May 31, 2013 by Kira Lyn Blue
This image showed up on my Facebook wall today, courtesy of Writers Write. I was trying to think of which of these I see most often in the genres I typically read; Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Which of these categories dominates UF and PNR?
Oh, hey, that’s easy: Mania. Although Eros comes in a close second.
I suppose that makes sense to some degree. Vampires and werewolves are easy candidates for Mania love because we can blame their feral instincts for their obsessive behavior. And both Mania and Eros make for some serious sexual tension, volcanic lovemaking, and volatile relationships that leave you on the edge of your seat waiting to see how the characters are going to work through their relationship issues.
In PNR, I almost just expect relationships based on Mania or Eros. I mean the romance is the primary point of the book, so make it as steamy as possible, right?
The logical side of my brain is perplexed by this, though. How the heck do all these volatile relationships end up with Happily Ever Afters? In real life, these types of relationships tend to either detonate and fracture into zillions of tiny pieces of shredded heart tissue or consume all the available emotional fuel and burn themselves out.
It’s just harmless fantasy, though, right?
Sure! I love a good volcanic romance. But there’s just so danged many of them out there that they all blur together. They become unremarkable.
I think this is an important consideration for those of us writing stories where romance is a secondary or side-plot of the story. Not that there’s anything wrong with giving your character a Category 5 hurricane of a relationship. But, you might ask yourself if you’re only doing it because it’s such an easy way to add tension and conflict and could you give your characters more meaningful relationships.
What do you think?
Side note: I think Kim Harrison does a phenomenal job with realistic feeling relationships. In her Rachel Morgan series, Rachel is faced with several different kinds of relationships and it’s interesting to see very realistic and emotional breakups and loss. All the while, Rachel is growing as a person and learning about what she really wants out of a romantic relationship. Harrison very deftly weaves all of this into her Urban Fantasy series on top of many different friendships. I really think this is a must-read series for any Urban Fantasy lover, errr fan! Urban Fantasy fan.