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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Charles Phipps Posted - 01 Apr 2006 : 09:12:50
To talk about the subject of romance in Forgotten Realms, I thought I'd open this topic.

However, before we begin a quick reminder.

Don'ts

* This is not a place to express distaste for sexual mores in FR.

* Don't insult any pairings.

* DOUBLE DO NOT speculate on the author's relationships with their characters.

Do's

* Discuss your favorite romances in FR and why they appeal to you.

* Do discuss what you'd like to see romantic wise.

* Do discuss the relationship with the gods displayed in canon and romance.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CorellonsDevout Posted - 20 Sep 2017 : 01:47:42
I wasn't here for the "first life" of this thread, but I'll contribute now.

I think the majority of the Realms have some form of romance going on, but some are more prominent than others. I won't spoil anything, but Last Mythal is great, and I enjoyed the romance. Oh, speaking of which, Blades of the Moonsea, also by Baker, is a very loose follow-up to LM, and that has a nice romance, too. It is also a good story. It is 4E era, but worth the read. I also recommend reading Anthology of the Elves after LM. The last story in there takes place during the events in LM, and the main character is featured in Blades of the Moonsea.

As for new stuff, I would agree that Brimstone Angels and Shadowbane feature romance more prominently in their stories, but they don't detract from the plot and action. They're well done, IMO. I would say the more recent Drizzt books deal a bit more with relationships, too.
Seravin Posted - 19 Sep 2017 : 18:37:43
Giogi and Cat; love those two and their subsequent cameos.
Firestorm Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 23:07:28
quote:
Originally posted by Adhriva

How did you ever convince Mystra to let you cast Resurrect Scroll at this level? O.o I'm glad you did or I would never have seen it.

I too enjoy Ilsevele's love arch because it's well structured. Not enough time was spent on it but that's due to the pace of the story and the fact that her love story is secondary to the unfolding events (as opposed to someone else's). I especially like the final scenes of it because I always felt Fflar was her gateway when it came to learning how to love Cormanthyr. Sieveril's words to her at the Battle of Myth Drannor doubled as her road map to restoring Myth Drannor (Drannor comes from the unlikely love story of an elf and a dwarf no less) which I thought was brilliant on Rich's part. One step at a time, and Fflar wonderfully represents the people of Cormanthyr as a whole. I also enjoyed it because Ilsevele strikes me as one of the few potential demi-romantic/sexual oriented characters in literature.

DOWNSHADOW by Erik Scott de Bie has a wonderful romance plot in it's story structure, one I think you should check out if you're looking for good Realm romances. I think where most romance plots go wrong in general is that the characters either are not a part of the over arching thematic structure or their romantic interaction doesn't further the story's theme. You see in most stories, there is only ever 1 [meta] character - each player on stage we see in the story are different facets of the theme and character represented as they collide in meaningful ways. Often, the love interest is also the main opponent (the one who challenges the hero the most and also is the most deeply connected to who the hero is). To quote a chosen of Besheba: "Love is the sharpest sword of all", and for good reason. In DOWNSHADOW, let us say we have two competing love interests for our protagonist: Fayne and Myrin. Fayne represents our hero's inner darkness. The desire for vengeance, the masks he wears, the lies he tells - she is the embodiment of his inner most self that is all but numb to him despite wishing otherwise. This, of course, is contrasted with Myrin, whose innocent naivety is powerful and dangerous to herself and others. She represents his dreams, his idealism, his own wishful beliefs about himself and the way the world should be. The driving story structure comes down to what does our protagonist desire more? What does he cling to and crave here? It's a subplot told through the framework of romance, very similar to any interaction you'd find in mythology where the characters represent different parts of nature or ourselves. If you have a character that is more interested in confronting what he desires most head on, you're going to have that scene play out through conflict instead of romance, friendship, or any other framework. No story simply follows the hero around until the problem is solved - although great characterization will make you forget that all stories are staged - it's the structure of the story that propels it all forward. DOWNSHADOW, despite not typically being billed as a romance novel amongst fans, follows this philosophy extremely well in the way it utilizes romance between its cast of characters. It's well worth checking out.



