Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - snappy comebacks

(This post was inspired by an article by Maya Rodale in the June 2012 issue of RWR.)

A lot of people have a certain idea what romance novels are like. Sometimes that idea isn't a very good one. I've heard a lot of bad things about romance. So many bad things that for years, I refused to say I was writing romance. I'd call it strict fantasy or sci-fi, but really, I was writing romance.

It's only been in recent years that I've been proud to be a romance writer. I hold my chin up and smile as I say it. I'm an educated, strong woman. I'm married and a mother, and I love romance.

Do I still get laughed at or looked down upon for it? Yes. But it doesn't matter what those people think. Romance is a hard genre to write. There are quality stories out there. No woman or man should be ashamed for writing romance.

Sometimes I hear the same things over and over. I never really know what to say in the moment. I'm shy. But here are some snappy comebacks to ignorant and snarky comments made about the romance genre.

Ignorant comment: Romance is just porn for women.
Response: Nothing is wrong with women enjoying pleasure. Sometimes romance novels have no more than a kiss in them. It's about emotions.

Ignorant comment: Romances have no plot.
Response: They most certainly do! Again, it's not porn. There are several quality romance stories out there if you look.

Ignorant comment: Romances destroy the independent heroine.
Response: Wow. You couldn't be further from the truth. My favorite novels have extremely independent heroines. You might argue that the independent woman gives up everything to be with the man she loves in the story, but she chooses it and you have to respect her right to do so. A truly good romance makes sure to have the hero and heroine rescuing each other.

Ignorant comment: Some women might think the way men act in romances is real.
Response: Reading romance (or any genre) better equips people for reality. It prepares them to better understand and interact with the world, and romance particularly helps readers to empathize with people. Romance can inspire people to strive for happier lives.

A lot of people mock the romance genre and say the readers and writers are idiotic and/or delusional. I know several intelligent readers and writers, many who are feminists, and a few the least likely folks you'd think that would love romance. You find strong women, hope, and inspiration in romance novels. Perhaps the ignorant people are just trying to hold us back.

If you're a romance reader and/or writer, has anyone ever said something ignorant or snarky to you? What did they say and what did you say in return?

32 comments:

  1. I hear ya! I've actually been pretty lucky in the snarky comments area. I usually just get odd looks LOL!

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    1. I get the looks a lot too! I'm one of those people that no one expects to be writing romance since I'm so practical in life. *LOL*

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  2. I tend to ask them what they've written lately. Because most people who write respect writers, even if they don't like the genre.

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    1. I find that writers are most respectful of other writers. We understand each other. :)

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  3. I think all books are a challenge regardless of the genre and what people have to remember is that everyone is different with all have different tastes and even if it isn't there cup of tea there are plenty of people out there who will love it. Good for you for being proud to say you like romance, (((hugs))) Joss

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for the follow. Welcome to my blog. :)

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  4. I don't think any genre is lame.
    Any snappy comebacks for science fiction, especially space opera? I could use those.

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    1. Every genre has awesome stories. You get some guff for writing space opera? I'd love to hear what people say to you and then maybe I can think of some snappy comebacks.

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  5. I think each genre has something to offer. All genres have that problem of misconceptions.

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    1. I completely agree. Sometimes it feels there's a lot more toward romance, but only because that's the sort of ignorant comments I've gotten!

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  6. Wow, to say any of those negative things about romance is utterly insulting, not only to people who write romance, but those in relationships too. I see nothing wrong with being in love and expressing that, and therefore nothing wrong with the same thing happening in books.

    Excellent come backs. :D

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    1. I agree! And thank you. Sometimes I think the most insulting part is just the turned up noses and eye rolls I get when saying I write romance.

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  7. Excellent comebacks. It's sad when people are short sighted and ignorant.

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  8. Bottom line, there are always going to be haters out there. I don't care what they think they know about romance, we know the truth. Those are great come back lines, unfortunately I usually can't come up with a good one, until a day or two later. LOL

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    1. That's usually what happens to me too! I'm shy and I usually try not to say anything in a moment when I'm insulted or angry lest it not be a nice thing.

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  9. I write romance and epic fantasy. I have heard some snarky remarks but seldom from other writers. Doesn't bother me usually.

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    1. Writers tend to understand each other. We're a lovely bunch of people. :)

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  10. Those are great and well thought out responses to those snarky comments.

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    1. Thanks! I just wish I could respond with them when in the moment. *LOL*

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  11. I don't think it matters what genre you read, someone will always snark on it. I get it a lot for publishing on my own at this point. It's good practice for when crappy reviews come in, just let it roll off the back.

    A lot of my friends are romance writers. The RWA is the greatest organization of writers I've met.

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    1. That's a good point. It is good practice!

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  12. You could drop a few names like Georgette Heyer, Anya Seton, Jane Austen or even, Daphne du Maurier who wrote the swashbuckling Frechman's Creek. Talk about romance and independent women! A good romance, historical, fantasy, or otherwise has just as much a place in literature as any other genre. Heck, what about the Bronte sisters? Didn't THEY write romance? :)

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    1. Awesome point! Great things to include in a comeback. :)

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  13. Good for you for defending what you write! I sometimes hear negative comments for being a children's writer - like how easy it must be to write a picture book. I just shake my head at their ignorance.

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    1. I guess we all hear those things. People say I should write children's books, but wow, I wouldn't even know where to begin. It takes A LOT of imagination and talent to write for kids.

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  14. I agree, romance isn't just about sex. I've read a few rom coms recently that didn't have descriptive sex in them and didn't get to the kiss until the end. People have iffy reactions when I say I write YA too. And when they hear I read it at my age...

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    1. I guess everyone gets some snark about their genre.

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  15. Such a great post... I never get why some people think this way... what's wrong with woman indulging in romance?

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    1. I don't think there's anything wrong at all, but a lot of folks seem to think it's shallow or flaky. They don't know what they're missing!

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  16. The people who make those ignorant comments have probably never read a good romance novel, or else romance is just not their thing and they'll never appreciate it!

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    1. I totally agree. I've read from other genres that I never would have tried and discovered some real gems. Have a good weekend!

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