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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Find out How #Romance #Novels Have Changed Over Time #ASMSG

Welcome to Writing Tips!


It is with great pleasure I introduce you to my guest blogger today, Caroline from Culture Coverage.  She wants to share how romance genre has changed over time. Sit back and enjoy her post.


How Romance Novels Have Changed Over Time


Whether you proudly announce them as your favorite genre or secretly flick through the pages as a guilty pleasure, everyone loves a good romance novel every once in a while.

As the world is changing, so are the stories we’re reading. Today, the romance genre is vastly different from the content and feel of its conception, and there are several reasons to account for that.

The Birth of a Genre

Largely attributed as the first romance novel of its time, the 1740 release by Samuel Richardson, “Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded,” is not a title that inspires the fierceness of modern heroines.

It tells the unlucky story of a young girl, her abuser and her unfortunate obligations to fulfill her assigned gender role. However, reflecting the viewpoints of the time, the narrative’s subtext implies doing what you’re told will lead to the best outcomes. Love, frivolity, and all that other nonsense should be ignored. The story provides inklings of the now well-known damsel-in-distress saga.

As the copyright has now expired on this book, it’s
in the public domain. This makes it free and easy to read if you want to find out more.

An Outlet for Feminism

From their shaky beginnings, romance novels did something no one expected: they became a feminist outlet. Jane Austen has long been hailed as a pioneer of the genre. Her characters feel pressured to marry and fulfill the social expectations on them, but Austen’s witty asides act as social commentary, which many attest to being one of the first, strong feminist voices in literature. Later, authors such as the Bronte sisters took this torch and continued the work.

When America saw the introduction of
bodice ripper fiction in the 1960s, the face of romance writing changed again. Perhaps writers of this time thought the need for feminism had become obsolete because these stories saw mild and meek damsels in distress saved by gallant heroes before engaging in a night of passion.

These controversial books started as paperbacks sold in markets and drugstores and were laughed at by the serious literary community. However, in 1989, Jude Devereux published her novel “A Knight in Shining Armor” as the first hardback release in the genre and one to be taken seriously.

The Influence of Young Adult Literature

Smut heavily dictated the quintessential romance novel, with the sexual liberation of the sixties still having significant influence. However, the next major change in the genre came as a younger audience needed appropriate storylines, and the young adult fiction community rewrote the romance rules.

“The Hunger Games” released its first installment in 2008 and saw a feisty and unapologetic heroine who made her own decisions and saved the day herself while still falling in love. The Twilight Saga is another example of modern romance in which the heroine, Bella, is torn between two love interests. While this still has whispers of the damsel-in-distress structure, the protagonist thinks, speaks and acts for herself.  

The Self-Publishing Revolution

Another major influence on the genre has come from perhaps the most wonderful literary revolution of our time. The rise in self-publishing means individuals are free to tell their own unique stories. This creates more varied narratives and provides readers with almost every type of romantic heroine, from timid wallflower to outspoken rebel.

There are more platforms to enjoy these new types of stories, with Amazon championing self-published writers and online aggregates and blogs detailing and reviewing the many works. New software has afforded authors and fans a wider reach.
Virtual private networks allow international audiences to gain easy access and social media offers easy and convenient promotion.

Now the genre boundaries are not so strict, and books easily and successfully dip in and out of different styles. What started as a female perspective on the trials and tribulations of love and marriage has become a worldwide phenomenon.

What’s your favorite romance novel? Be sure to leave a comment below!

About the Author: Caroline is an entertainment blogger, book lover and avid reader. She’s a sucker for a romance novel and always has a new novel tucked in her bag for emergencies. She’s always up to chat about her favorite genres with fellow bookworms.

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Thank you for stopping by. Please share your comments, so Caroline knows you stopped by. It gives me great pleasure to read your views.

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