I had a hard time getting into Erik's books.

But that is possibly because he could be a bit belittling and insulting to posters on these forums when we spoke of our thinking the spellplague was a mistake and might kill the realms off. I did not even know he was an author until he started inserting that factoid into every other post while chiding us.

In the end, we were right about the Spellplague. It started a downward spiral from which the realms could not recover.

Nevertheless, I gave Depths of Madness a twirl. Didn't do it for me. I heard the Shadowbane books were better but never got around to trying them

The Red Walker Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 14:52:10
quote:
Originally posted by Adhriva

How did you ever convince Mystra to let you cast Resurrect Scroll at this level? O.o I'm glad you did or I would never have seen it.

I too enjoy Ilsevele's love arch because it's well structured. Not enough time was spent on it but that's due to the pace of the story and the fact that her love story is secondary to the unfolding events (as opposed to someone else's). I especially like the final scenes of it because I always felt Fflar was her gateway when it came to learning how to love Cormanthyr. Sieveril's words to her at the Battle of Myth Drannor doubled as her road map to restoring Myth Drannor (Drannor comes from the unlikely love story of an elf and a dwarf no less) which I thought was brilliant on Rich's part. One step at a time, and Fflar wonderfully represents the people of Cormanthyr as a whole. I also enjoyed it because Ilsevele strikes me as one of the few potential demi-romantic/sexual oriented characters in literature.

DOWNSHADOW by Erik Scott de Bie has a wonderful romance plot in it's story structure, one I think you should check out if you're looking for good Realm romances. I think where most romance plots go wrong in general is that the characters either are not a part of the over arching thematic structure or their romantic interaction doesn't further the story's theme. You see in most stories, there is only ever 1 [meta] character - each player on stage we see in the story are different facets of the theme and character represented as they collide in meaningful ways. Often, the love interest is also the main opponent (the one who challenges the hero the most and also is the most deeply connected to who the hero is). To quote a chosen of Besheba: "Love is the sharpest sword of all", and for good reason. In DOWNSHADOW, let us say we have two competing love interests for our protagonist: Fayne and Myrin. Fayne represents our hero's inner darkness. The desire for vengeance, the masks he wears, the lies he tells - she is the embodiment of his inner most self that is all but numb to him despite wishing otherwise. This, of course, is contrasted with Myrin, whose innocent naivety is powerful and dangerous to herself and others. She represents his dreams, his idealism, his own wishful beliefs about himself and the way the world should be. The driving story structure comes down to what does our protagonist desire more? What does he cling to and crave here? It's a subplot told through the framework of romance, very similar to any interaction you'd find in mythology where the characters represent different parts of nature or ourselves. If you have a character that is more interested in confronting what he desires most head on, you're going to have that scene play out through conflict instead of romance, friendship, or any other framework. No story simply follows the hero around until the problem is solved - although great characterization will make you forget that all stories are staged - it's the structure of the story that propels it all forward. DOWNSHADOW, despite not typically being billed as a romance novel amongst fans, follows this philosophy extremely well in the way it utilizes romance between its cast of characters. It's well worth checking out.




I think there is well done "romance" or relationships in every thing Erik Scott de Bie has done in the realms.
Scimitars of Drizzt Posted - 17 Sep 2017 : 23:51:55
quote:
Originally posted by Adhriva

How did you ever convince Mystra to let you cast Resurrect Scroll at this level? O.o I'm glad you did or I would never have seen it.


LOL, not sure if that means what I think it does

Thanks for the information, I will add Downshadow to my list.
Adhriva Posted - 12 Sep 2017 : 07:40:32
How did you ever convince Mystra to let you cast Resurrect Scroll at this level? O.o I'm glad you did or I would never have seen it.

