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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Are love stories popular anymore?

   
Author Topic: Are love stories popular anymore?
MommaMuse
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I have all sorts of love stories I've done, but I don't know if people even read them any more. I know romance novels are all the rage, but I'm not talking about those. I've read a few and they're all pretty much the same story. I guess mine are too, but mine aren't softcore porn.

Any thoughts? Anyone? Anyone?


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Grijalva
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Every story has been told plenty of times, especially love stories, but it's how you write it that counts.
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satate
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I think there is a large audience for love stories. Wouldn't Nicolas Sparks (the Notebook and such) count as love stories? I read one of his once and I wouldn't call it soft porn. There was one scene I think I skimmed but they aren't like those books with Fabio on the cover holding the half naked woman. They're pretty popular.
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Robert Nowall
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If what I see on the bookcovers in the bookstores matches up, romance novels seem to have taken over the mystery sections, with horror dissolving itself into the section labeled "fiction" and losing its genre identification. Only SF and Fantasy, lumped together, still preserve a separate and distinct identity.

On the other hand, most of the romance novels seem to be about vampires and werewolves and that sort. So fantasy, at least, has made inroads on other genres.


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Lyrajean
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My favorite love story was a short SF story I read as a kid when someone got me a 6 month subscription to Asimov's.

It was called "The Secret Sharer" and I think it was by a very not-yet-well-known Bruce Sterling(? will the real author forgive me if I am dead wrong).

But it was about a woman who was traveling as a disembodied conciousness on board an interstellar ship who somehow got loose from where she was confined and jumps into the body/mind of the male captain, and their fear of being found out, etc...

Sweet story.

So, the basic gist of what I am saying is that you can encapsulate a love story into basically any genre you want. most romance novels bore me to tears, anyway...


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AWSullivan
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I hope there is still life in the genre of Romance. My WotF entry for 4Q is at its heart, a love story.

I know my wife is a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks and I think his books would be love stories.

~Anthony


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Unwritten
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IB once said that every story is a love story. I think about Ender's Game, which is about as non-romance as it can get, and yet Ender would not be sympathetic enough if the story was not about the things Ender would do because he loves his sister. I think if a story is NOT some form of a love story, it won't sell.

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Unwritten
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The best place in the world for love stories is the Young Adult genre. It's really the only place where I can be sure to find a love story that doesn't bug me. In fact, I think the whole genre has been mislabeled. I know so many adults who love YA.

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited September 24, 2008).]


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Lullaby Lady
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What about the Twilight series? They're pretty darn popular! I'd actually categorize it as a love story first, and a vampire fantasy second.

(Okay, so everyone forgive me for bringing up Stephenie Meyer again... *blush*)

It's nice to know I'm not the only "love-story-not-sleazy-romance-novel" writer around here. (Though I think love stories in fantasy worlds are are the best!)

,


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Unwritten
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Coming out of the closet...I loved the Twilight series. At least until I started learning how to critique. I had gone for years thinking that I was simply too mature to like a romance book until I read those. They woke that side of me up again. Sadly, now that I critique so much, they just aren't the same.

Still, they showcase the fact that there is a big market for love stories. I think Stephenie Meyer did so well because she found a huge hole in the publishing market--a really sensual love story for people who don't believe in sex before marriage.

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited September 24, 2008).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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There is a bit of a difference between what is known as "category romance" and love stories. "Category romance" is a marketing category, and material published in that category tend to have strict requirements that depend on what the publisher publishes. For these kinds of books, the love story is the primary plot.

Love stories can happen in every kind of story, including things that you might not expect to find them in, such as military thrillers.

For every kind of work that does not qualify as a category romance, the love story may not be the primary plot (though there are love stories that fit in other marketing categories that are part of the primary plot--an example in SF is Tanith Lee's SILVER METAL LOVER which would not have made it as a category romance).


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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By the way, in regard to the TWILIGHT books by Stephenie Meyer, I submit that they are a prime example of my belief that good storytelling will cover a multitude of writing sins.

Her writing may set off all kinds of critiquing alerts, but her readers don't care if the writing is less than perfect because the stories are so gripping.


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MommaMuse
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Well my problem lies in that the whole story is about the budding relationship between a little man, and a regular woman. Their lives and their stories are explored in the book, but the whole body of the book is their romance.

It actually started out as a whack at a Romance Novel, but (as is always the case with me) I fell in love with the characters, and want to do their story justice. It kind of felt wrong to make it so graphic. Sure, the sexual tension makes the story a little more interesting, but I can have that without drooling over pages and pages of overly graphic physical scenes. It kinda makes me feel like a voyeur.

Would a story without lasers, magic, monsters, aliens, or some desperate situation even be interesting to anyone but me, the writer?


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Robert Nowall
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"The Secret Sharer" Lyrajean refers to is by Robert Silverberg, not Bruce Sterling...and can be found in several different volumes of Silverberg's work. (There's also one with that title by Joseph Conrad, from which Silverberg's story derives.)
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kings_falcon
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Love stories aren't just confined to the romance shelves anymore.

Twilight, as pointed out already, is at its heart a love story. Even her new book - The Host - great story telling BTW, I finished it on the plane ride to Vegas (4 hours) - is a love story of a sort. The Dark Hunter series is a group of romances.

I think the love story is alive and well.


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Christine
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I thought Twilight was disgusting. I couldn't even finish it. The writing wasn't even so bad as the story itself. The fact that I cannot fathom what it is that so many readers see in a romance involving a cold man with no pulse who admittedly has to restrain himself from eating the female protagonist probably means that I have no future in romance. Yet I try anyway, because I do personally enjoy many stories that involve warm, strong men and women with an IQ bigger than a pin cushion. ETA: Sorry, I just read this one (or most of it) last week so my revulsion remains fresh in my mind.

But to answer the actual questions: Yes, love stories remain popular and probably always will be. Falling in love is something almost everyone can relate to.

[This message has been edited by Christine (edited September 25, 2008).]


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Zero
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I second what Christine said.
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SchamMan89
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I agree that love stories are still doing great. Love is the medication of the world. We are even more addicted to that than Prozac.

Love stories do look different now than they have in the past though. They are being combined with other ideas and other genres to help keep the same love stories we all know fresh.


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