Forums Forums Editing the Romance Novel Discussion questions for Week 1 Reply To: Discussion questions for Week 1

Sabrina Young

1. What are some of the things you expect when you read a romance? Why do you/readers read romance?

When I read romance, my overall expectation is that it’s going to be fun–that’s why I’m reading it. Not fun as in “funny (like a rom-com), but fun in that it follows the journey of smart, interesting people in a way that intrigues me and makes me curious enough to keep reading. I also want to see a strong character arc for both MCs; these people should be changed by the end of the book.

I read romance because it is sex-positive, feminist literature featuring strong female protagonists and that is written primarily by women for a widely female audience.

2. What sub-genres of romance have you read (e.g., paranormal, romantic suspense)? What are some similarities that you’ve noticed among the various novels in the sub-genres you’ve read?

I read historicals, contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and some YA and new adult. I don’t usually read romantic suspense or inspirational. Similarities I’ve noticed among these sub-genres include: alpha males, virgin heroes/heroines, rich hero/lower-class heroine, exiled or secret princess/queen/savior of her people, assassin/victim, and all of the common romance tropes, which transcend any sub-genre.

3. Which common storylines do you most enjoy and why?

I love enemies-to-lovers because the conflict is often substantial to overcome and there’s going to be a good character arc. As Misha also pointed out, the banter is usually sharp and witty with strong dialogue.

4. How can writers find new twists for old classics?

Take modern problems and set them somewhere else, like in the past, the future, or on another planet or another world. Gender-flip the usual power/class struggle of the rich duke/billionaire/rake and the twenty-something spinster/virgin (or any common stereotypes). Write a neuro-divergent character in the Regency and make him the hero. Take a classic villain and turn her/him into the hero. (All of these have been done.)