I too enjoy Ilsevele's love arch because it's well structured. Not enough time was spent on it but that's due to the pace of the story and the fact that her love story is secondary to the unfolding events (as opposed to someone else's). I especially like the final scenes of it because I always felt Fflar was her gateway when it came to learning how to love Cormanthyr. Sieveril's words to her at the Battle of Myth Drannor doubled as her road map to restoring Myth Drannor (Drannor comes from the unlikely love story of an elf and a dwarf no less) which I thought was brilliant on Rich's part. One step at a time, and Fflar wonderfully represents the people of Cormanthyr as a whole. I also enjoyed it because Ilsevele strikes me as one of the few potential demi-romantic/sexual oriented characters in literature.

DOWNSHADOW by Erik Scott de Bie has a wonderful romance plot in it's story structure, one I think you should check out if you're looking for good Realm romances. I think where most romance plots go wrong in general is that the characters either are not a part of the over arching thematic structure or their romantic interaction doesn't further the story's theme. You see in most stories, there is only ever 1 [meta] character - each player on stage we see in the story are different facets of the theme and character represented as they collide in meaningful ways. Often, the love interest is also the main opponent (the one who challenges the hero the most and also is the most deeply connected to who the hero is). To quote a chosen of Besheba: "Love is the sharpest sword of all", and for good reason. In DOWNSHADOW, let us say we have two competing love interests for our protagonist: Fayne and Myrin. Fayne represents our hero's inner darkness. The desire for vengeance, the masks he wears, the lies he tells - she is the embodiment of his inner most self that is all but numb to him despite wishing otherwise. This, of course, is contrasted with Myrin, whose innocent naivety is powerful and dangerous to herself and others. She represents his dreams, his idealism, his own wishful beliefs about himself and the way the world should be. The driving story structure comes down to what does our protagonist desire more? What does he cling to and crave here? It's a subplot told through the framework of romance, very similar to any interaction you'd find in mythology where the characters represent different parts of nature or ourselves. If you have a character that is more interested in confronting what he desires most head on, you're going to have that scene play out through conflict instead of romance, friendship, or any other framework. No story simply follows the hero around until the problem is solved - although great characterization will make you forget that all stories are staged - it's the structure of the story that propels it all forward. DOWNSHADOW, despite not typically being billed as a romance novel amongst fans, follows this philosophy extremely well in the way it utilizes romance between its cast of characters. It's well worth checking out.
Scimitars of Drizzt Posted - 12 Sep 2017 : 02:38:52
Thanks for the responses, I'll consider the two series recommended. I've actually read the first book of The Last Mythal, so I'll have to watch for this triangle you speak of when resuming that series.
BenN Posted - 11 Sep 2017 : 09:32:35
I thought the Galaeron-Vala-Takari triangle in Return of the Archwizards series, and the Araevin-Ilsevele-Fflar triangle in The Last Mythal series, were pretty interesting & well-done.
Zeromaru X Posted - 11 Sep 2017 : 00:33:53
The Brimstone Angels series is the first one I can remind right now.
Scimitars of Drizzt Posted - 10 Sep 2017 : 23:40:25
Considering it's been over 10 years since this thread has last seen action, have the Realms come out with any novels since then that do a good job of relating to the subject? I get it's not really common in the Realms, but I'd be interested in finding a new FR series where there's some decent romance/relationships.

Thanks
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 19:57:24
We've strayed away from the original topic, folks...
Mace Hammerhand Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 16:57:05
Royals and Romance, the stuff I see a lot of women read when I wait at any doctor's... and here I thought fantasy was all about testosterone... boy was I wrong *irony off*

A story is good when a story is good, like I care about the genre
Winterfox Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 15:31:34
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

{snip stuff about the Silm}


Oh, but remember, all the people doing big stuff were descended from OMG HIGH!11! lineage. Feanor was the greatest inventor ever -- he made the silmarils. Of the Noldor he is the greatest in mind and body, seconded by Galadriel. Funnily enough, both he and Galadriel are royal/noble-born. That these characters made screw-ups isn't that relevant: the Silm almost exclusively features people of high lineage. So of course it would be them who screw up -- there're few, if any, characters of common stock to do anything at all. And who goes to the Valar to seek aid against Morgoth? Earendil. And who does he descend from? The High King of Noldor.

