Let’s Talk Bookish: Valentine’s Freebie

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted with Dani @ Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022. Book Nook Bits has hosted since April 2022.

As this was a freebie, I took the opportunity to look at the topics pre-April 2022, and picked one from Rukky’s blog.

February 17th: Romance as a Subplot

Examples: Why do you think romance is the most common subplot? Do you think romance subplots take away from the main story, or add to it? Do you prefer stories without any romance in them? Is romance better as a subplot or as a main plot?

Love comes in various forms, and though romantic love isn’t a universal experience, love in itself is. But due to its nature, there’s the possibility for more conflict when it comes to romance, especially in something where you don’t want the story to go down too dark of a route, or to consume up a larger part than originally intended. Romance sub-plots are easy to slip in, and give lots of possibilities for ‘shortcuts’. Romantic couples can have more easily triggered arguments than friends or family, offer opportunities for bickering/banter without it coming across mean-spirited (versus the same type of dialogue between other forms of relationships), and allows for steamy scenes, or adds to the ‘reasons to read on’ list if the author handles it right; yes, the reader wants to see the crime solved or the world saved or the horror eradicated, but if the protagonist is doing this with a possible love interest, the reader can also be hooked on will they/won’t they.

I like Romance anyway, but I think when done well they can add a lot to a plot. If done badly, well, yeah, they can take away from the main story. Not everything does need a romantic subplot, and it’s perfectly fine not to have one if it’s not something that interests you. I think I equally enjoy stories with or without romance, either as a main or subplot. And in the right hands it can work well as either main or sub, again depending on the subgenre. I know that sounds a little ‘on the fence’, but I truly enjoy reading romances, though sometimes I do need a little break from romantic love!


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