It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
For the past month, I have been writing a new genre and a new form for me – a Regency romance novella. I have already finished the entire story and am now in the process of revising. I’ve been posting the revised chapters on Wattpad, one by one. Seven chapters are in, with a few more to go, but I’ve been wondering. Is it really romance? Or should I attach another label to it?
You see, my story doesn’t include sex scenes, only a few kisses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude. I like romance novels and read them, and I know that in all of them, sex is a requirement for writers. If you write romance, be prepared to write smut, right?
But I don’t want to. When I read romance, I skip sex scenes. Not because I’m too prim and proper or for some religious reason but simply because they bore me. They are all the same. After reading the first dozen of them, I know exactly what will happen in each one – the silken thighs, the nub of feminine desire, the over-the-moon climax – so I just page through until I come to the end of the scene, and the action resumes.
That’s right: sex scenes stop the action. In my view as a writer, that’s an unforgivable sin. Georgette Heyer, the founder of the romance genre and one of my all-time favorite authors, didn’t have sex scenes in any of her novels, and they’ve been selling steadily since her first one came out over 90 years ago. Could I follow in her venerated footsteps and call my novella a romance? Or is it mainstream?
It’s clearly a love story with a bit of suspense, formulaic like any other romance, and I wouldn’t bother with definitions, if the readers didn’t require them. When I’m done with it on wattpad, hopefully with some feedback from the readers, I’m going to yank it out and self-publish it as an ebook, but wherever I publish it, be it wattpad or amazon, I have to fill out a ‘Category’.
So, romance or not romance?
For those curious enough to judge for themselves, you can read it here.