keep accolades to one word when describing this series and how good it is because if you actually tried to express that sentiment to the fullest, you’d probably be writing forever. It’s just that good! I had heard of the book series-I adore historical romance, but had never delved into this particular saga before watching the show.

     I’ve spoken before on how wonderful it must feel as an author to watch your words come to life in such a fashion. What I haven’t spoken on (not here on this platform anyway) is how wonderful it is to watch this particular show with its romance roots being received as it has been. This show has unveiled Claire’s and Jamie’s story to scores of new fans unfamiliar with the books-with…the romance.

     As writers and readers of the genre we are all too familiar with the glazed over looks and eye-rolls that the more “serious” readers among us will give when we are speaking of a title classified as romance. Of course we know what they’re thinking. We’ve heard it often enough-heard the crass remarks and insults about how we’re wasting our time on smut and drivel. I used to argue along and get on my soapbox when I met with those highbrow readers who believed the time I spent reading romance was time I was spending not being fully engaged. They believed these stories couldn’t possibly skim even the outskirts of high adventure, suspense, drama, danger, mystery…

     What they don’t understand is that in romance, there is no such thing as the best of both worlds. Romance spans the best of ALL worlds. There are no limits, no rules about what can and cannot happen. Wow…that sounds a lot like other fictional genres, doesn’t it? There are no rules, there are no limits. However, unlike so many other genres, for me, Romance is so unapologetically unapologetic. I believe that’s why I’m so consumed by it in my reading and my writing. While other genres may not emphasize romance, romance is a part of those storylines just the same. It is next to impossible for that element not to play into a story and yet the eye rolls and insults remain.

     Now, of course there are still those highbrows that would say Outlander is sooo much more than romance and I would agree. Romance however, is very much a part of what makes this series so engaging, so potent and so irresistible. 

     Will the popularity of this show; and shows that will most likely be considered and produced as a result of its success, change the views of romance? Time will tell. Views of romance are changing nonetheless. Readers of other genres are growing more enlightened about the worlds of romance and what they offer. As a reader and writer, I look forward to the changes to come. 

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