Why do you think romance is the most common subplot?
This is an interesting question, and I am curious to know what others think about this. In my opinion, it comes down to the simple fact that romance sells. A lot of people enjoy romance in their novels, so why wouldn’t an author take advantage of that? I also have to wonder how much publishing and editors influence the inclusion of romantic subplots.
Including a love story is an easy way to add interest and layers to a story. I think a lot of people relate to romantic feelings and the complications of falling in love. That said, romance is not a universal experience and I do not think that a book needs a romance to have depth or to feel authentic.
There is certainly a place for books with no romance. In fact, I wrote a post last year where I share a few books with no romance, and it still gets a few views a day. I will have to write an update post, though, if I am being honest, I am not sure how many books I have read since then that do not have a romantic element. It is just so common!
Do you think romance subplots take away from the main story, or add to it?
My relationship with romance as a subplot is a complicated one. I understand why authors include romance, as I do think it is something a lot of readers look for in novels. However, there are times where it becomes so obvious that the romance was an afterthought and can actually take away from the story. A most recent example for me is Mexican Gothic– I cannot say more than that without spoilers, but the romantic subplot took me out of the story in many ways. There were many things that were wonderful about that book, but the romance didn’t feel authentic or necessary, which is not a new feeling for me when it comes to romantic subplots.
That said, there are books that do the romantic subplot well and that I appreciate.
Do you prefer stories without any romance in them?
I don’t think I have a preference. However, unless I am picking up an actual romance novel, I do not want the romance to be a large part of the story. There are times where a romance feels like a distraction or filler. In many cases, I would prefer more world building or character development over a romantic subplot.
Is romance better as a subplot or as a main plot?
Both! It really depends on my mood. I have read more contemporary romance this year than I ever have before, and I have loved every second of it. I love that I can pick up a romance and know that, despite all the ups and downs that inevitably occur throughout the story, there will be a happily ever after. That is the comfort reading that I need in 2020!
I would love to hear all your thoughts on romance as a subplot!