The Cardinal Sin of Romance


I love my fellow writers on this site. They offer me support and encouragement when I need it the most. Every one of them has read my work and offered invaluable feedback.  But I must say, both Michelle and Amanda are quite…selective in their reading. Neither of them favor the romance genre. I truly believe that neither of them would have ever read a romance in their lives had I not requested their assistance in beta reading/editing my work.

I love them dearly, but I get the feeling that romance disgusts them on a fundamental level. They’ve asked me to kill my characters. But that would NOT a romance make. They take the phrase “kill your darlings” literally. I merely torture mine, then ensure they at least have a happy ending for the moment. I don’t think I can even write anything but romance. It’s not in my blood to spill blood.

Michelle and Amanda tease me incessantly about my inability to commit MC (main character) murder. I cannot do it. Well, at least I haven’t yet. I may at some point in my career, but today is not that day and tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

By definition, romance must have a HEA (happily ever after) or a HFN (happily for now). You cannot kill the MC or multiple MCs and still have the story remain a romance by definition. It may have romantic elements, but it’s not by trade definition a romance.

Some of the best stories have elements of romance in them but the MCs die.

Romeo and Juliet ~ NOT a romance.

Terminator ~ NOT a romance.

Titanic ~ NOT a romance.

See where I’m going with this…the stories themselves have romance elements, but they are obviously not the main plot. Although Romeo and Juliet could be contested otherwise…but it’s obvious love is NOT enough…especially when you have a sadistic writer. Yes, I’m looking directly at you guys (you know who you are).

Serial murderers you are, the lot of you. I swear sometimes I think you do it just for fun. Okay, so I know you don’t just do it for shits and giggles. But the thought of killing off one of my main characters gives me feels deep down to my bones. I…*sniffles*…I can’t do it.

But I’m going to take my own advice and put myself out there, try something I’ve never done before in my own writing, slip outside my comfort zone and test the limits of my strength as a writer.


~ Kirsten ❤