February 15, 2011

The Sappy Sentimentalist - Tracy Krauss

If someone was to ask you what the largest fiction genre was in terms of sheer numbers of books printed each year, what would your answer be? Mystery? Historical? How about Romance? The latter would be my guess, and judging by the category lists on Amazon, I'd say I am probably correct. What is it about LOVE that keeps readers coming back for more? I mean, how many times can the same plot line be reworked?

At the risk of sounding cynical, I have to bite my tongue when it comes to yet another cover featuring a woman in a bonnet, laces blowing in the breeze. At least that's better than a swooning damsel clinging breathlessly to a half naked swashbuckler. You see, I've almost prided myself on the fact that I am not typically 'sentimental'. To me, sentimental is synonymous with another 'S' word - 'sappy'. This has been a continuing source of frustration for my oh-so-romantic husband. Don't get me wrong. I like flowers and I like chocolates and I enjoy a romantic comedy on occasion - but I'd much prefer a good Sci-Fi/ Action/ Thriller with a crazy twist at the end.

So how is it that I've come to write 'Romantic Suspense'? (I much prefer to call my writing style 'edgy inspirational with a twist of romance' but somehow that doesn't come off so well in a category listing!)  Perhaps I'm not such a cynic when it comes to romance after all.  You see, I have come to notice that even Sci-Fi/ Action/ Thrillers usually have a romantic element woven in there somewhere, and I'm sure without it, I would feel like there was something missing. There is something inside of us that craves LOVE, perhaps because we were created that way by a loving Father. God is, after all, the author of love, and He made us in His own likeness. Now there's a thought! Created in the image of a God who is LOVE embodied - so much so that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to demonstrate that love, in that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

LOVE  is a powerful force. In its human form it has been driving mankind for millenia. How many wars have been fought for the sake of love? How many epic poems written or materpieces of music composed? And even more powerful, in its Godly form, love changed the course of all human history.

So, back to my original question: How many times can the same plot line be reworked? Let's see . . . I guess as many times as there are human beings on this earth and as many times as there is a loving God who watches over us.

Thanks for the aopportunity to share my ramblings here at 'Inscribe Writers Online'. P.S. I hope you all realize that I'm really not as cynical as I pretend to be when it comes to love. I have been known to sneak a romance novel into the bathroom and even snuggle on the couch with my husband while crying my eyes out over a stupid 'sappy' movie. :)

Posted by Tracy Krauss


  1. Great post! Thank you for that wonderful reminder of the Father of Love!

  2. I've noticed that gender tends to make a differance on how genre is accepted. There's very little romance in my "Partners" (a passsing reference only) and the men seem to prefer it over the following work. "Homesteader" ends on a romantic note and there is a some all the way through; women seem to prefer it to the former work.
    As for romance causing wars, I think it is often used by the winner to justify agression. They were realy after money and power, but because they 'saved that poor woman' their neighbours (the ones they didn't attack) let them get away with it.

  3. Thank the Lord he hardwired us to love. Now if we could just walk in it ...

  4. I think that romance works best as a subplot, as opposed to the only plot. Sub-plot is perhaps not quite the right word for what I mean.

  5. well said, Tracy!
    Pam M.

  6. I guess we need all genres. Variety is the spice of life, after all!


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