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Revision 04.1.03: All the Shades of Romance

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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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