So, name me a common-born character in the Silm who has a role of some importance at all.

Coming back to LOTR, I'd note that Frodo, Merry and Pippin are as close to aristocrats as you can get among hobbits. At the very least, they're more well-to-do than anyone else. The only one real "peasant" is Samwise, who's a servant and a gardener. The rest of the Fellowship consists of... you guess it, nobility. Even Gimli is related to some dwarven lord or another, and Legolas is Thranduil's son. A big deal is made of the "a king has a healing hand blah blah" thing, to the point that athelas is called kingsfoil. Not coincidentally, it's the herb used to heal wounds inflicted by a Nazgul's weapon. Shall I do a search-inside-the-book and see how many times the word "kingly" comes up? I do believe it's described that Aragorn has kingliness shining out of his freaking eyes (which must be radioactive!). I'm not sure where you get the "parody" thing from, since in the end Aragorn is recognized as king, gets the girl (because he is king), and makes a happily-ever-after for all of Middle-earth.

quote:
the punishment of the Numenoreans is handled in a fashion that's utterly depersonalized


I'd say that almost everything in Tolkien's fiction is depersonalized, period.

quote:
while the opening bits of the story are merely following the deeds of Archangels whom are hardly qualifiable in the terms of nobility at all.


Uhm, duh? Of course they wouldn't "qualify" as such -- they aren't mortal. Even then, Manwe and Elbereth are later called king and queen of the Valar respectively.

quote:
One of my favorite stories actually follows the tale of the commoner elf kidnapping one of the Prince's relatives to wed.


Do you mean Eol the Dark? If so, he was originally a member of a royal house. Related to Thingol, too. Yeah, that's real common. (Besides which, he enchanted Aredhel into marrying him. In an earlier draft, the hints that he raped her were even stronger.)

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Winterfox: I don't mind stories that worry about The Rightful Heir to the Throne, since, as we know from real-world history, that has often been a question of importance and a source of conflict in dynastic politics.


What annoys me about fantasy royalty is that, most of the time, their royalness magically makes everything all right. They automatically know how to rule, even if they've been raised in a farm; their presence makes magic work, the crops grow, the sun rise. And everybody automatically spots their royalness and bows to them. People that don't are mean bullies or on the bad guy's side.
Richard Lee Byers Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 14:44:24
Winterfox: I don't mind stories that worry about The Rightful Heir to the Throne, since, as we know from real-world history, that has often been a question of importance and a source of conflict in dynastic politics. But the older I get and more fiction I experience, the more intolerant I become of The Chosen One, selected by God, Fate, prophecy or what have you to punch the bad guy's ticket and bring peace of the land. I much prefer protagonists who make their choices and go on the hero's journey without the hand of Destiny goosing them along their way. Their stories seem more suspenseful and their victories more meaningful.
I don't know that all, or even the majority, of warriors in fantasy should be all scarred and uglied up. In my judgment, this isn't true of modern soldiers, martial artists, boxers, or extreme figthers. If we're looking a fantasy where combat and medicine are presented kinda sorta as they really were in the Middle Ages, it's quite possible that when a nice-looking warrior takes a serious wound, he doesn't bounce back tough as ever only now looking nasty. It kills him and that's that.
Conversely, if you're dealing with a world like the Realms, where healing magic is arguably more effective than modern medicine, if the wounded warrior is the beneficiary of it, why would he necessarily wind up with a scar?
I do agree with you that a writer who depicts a wee slip of a girl wielding, say, a greatsword in plate armor is pushing the bounds of believability pretty hard. But small, slim people can be effective combatants. Just, probably, not in that way. Make this character a lightly armored skirmisher or put her in the light cavalry and she may acquit herself well.
Mace Hammerhand Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 09:51:25
Romance has hardly ever been treated properly. As Elaine said, us writers should do some research in that area if we want to include it. (I think I order some of the books of the writer Elaine suggested... this is so rich, it's gonna freak the statistics guys at Amazon!!!)
Charles Phipps Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 08:42:31
Well aside from having never been actually finished by Tolkien and instead released by his son...

