Here's another "reissued" guest blog post while I'm tied up with editing. This particular entry was originally posted on July 23, 2013, on the Romance Stories by N. Wood blog in support of my newest release, Wishing Cotton. I was very appreciative of the opportunity and am grateful to N. Wood for hosting me. I'm providing the link to the original posting below; I encourage you to check out her blog!
The Use of Comedy in the Romance Genre
Aficionados of the romance genre are well aware that influences from other genres have a tendency to sneak in. There are paranormal romances, historical romances, mystery romances, science fiction romances, and maybe even steampunk dystopian voodoo monkey romances (I did say “maybe” there). I love these kinds of blended stories, because it makes for a richer reading experience. Let’s face it: when you pick up a contemporary romance, there won’t be a lot of surprises inside. You may have a wonderful romantic tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, but at its heart, you know you are reading a story that will end with the lovers united and possibly some celebratory hanky-panky. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve read some really well-written and gripping contemporary romances that didn’t have as much as a whiff of genre comingling.
That being said, I have to admit that I have a special place in my heart for romances that incorporate elements of other genres. It’s like finding out that your steak comes with mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s the moment when the manager sends you a free desert on the house, and it happens to be something awash in chocolate sauce and maybe a little vanilla ice cream.
I really should have had dinner before I wrote this.
Getting back to my ever-elusive point, one element that can be fun to incorporate into a romance novel is comedy. Anyone who has seen The Thin Man with William Powell and Myrna Loy will appreciate how wonderfully comedy can be used to offset more serious, dramatic moments. If anything, I believe the contrast comedy provides can allow you to make the dark scenes even darker. Comedy gives the author a way to continually dangle the reader over a dramatic cliff, not letting go until the moment the reader least expects. It makes the fall so much more thrilling. It’s the difference between going to a Broadway show (a perfectly pleasant experience) and having a stranger walk up to you at 3:00 on a Tuesday afternoon to drag you into Phantom of the Opera-themed flashmob (something you will never forget and will recount at cocktail parties for years to come).
Laughter shared between fictional characters also makes the romantic aspect more believable. If a hero and heroine are content to cling to each other and weep tears of longing at each other, their emotional connection will lack plausibility. Of course, as Wuthering Heights has shown us, two absolutely miserable and unlikeable characters can communicate believable, even overpowering, love and passion. But Wuthering Heights isn’t really a “feel good” novel, so I’m going to callously ignore it. My literature professors don’t know where I live anymore, so I think I’ll get away with it.
My story Wishing Cotton is being released on July 23, 2013, by Renaissance Romance Publishing. People who read my last release My Apple Tree may be surprised at the difference in tone between the two stories. Wishing Cotton is intended to be the sort of light-hearted story that you might enjoy while lounging by the pool on a warm summer day, and I’ve incorporated many comedic elements into my storytelling. I hope that readers will enjoy a few chuckles while my characters try to find love.
Guest Post on Romance Stories by N. Wood Blog