Romance as a Genre (Original Fiction vs. Fanfiction)

I was drawn into a discussion about reading (and writing) genres recently, and it made me think (of course). The line my thoughts wandered off to the most strongly, however, was romance – it’s never been a genre that captivated my attention for long, personally.

(If I am reading a novel that is pure romance, I tend to get bored. Or sometimes the characters just aggravate me. Or I just . . . can’t get caught by the story.)

When I read novels with a romance element, they often need something else happening to keep my attention – that’s a personal thing, not a slight on the genre – so when I do, I tend to read paranormal romance, or mysteries a romantic subplot, etc. The romance can be a heavy part of the plot, but I have to have something else unfolding to tangle out as well. This is almost certainly due to the most common executions of novels in the genre, rather than an artefact of the genre itself.

I am also very, very sensitive to fremdschämen (even/especially on the behalf of fictional characters) and embarrassing or silly situations seem to be something of a staple of the romance genre, unfortunately. If I read a confrontation that makes me want to hide my face and shove the book under a pillow, I may be discouraged from enjoying the story.

All those things might make one think – not unreasonably – that romance doesn’t feature very prominently in my own writing. That assumption would be drastically incorrect – there is almost always at least some thread of love or romance. Sometimes it is close friends, siblings, etc. not always a romantic love, but those kinds of personal interactions draw me as being incredibly interesting (some of the most intense of human emotion and expression bloom from the centre of love).

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Book Review – Enchantment, by Charlotte Abel

Normally, even if I did not particularly care for a book, I try to give it a fair and balanced review, explaining good points as well as why I personally did not like it.

Sometimes, there is a book for which, in my opinion, this simply cannot be done. In this case, I usually flail and sputter and there is much exclaiming of ‘what the fuck?’ and often the desire to hit someone, usually the main character, as I read.

This was just such a book for me. So, welcome to my dissection of Enchantment, by Charlotte Abel (Book One of the series ‘Channie’) by way of WTF-ery. Here there be major spoilers, and they will be unmarked. Also here there be some bad language. It was unavoidable, I promise you.

This ranty review of WTF-ery is also very long. I apologise. This was also unavoidable. This is how long it was after I made myself leave out at least a third of the things I wanted to rant about.

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