Romance

Description of the Genre

At a very basic level romantic fiction has two main elements. The first element is a central love story where two individuals fall in love and have to struggle to make the relationship work because there is a difficulty which keeps them apart. The second element is a happy ending which is emotionally satisfying and optimistic. The characters who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with unconditional love. (There are some variants on this, like the romantic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’). In some situations readers recognise that the two characters should be together before the characters understand this themselves. This is the case in the classic love story ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and in a lot of contemporary teenage romantic fiction.

Some readers are critical of romantic fiction, yet romantic writing is one of the most popular forms of fiction. It is also one of the oldest and most distinguished forms of story writing. There are famous poems from ancient Greece and wonderful verses of love from medieval times. Australians are becoming increasingly interested in romance in general. Today's trend is for real-life situations. Couples are as likely to meet in the supermarket as at a romantic ball.

There are many kinds or subgenres of romantic fiction. The writing can involve contemporary situations, historical settings, mystery or thrillers. There is also Young Adult romantic fiction.

Source: http://www.rwanational.org/cs/romance_literature_subgenres

Text 1: Beatle Meets Destiny pp 38 – 39 by Gabrielle Williams


Exercises
a) Questions
Read the extract from Beatle Meets Desiny below and complete the following questions in your Reading Journal. Alternatively, you could make your responses more interesting by trying one of these online tools:
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Use text, images and audio!

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Present your responses as an online poster.

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Create a dynamic presentation with Prezi!

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Present your responses in an online mindmap.

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Create a presentation with sticky notes, images and more!


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  1. What is Beatle's character like? Find examples in the text that show the readers this.
  2. What words indicate the emotions of Beatle and Destiny?
  3. Repetition is used in Numbers 8, 9 and 10. What is the effect of this?
  4. The author uses lists in this text to explore the characters' perspectives. These include, horoscopes, options and Destiny's list:
Number 1: She had a stalker.
Number 2: A stalker that she had emailed and actually invited into their lives.
Number 3: Her parents were going to kill her.
Number 4: Kill.
Number 5: Dead.
What do readers learn about Destiny's character from her list?
How is humour involved in these 2 lists?
Why might the author have chosen to express this part of the story in the form of a list? What is the effect of this on the reader?


b) Genre Features
Open the Word document below and use Track Changes to complete this activity by using the Highlighting and Comment tool.




How many of these features appear in the story?
  • A relationship between 2 people.
  • Difficulty which keeps them apart.
  • Readers are connected to the characters and want to know what happens to them.
  • Readers can recognise that the 2 lovers should be together well before the characters know this.
  • A positive or happy ending where love endures.
  • Dialogue which gives insights into characters.
  • Descriptive writing

c) Creative Writing
Length: 200 – 300 words
Rewrite the Beatle 'list' extract, in several paragraphs without using a numbered list. Write the first person, as if you were Beatle. Try to capture the same mood and personality.


Text 2: What my mother doesn't know pp 3 - 5 (this is a verse novel) by Sonya Sones


Exercises
a) Discussion
Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Mood and atmosphere claire_murray claire_murray 2 151 May 30, 2012 by steph_grant steph_grant

b) Questions
Read (and listen) to the extract below from: What my mother doesn't know and complete the questions in your Reading Journal. Alternatively, you could make your responses more interesting by trying one of these online tools listed above.
  1. Find two examples of body language in the poem which communicate romance.
  2. What are eyes often used to symbolise in writing? Why?
  3. Clichés are often used in this type of writing. What is a cliché? Find 2 clichés that mention eyes that could be used in romantic writing.
  4. Although clichés can be a shortcut to giving meaning, the writing is usually flat and lacks interest. It is best to avoid in descriptive passages – make up your own expressions. In Beatle meets Destiny and What my mother doesn't know descriptions of eyes are common, for example, ‘A smile seemed to be playing around her eyes’
    ‘looking up to him with warm, chocolatey eyes’
    ‘His wild eyes dancing with mine, swimming into mine.’
    ‘When I lean back to look into his eyes they’re so alive, so totally locked to mine.’

    Copy out the 2 examples of use of eyes in the long section of the verse novel given above. Are these original, effective and lively descriptions or do they sound like clichés? Can you write your own sentece or two where you describe someone's eyes and their effect on someone?



c) Genre Features
Open the Word document below and use Track Changes to complete this activity by using the Highlighting and Comment tool.


How many of these features appear in the story?
  • A relationship between 2 people.
  • Difficulty which keeps them apart.
  • Readers are connected to the characters and want to know what happens to them.
  • Readers can recognise that the 2 lovers should be together well before the characters know this.
  • A positive or happy ending where love endures.
  • Dialogue which gives insights into characters.
  • Descriptive writing


d) Creative Writing
Length: 200 – 300 words
Rewrite the poem in a paragraph, but this time Sophie thinks that she dislikes Dylan, although readers recognise from reading the piece that there is an attraction between the two characters. Try to use humour in conveying how she feels about him, even though her tone will be more critical.
OR

Rewrite the poem from Dylan's point of view. You may do this in a paragraph or verse form. How can you show Dylan's attraction to the narrator? How would the voice change to show a male character and point of view?

Text 3: Walking Naked by Alyssa Brugman




Recommended Humour Fiction

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen

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Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

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What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

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A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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Let it Snow by Green, Johnson

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The Never Boys by Scott Monk

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The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson

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