Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If You Have an Opinion, I Want to Hear It...

And it's a quick question:

If you were ordering a YA Fantasy novel, how would you like your romance?

Subtle and quiet, and not a primary focus?

One of the secondary plot points?

One of the primary plot points?

Or outstripping all other details?  (Actually, I think we just call that genre "Romance.")

As I plug away on my WIP, I find myself wondering idly what readers want most.  Even if it doesn't change the way you write, it's still interesting to know.  So put on your reader hats, all you writers, and tell me what you like best in your YA Fantasy.

And extra points if you can identify all the books these couples come from... Happy Wednesday!


  1. What I want most, is a good romance, no matter how much of the plot it takes up. But I want a romance BETWEEN characters, not a romance involving one character hopelessly in love with another. You know what I mean? One of the best I've read recently is The Greyfriar. Without going into spoilery details, it was so well done, I'm still pining.

  2. I agree with the previous comment. I find that those good romances tend to be secondary to the plot, but not so subtle that it's hidden/unimportant!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Oh man - I typed out a huge thing and then google deleted it. Here I go again...

    I like romance, but I like it subtle. I want some sort of internal/external struggle and journey to carry the story, not the romance itself. To me, Hunger Games was perfect. I cared about the whole Peeta, Gale triangle as much as the next reader, but WHO IS SHE GOING TO PICK wasn't the essence of the story, like it was in Twilight.

    Another paranormal "romance" that I really love is the Prophecy of the Sisters series by Michelle Zink. There are some boys and I think we'll have some choosing to deal with (the third book isn't out yet!) but the story really revolves on two sisters as they struggle against each other with the forces good, evil, and ancient prophecies. The female characters are so strong and likable and the journey they have to take is so intriguing - the boys and the romance is nice, but it takes second or third place to everything else.

  5. I adore romance, but I guess it depends... If the book is marketed as a YA paranormal romance, I'll expect the love story to take center stage. But if it's a fantasy or paranormal, I'd expect the romance to be less prominent.

    Whether or not I actually like the way the romance is treated varies from book to book, though.

  6. I agree with Tere.

    Depends on whether the story is a romance. If the story is about the romance then give it to me. If it's about the adventure I like subtle. But overall it has to feel natural. Not gushy and overly sweet...but real.

  7. I like it best when they start out kind of awkwardly, or just as friends, and then realize through the course of a long adventure that they can't live without each other. Like Harry and Ginny. I knew in my heart it was coming the whole time, but then it still snuck up as a wonderful surprise!

  8. I like the love story to parallel the real story (if there is a love story). If there's not enough romantic tension I'm usually frustrated by so much PLOT getting in the way, and if there's too much romance I'm frustrated by not enough plot moving the story forward. I love a good storyline that amps up the tension in the romance, but also stands on its own as fascinating.

  9. Gosh, guys, thanks for your thoughts. What great and varied--and yet still relatively unified--responses. I agree that balance is the key, but I really enjoy your specific reasons as to why and how. On a selfish level, it helps me answer some questions about my own project; but I also think it's an interesting subject to discuss, and is one which isn't addressed very often.

    Thanks! And feel free to add any additional thoughts.

  10. I do like a love interest, very much...n matter the genre or age group. But, it must feel real, non-cliche, and there must be another real story/plot there.

  11. Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Pellinor, Peter Pan and Graceling.