March 16, 2012

What is Romance? By Margay Leah Justice

Sloane Wolf. 
It is the age-old question that is often posed in this fascinating realm we, as romance writers, find ourselves in. The question that is on the mind of every person who ever picked up a pen to write a tale – or every reader who ever picked up a book to enjoy it. What is romance?

What is it, indeed?

What defines romance? A handsome hero with a tragic past who, for reasons known only to him, cannot commit to loving the heroine. A beautiful heroine who also sprang up from a tragic past who knows that only her love can transform the hero into the well-deserving man she knows him to be. A rollicking story of a man who meets a woman whom he decides he cannot have – and then spends the next two hundred or so pages trying to convince himself and the heroine of this truth.

Truthfully? It's a little bit of all of the above. Not one specific element can totally define the phenomenon that is romance. It is a puzzle with many pieces and each one is vital in order for the romance to be true – and believable. It starts with a hero To Die For and a heroine he's willing to die for, who get caught up in a story that is, at its very core, a tale of their attraction and the inevitability of their pairing.

So how does the author construct a successful pairing and craft a beautiful romance? Simple. She falls in love with the hero herself. She crafts the man she would want for herself, flaws and all, teases out his tortured past, then throws him together with a woman she deems deserving of him. On the flip side, she also falls in love with her heroine, empathizes with her trials and tribulations in this tumultuous arena we call romance, and naturally wants to pair her with a man she deems deserving of the heroine. But of course, she doesn't make it easy for them. She makes it so they have to prove they deserve each other – not only to each other, but to her, as well. Only when she is convinced that they have proven themselves does the author finally relent and give her blessing to the union. But when she does…ahh, romance.

So what do you think? What defines romance for you?

Where to find Margay Leah Justice


  1. Thanks for being with us today, Margay. I enjoyed the article. Good points!

  2. Thank you so much for having me here!

  3. You're welcome, Margay. Glad you dropped in!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.