Friday, July 04, 2008

How dark do you like your romance?

My immediate answer to that questions is very dark. I write dark romance, where bad things happen, sometimes good people die, but in the end I guarantee mostly a happy ending.
And not just because of romance conventions, but because that’s my own preference.

And I love other dark romances, the JR Ward books are certainly that way, the Marjorie M. Liu books are packed with action and dead bodies.

But there is a limit for me. And I sort of realized that limit when I read the Meredith Duran book, the Duke of Shadows.
It’s a good book, the first half is straight out terrific, with an amazing location and lots of external and internal conflict. But, and I’m not giving much away, its set during the uprising against British rule in India in the 1850’s.

And there are some unsettling scenes, not many, and the author does a really nice job of not being too descriptive, while really getting across some realities of what happened during the fighting, but I found it injected a sense of realism that took me out of the story.

I like my romances a shade more fantasy.

And I’m not even sure where fantasy ends and realism begins. I love romantic suspense, have no problems with a body count.
I do know if the violence involves children, I’m probably out of the story. Can’t help it.

And I know everyone has their own uncomfortable point, which is why some people avoid suspense altogether.

It was interesting for me to learn, but it is something I’m going to have to be careful of in my own writing, as the body count piles up.


Molly O'Keefe said...

I am totally astonished at how my entertainment choices have changed over the last few years. And, it's not just having kids - though that is a big part of it -- mostly I think it's because I'm busy and my entertainment really really is escape for me. Perfect case in point - the movie Babel. Five years ago I would have been all over that movie. Love the director, love the actors, love that whole collision of story line stuff.
But, because of being busy and having to choose whether or not to be utterly destroyed and shaken at the theater or totally entertained - I never saw it.

I finally did a few years later and it's freaking amazing, but it wasn't comfortable and it wasn't entertaining. Haven't forgotten it - am still totally haunted by the scene of that woman leaving those children in the desert. But I never need to see it again.

So, how dark? Not that dark at all. Or maybe not that realistic.

Kimber Chin said...

I don't like dark at all.

Give me frothy. Preferably a Regency Romance with a dashing dark Duke (with a scar) and an innocent young virgin. Yep. I like 'em fluffy.


That said, I write dark. Breach Of Trust wasn't bad but Invisible, my next novel, is pretty dang dark. It has cuss words in it too. Shocker.

Sinead M said...

Yeah, I have issues now with anything to do with kids. And I'm the chick who counts Aliens as one of her fav movies.
I also think it's all in how it's handled.
Kimber who doesn't love a Duke with a scar..

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