The only story there is the legend of Beren and Luthien where both characters were figures of nobility. The other characters are essentially beyond this with Feanor being as much villain as hero, Morgoth himself serving as an inverted Lucifer of Paradise Lost with his stealing of the Simarils, the punishment of the Numenoreans is handled in a fashion that's utterly depersonalized, while the opening bits of the story are merely following the deeds of Archangels whom are hardly qualifiable in the terms of nobility at all. One of my favorite stories actually follows the tale of the commoner elf kidnapping one of the Prince's relatives to wed.

While the Beren and Luthien legend is certainly "the bestest of the perfectest of the two races wedding" its hardly something that is that noteworthy in the annals of Professor Tolkien's literary contributions.

And as I hope you can see, I'm quite familiar with the work.
Winterfox Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 08:30:55
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

I find it ironic Winterfox that you name Tolkien when the savior in his books was a wealthy landowner's son and his gardner from a small hamlet. In fact, as I recall, Tolkien is the first "average man" hero in all of fantasy. I actually always felt Aragorn was a bit of a parody character. Sort of like the Lord of the Rings being the Zeppo from Buffy the Vampire Slayers except forty years earlier.


I find it ironic that you're speaking without, apparently, having read The Silmarillion. Or if you have, you're ignoring it entirely.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 08:23:58
Speaking of Romances did anyone notice the rather amusing trend that appeared in Powers of Faerun?

Ie both Dabron Shashenstar and Sothillis have Cohorts who are also their wives!
Charles Phipps Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 07:53:51
I find it ironic Winterfox that you name Tolkien when the savior in his books was a wealthy landowner's son and his gardner from a small hamlet. In fact, as I recall, Tolkien is the first "average man" hero in all of fantasy. I actually always felt Aragorn was a bit of a parody character. Sort of like the Lord of the Rings being the Zeppo from Buffy the Vampire Slayers except forty years earlier.

"Look at this fanastic lord, his tragic romance, and his destined lineage....and then note the real story is about these two peasants over here."

quote:
On the other hand, would a woman warrior have a slender, waifish body that fantasy authors tend to like so much? Wouldn't warriors have scars, period? A cut bisecting their faces? Missing teeth because they'v been knocked out in combat? A nasty burn?


In Forgotten Realms, perhaps not (which seems to have remarkably good hygeine for a supposedly middle aged world). I've always felt we just assume their teeth are good anyway. I've never seen the draw of waifish women in fantasy anyway.
Winterfox Posted - 08 Apr 2006 : 05:23:22
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

From my experience with medieval / renaissance / up to Victorian fiction (and I'm certainly not the definitive source on this), these were the kind of things that were written for people in that era.


It probably bears noting, though, that what many people see as the definitive chivalric romance -- the Arthurian legend -- isn't very nice. Malory's version, which again is taken as definitive by many, portrays Guinevere was a complete and utter bitch. Then again, Malory is a bit like Shakespeare in some ways; a lot of people know how the plot goes in general, but have never actually read it.

This includes fantasy writers that like to drop big-name literature as sources of their inspiration, from Beowulf to Chaucer to Tolkien and so on. I sort of roll my eyes every time Tolkien's mentioned, anyway, because just about every fantasy writer seems obliged to include his name when asked, "What got you into fantasy?"

quote:
Chivalry seems to me to be entirely made up, a theme to catch the imagination and distract its readers (almost entirely nobility) from the harsh realities of life.


It is, more or less. It's doubtful chivalric ideals as described in romances like de Troyes' or Chaucer's or Malory's was ever practiced, never mind to such an extent.

quote:
What's been interesting is that modern fantasy still draws on that kind of thing.


