Okay, so the title was a little clickbaity. I actually love romance novels. I love novels with romance subplots. I love happy endings. What I really don’t love is authors who think they need to shove a romance subplot into a story to keep their female readers happy.
If you genuinely enjoy writing a romance novel or a romance subplot, fucking do it. I’ll be overjoyed to read it. If you’re writing it because you think you have to, send it to the shredder. Write something you do love. Whatever that may be.
You are doing your readers a disservice by writing something that you’re not passionate about. I can tell, they can tell. Save yourself a lot of bad reviews by simply writing the story you wanted to write.
For the men out there thinking this post is attacking them, that’s not the case. I see this with female authors just as often.
Character relationships are key to writing a great novel in every genre, but those relationships do not have to be sexual and they do not have to be romantic. They could of course be sexual and not romantic or romantic but not sexual. At the other end of the spectrum, they may not be positive relationships at all. It’s totally your choice. Get creative, try something new with your relationships. Build those connections between your fascinating individuals.
If you want to go the romance route, embrace it.
If you don’t want romance, by all means, bring me some fantastic friendships, a political intrigue subplot, a workplace rivalry, mental health struggles, whatever tickles your fancy. Just make sure it does tickle your fancy or float your boat as my mother likes to say.