Welcome back to Paving My Author’s Road regular programming! I’m back from the palm trees and sandy beaches of Florida. Back with another Monday post (and every Monday hereafter).
I have my cousin to thank for today’s post. Before my vacation to Florida, I stopped on by my mom’s place. So my boys can spend a little summer fun time with their grandma. The night before I left, one of my cousins came up to me with a question. He was on my Wattpad profile and wanted to know what the word “bwam” meant.
I’d recently updated the tags to Nadia the Fire Witch. Tags are keywords, labels to identify certain story aspects of interest to readers. It’s another form of metadata, where I use certain terms to make my stories more findable. For example, if I was looking for another book like Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code.” I’d search through tags such as thriller, religion, etc. And browse the listing of books that fall under those categories.
I happened to stumble upon a tag “bwwm.” Curious, I set off to find out what that term meant. “BWWM” means black women white men. And books under that particular category are romance books about interracial couples. Then I wondered, what term can I classify my WIP, in regards to MC Nadia Kemp and her friend, Michael Chen? And I found it, “BWAM,” which means black women asian men.
After all that research, a new question started to nibble at me. Is there a need to include a romantic story line in our novels? I’ve read many novels. Horror, mystery/thriller, young adult, etc. And most did have some romantic elements.
The character Robert Langdon liaised with his female characters in Angels & Demons. And The DaVinci Code. The Hunger Games is a dystopian adventure novel about inequality and defiance. But it also portrayed love lines between Katniss and Peeta. Although their romantic love was a show played out by Katniss, to gain sponsors.
In Nadia the Fire Witch, Nadia will have a close and strained relationship with Michael Chen. But they’ll have to first and continuously face and resolve their past traumas. Experiences more steeped in Nadia’s witch universe than either can fully accept. In Harbingers of El Tinor, love (romantic and familial) determines on how the war will turn out. And there is definitely a love relationship between the characters of Cassandra and Bowen. In the beginning, fraught with mistrust and deception. Then grudging respect and concern for each other’s well being as the story progresses.
That’s not to say every novel has a love line. Or has to have one. Some don’t. But how do you decide whether to add some romance into your story? Do you include it because it furthers the plot? What if it doesn’t? Does it change the story or the story remains the same without it? As a non-romance writer, have you ever had to question whether to include romance in your story? What made you decide to keep or drop it? Please share in the comments section below.
To romance or not to romance? That is the question.