Tag Archives: genre descriptions

The Revision Project


Heaven knows it was useful to me to update my page that gathers all the blogs for the Revision Project. Just a few holes here and there! And maybe someday I’ll get that counting thing straight …

For those of you following that, it may help you catch some you missed, and also explained some apparent non sequiturs.


Revision Exotic Romance Sub-genres


According to the publishers, a paranormal romance is a contemporary romance of any kind with elements that are actual (not faked) magic, psychic powers, supernatural creatures, &c. This includes ghost romances, angel romances — where such supernatural creatures are real and have some part to play, including as the hero — suspense romances with psychic h/h, and what are considered the “dark” paranormal romances of vampire romances and werewolf romances — though I can imagine a fairly light werewolf romance involving dog shows. That’s because “werewolf romance” is often the catch-all for romances involving any shape-shifter or skin-walker, whether were-leopard, were-hawk, or what you will.

The trick is that the paranormal element can’t be just tacked on. It needs to be integral to story, whether positively in that the hero’s angel grandmother shoves him into meeting the heroine, or negatively as in the family curse that makes the h/h draw back from the relationship. As well, if this is a hybrid romance, like a suspense romance, the paranormal needs to be involved in the climax. However, in the relationship half, we like to see people resolve to commit to love on their own, though that may be what drives them into the showdown with their external magical problem.

The remaining three sub-genres have one thing in common: the publishers want pageantry. That is, they want the reader to have a strong sense of the time and place not being their own, not necessarily street parades. Use the differences between here and there, especially any glamorous ones. Give the reader a vacation from the here and now. Read the rest of this entry

Revision Contemporary Romance Sub-genres


Naturally, a contemporary romance is a romance set in the world the author lives in, more or less. It’s real-world stuff. The general term “contemporary romance” covers everything that doesn’t fit into a specific sub-genre based on profession or template. Remember that most of these can be all over the scale on sexiness portrayed, from sweet inspirational cowboy romances to cowboy erotica romances.

A special version is the category romance. This is about 50,000 words, which for modern novels is short. It’s designed to be a fast read, not a big commitment like a door-stopper saga. They’re always contemporary, and some publishers have quite a list of requirements as to age of heroine, if ever married, age and wealth of hero, &c. Do your research at their online guidelines. Read the rest of this entry

Revision 04.1.03: All the Shades of Romance


Romance: The second oldest form of fiction known (the first is the heroic fantasy quest). Ancient Greek novels were based on lovers separated by misunderstandings and adventures.

Like specfi, this has a huge number of sub-genres. Containing a love story is insufficient for a story to be “a romance.” As a sales tag, in romance, lovers don’t part at the end with warm understanding or sudden death. The romance has to be half of the weight of the story or more, and the other half, whether mystery, thriller, quest, etc. has to move the romance forward, not happen in isolation from it. A romance needs to end on a positive note, not only of the lovers together, but with a sense of justice in the universe. Otherwise, sell it as litfi or mainstream or specfi or whatever it’s close to. Women’s fiction is often a good choice if you don’t like the limitations of the romance proper.

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