1. Why oh why did you have to open this with my celeb crush, the gorgeous Michael B. Jordan!


    Seriously, though, I have long had some of the ideas about romance that you mention here – that it’s basically porn for women, etc.
    More recently, I’ve learned from some of my fellow writers that it can be much more than that. The genre can be quite respectable, and delves into parts of the human experience that ought to be explored in fiction.
    It can still be done poorly or with unnecessary salaciousness. And I believe it is unhealthy for some women. But it is not inherently as bad as I once thought.

    Still not my favorite to read, though! 😉

    • A lot of people do so don’t feel bad. It’s no different with people who think speculative fiction is bad for the soul. Any sort of it, in any capacity. I get flack for it, but one thing about the industry is that we have to develop thick skins.

  2. Rachel Laird says:

    Your article is definitely food for thought. I consider myself a sweet and edgy romance reader. I look forward to reading your second article on this subject.

  3. notleia says:

    YouTube recommended me a vidya where a female reviewer ranked romance tropes on a tier list, and her top picks were about the yearning, and I’m right there with her. Gimme that yearning. Mutual pining and a slow burn? Ded.

    But at the same time, because I’m contrarian, Imma push back on the notion that sex is a uniquely mystical act, per your footnote. Maybe I just have trouble understanding what people mean by “mystical” in this context? Is it because these people have few sources of euphoria in their lives? Is it because they’re trying to reconcile it with the long-standing Christian tradition of demonizing sex (often literally)?

    • Thank you for responding. What do you think mystical in this context means?

      • notleia says:

        TBH, I don’t think “mystical” even applies in this context. In fact, there are a lot of people who would argue that it’s one of the most earthy, bodily, non-spiritual things you could experience, yanno, because without our bodies we would not experience that kind of euphoria that feels like your bones are melting at the ends and leaves all your muscles relaxed.

        • Granted, one can have sex and not experience what I consider the ‘mystical’ connection of physical intimacy. But when the God of the Bible talks about knowing us, it’s not just knowing our names but an intimate connection with Him. When He calls the church His Bride, he’s not talking a platonic relationship but one of deep spiritual and physical togetherness as marriage symbolizes.

          But some choose to only see it as merely a physicality, and that’s their prerogative.

  4. I like the way you introduced the post with a good dose of comedy XD

    Recently I actually did a post about the importance and use of romance in fiction. Honestly I used to be a bit of a snob when it came to straight up romance stories(little kid me thought they were silly), but have since learned that romance can be a well written plot device, just like any other aspect of life. And I’ve actually seen writers experience problems when they can’t write romance well. Either they really struggle to make those elements turn out right, or they end up failing in that department because they were paying attention to everything EXCEPT the romance. And then that causes problems with characterization/plot…which gets noticed by fans, who will either complain or see the characters way differently than the author intended.

    Reading a wide variety of romance stories can reveal a lot about human nature, too. Especially if they’re webcomics or fanfictions. I like to analyze stories in relation to what authors and reviewers/commentors say, and it’s…telling, to say the least. On one hand it can be frustrating to see what people think and how they react to certain things, but at the same time it’s extremely fascinating.

    • Some authors don’t realize how effective a solid romantic thread in their works can add to the overall cohesiveness of a story. This is something I will be exploring in the next part of this series. Relationships matter and if this pandemic hasn’t shown us just how vital interpersonal relationships, romantic or otherwise, I’m not sure what else can.

  5. notleia says:

    Dumb Youtube trash that I <3:

  6. What a wonderful post! I love the realness of it all. When I first started writing, I agonized over writing something that I thought may lead readers into some kind of sinful indulgence. After much prayer, I felt released to write stories that were more human. Characters, like real people, are flawed. They struggle with a sin nature. Christian artists/writers/dancers/authors… are given a platform and we must perform our best work, and that includes writing cutting edge romantic fiction that shines as a bright and excellent work that points toward the glorious hope of Jesus Christ.

What do you think?