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Why yes, yes it is.
Jane Austen started the true “romance trope” with her wonderful books.
Some say that romance novels haven’t changed much since then.
Maybe, maybe not.
Depends on how you look at it.
But the biggest thing is that there’s one particular standard that Ms. Austen established that is (or really, should be true) in any real romance novel.
Boy meets Girl.
Boy loses Girl.
Boy gets Girl back.
Now, how those things happen, or if they’re reversed (Girl meets Boy. Girl loses Boy. Girl gets Boy back) it’s still the same thing.
Romances are stories about that relationship between your hero and heroine, (or your two heroes, or your two heroines, depending on your genre, but you know what I mean).
The relationship is the MOST IMPORTANT PART of the story.
Not a side note,
Not a scene here and there.
Not a single line like “And he loved her.”
True romances are focused on the relationship. Jane Austen showed us that real relationships were messy. They weren’t perfect–the hero and heroine didn’t just meet, fall in love, and boom, done. There was more to it than that.
Because that’s the way life is. There’s always more to it than that. You follow these characters on a journey–and if it was all a straight shot, perfectly pleasant road, then what’s the point? Sounds kinda boring.
Life isn’t that way. There’s ups and downs, heartbreaks and joy. Capturing that element in your story is very important. And yes, it stinks to break your character’s hearts.
But trust me, it makes that moment when they overcome the heartache so much better.