Probably for the same reason that legendary, magical swords and dragons still appeal, or that characters with hidden royal lineage appeal. It's kind of funny, considering that most of the modern world claims to be a meritocracy, but in a startling portion of the fantasy genre, you still see heroes who are secretly heirs to the kingdom running around because, damn it, if you aren't descended from a line of kings and queens, then you aren't worthy of being savior. (Hi, Prof. Tolkien!) Most -- if not all -- older romances rarely feature characters who aren't noble-born, and a great deal is made of the fact that if you cut these people, they'd bleed bright blue.

quote:
Then again, in theory we want to be like the handsome/beautiful subject hero/ine who wins the heart of the beautiful/handsome object prince/ss and achieves great success, because we want to BE like that. There's a reason people like successful love stories in fantasy, romance, epics, even sitcoms. We want things like that, and we want to think we can achieve them.


It's like Mary Sues and self-insertion/wish-fulfillment stories. But there's a reason people usually scorn these and dismiss the writers of them as young and inexperienced, in the world of amateur writing. (Of course, there are professionally published Mary Sues, but that's neither here nor there.)

quote:
P.S. Someone do me a favor -- if I ever write a romance that's completely saccharine sweet and schmaltzy (unless I mean it that way, in order to be ironic, and completely invert it, etc., etc., that sort of thing), smack me a good one upside the head, eh?


How about taking a flamethrower to your head?

quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

On the other hand honestly, there aren't really a dearth of attractive from someone's point of view people in this world and I tend to imagine warriors are the types that are well proportioned physically.



On the other hand, would a woman warrior have a slender, waifish body that fantasy authors tend to like so much? Wouldn't warriors have scars, period? A cut bisecting their faces? Missing teeth because they'v been knocked out in combat? A nasty burn?
Charles Phipps Posted - 07 Apr 2006 : 21:56:53
On the other hand honestly, there aren't really a dearth of attractive from someone's point of view people in this world and I tend to imagine warriors are the types that are well proportioned physically.

Then again I don't see "Shy virginal women" partciularly prevalent or the like that prevalent in FR.
Mace Hammerhand Posted - 07 Apr 2006 : 18:59:23
Erik, if that happens, and IF I am anywhere near you when it does, be assured you'll get a healthy whack ...
Erik Scott de Bie Posted - 07 Apr 2006 : 16:03:21
WAAAAY back in the thread, I believe someone brought up medieval Europe. . .

Yep, I was right -- the perceptive Winterfox:

quote:
Partly, I think, it's because most fantasy settings are faux-medieval Europe, and people think medieval Europe equals chivalric romances.


From my experience with medieval / renaissance / up to Victorian fiction (and I'm certainly not the definitive source on this), these were the kind of things that were written for people in that era.

Chivalry seems to me to be entirely made up, a theme to catch the imagination and distract its readers (almost entirely nobility) from the harsh realities of life. Fairy tales are meant to instruct and to foster a kind of optimism -- not meant to be totally realistic. As time progressed and literacy increased, the "chivalric, fantasy romances" turned into "Up-your-station" romances (the "Cinderella" phenomenon, and its thousands of versions, and books ala Jane Austen, though she's not the best example, since she writes inversions that are a bit more clever).

What's been interesting is that modern fantasy still draws on that kind of thing.

This (also by Winterfox)...

quote:
Hence, the superlative male lover and the woman sitting on a pedestal of worship. Then there're the people who think "Oh, they must think old-fashioned and stuff," so they stuff their prose and dialogue full of grandoise proclamations. Perhaps the presence of magic and gods that really exist make the idea of fated love stronger, more plausible, so that gets shoved in, too. (Not to mention reincarnated love. Wtf, Marion Zimmer Bradley?) There's the "the power of true love will be magic so strong it'll topple the Dark Lord yaay!" crap. Of course, some people can't write believable romantic relationships period, and... well, I've got nothin' on that front.

