>I don't believe in a formula but I do believe in a "reader
> expectation". A reader wants a HEA ending just as much as readers
>of crimes want the crime solved and the murderr caught.
That's why I decided to call those things "genre conventions" and
avoid the negative connotations associated with the term formula. It
seems different people mean different things by formula.
>"Romance" is such a huge sweep of a word. It creeps into every
> mainstream novel in a larger or smaller degree - Bernard Cornwall,
>Dan Brown, Tom Clancy...it's lurking there, but say you are
>a "romance writer" and you get THAT look.
I think that there's a difference between a Romance and a historical
with a love story in it. I think that it boils down to target
audience, and what that audience expects. I also think that love
stories are central to human experience, resonate universally, and
can be found in many places other than romance novels.
From what I understand, Romance novels focus primarily on the
relationship between the H & H, and the relationship is always
resolved before the end of he book leading to the HEA. To complicate
things further, as Lynne pointed out, there are all kinds of sub-
genres in romance that include mystery and suspense, fantasy,
paranormal, comedy etc. I believe that for these books to be
considered romance, they must conform to the conventions of the genre.
In other genres, the development of the romance itself may or may not
be the plot and the HEA isn't expected. If it's a fantasy novel, it
may or may not also have a romance in it. If it does, it is probably
secondary to the quest.
I could be way off base here, but that's how I understand it. In my
case. I'm having a heck of a time with mine for this reason. I keep
going back and forth- it's a romance, no maybe it's a historical
novel with a romance in it, and so forth. I have two endings in mind
and one is as close to HEA that I can get. The focus of the book is
probably more on the history than the love interest, with the love
story coming in as a sub-plot.
I'm no expert, just a reader who is trying to write, and who has
opinions:-) So take or leave what I say...