What amuses me is how dishonest authors can be when it comes to their characters' romances. It's always one true love, not a fling or one true lust; no infatuation, but stable, eternal adoration. The woman's often virginal, as if the hymen is sacred or something. If the man has had other lovers before, said lovers will be either whores or female dogs. If he's a ladies' man, he'll find the heroine or the Designated Love Interest to be the "right woman" to make him settle down. If there's a love triangle, it's almost always obvious which man/woman the hero/ine will choose, because the writer will tip the scale so badly it's not funny (one girl will be intelligent and feisty; the other vapid, manipulative, or both. One boy will be down-to-earth but witty; the other slimy and snobbish and rich).


...is really, really true. That's the tradition, originating from medieval literature (where "romance" takes a firm backseat to anything else). It's objectifying, and it's dishonest. Things don't happen like that in the real world -- it's a sort of deceptive, candy-coating of the realities of love and desire and lust and obsession that many of us (including myself) just don't buy.

Then again, in theory we want to be like the handsome/beautiful subject hero/ine who wins the heart of the beautiful/handsome object prince/ss and achieves great success, because we want to BE like that. There's a reason people like successful love stories in fantasy, romance, epics, even sitcoms. We want things like that, and we want to think we can achieve them.

But to gloss over the difficulties inherent in success in anything you desire is 1) unrealistic (in that it just doesn't happen), 2) deceptive (it tries to convince readers otherwise), and 3)counter-productive (people might really think it's so easy, when they see it being done, setting themselves up for serious disappointment).

Anyway. That's my 2 coppers.

Another bit:

One of my biggest, biggest, BIGGEST pet peeves in the realm of romance / sexual play between characters is when completely inexperienced, virginal, make-it-up-as-you-go sex is glorious and perfect. Bleh! Doesn't happen like that. Some people really truly are just naturals, but seriously -- not every toned-but-shy fieldhand and meek/innocent barmaid has that particular talent.

Cheers

P.S. Someone do me a favor -- if I ever write a romance that's completely saccharine sweet and schmaltzy (unless I mean it that way, in order to be ironic, and completely invert it, etc., etc., that sort of thing), smack me a good one upside the head, eh?
ElaineCunningham Posted - 06 Apr 2006 : 13:31:55
quote:
Originally posted by Winterfox

[quote]No author interference to shove things in prose like "And they knew it was true love" or "He knew she was his soul mate" or "In that moment, he brimmed with love, and it coursed through his soul." No gazing into each other's eyes and reading emotions. Fantasy authors seem inordinately fond of [i]those.


You've touched on a pet peeve of mine. Telling the reader what a character "knows" has always struck me as a shortcut. I've seen good writers do it from time to time, but it never ceases to make me want to shriek and frisbe the book across the room.

It's my opinion that if fantasy writers are going to write romances, they ought to READ a few good ones. Nora Roberts is usually a pretty safe bet. She has an amazing knack of pulling in the reader in the first couple of pages, making a wide variety of characters interesting and sympathetic, and making you understand why these two particular people are attracted to each other. Mind you, I've read more than a few romances that mistake bitching for banter, and have the characters nastily sniping at each other until the moment they fall into bed and take each other in a ravenous frenzy. And then go back to sniping, until some sort of silly misunderstanding is set straight and suddenly they're cooing like a pair of doves. I've closed many a book and concluded, "I give those two three months, tops." It's pretty easy to find a reason for two characters to want to hook up, but depicted two people who have a genuine reason to STAY together? Not easy.

If fantasy writers are willing to read books on military strategy and watch films with good battle choreography, why not spend the time and effort to figure out how to write a convincing romance?

The effort to write more convincing romance subplots doesn't necessarily have to take you into the romance genre. I consider the romantic elements to be part of the characterization process. If you figure out who a character is on a more than superficial level, you'll have a fairly good idea how they'll response in an intimate relationship.
Mace Hammerhand Posted - 06 Apr 2006 : 11:41:55
Back to romance...

as I said before, it has to be gotten right, or should not be written at all.

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