Opinion: Fantasy Romance is One-Sided.

I think a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one, and that’s fine. I don’t mind, in fact, I’d love to hear from you. However, in my view, fantasy romance stories are incredibly one-sided. What do I mean by that? Well simply that in romantic stories that involve a human and either supernatural elements or fantastic creatures (Elves, Dwarves, Fae, Warlocks, Witches, Wizards, etc.), the human is almost always female.

I could list off an example, but instead, I’d say, just go to Goodreads and run a search for fantasy romance and see what comes up.

It’s usually a very typical scenario:

Human/Part Human female works in a field that exposes her to the supernatural. That person becomes aware of another world or the existence of fantasy creatures, at which point, she meets up with one who becomes her guide to the world. The two become enthralled with each other while the plot unfolds.

So why is that? Why is it that most of those romances place the female in the role of the human and/or the character that we’re supposed to relate to? There could be a few reasons for this… let’s look into them a little bit. Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting that there is some conspiracy among fantasy authors, or that the system is sexist, or any sort of wild tin-foil theories. I think it’s simply a product of circumstance. However, the fact remains… if you’re looking for a story where your main human character is male and the elf/fae/etc. is female… outside of Lord of the Rings and one or two other titles, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find anything.

I think the biggest reason is the author. Yes, let’s just get this out of the way. When it comes to fantasy, a lot of people see themselves in the main character. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just what typically happens. I’ve done this, and I’m sure plenty others have as well… this is often the source of some interesting fanfics and ships from established titles. However, that’s a conversation for another day. So given that, it makes sense that the gender of the author would play into what character takes on what role. Given that the majority of fantasy writers in areas of romance are female… the overwhelming majority of stories like this are going to feature a human or part-human female protagonist.

Other reasons could also be the dynamic of the relationship between the characters, the atmosphere, and scenario, but that seems to be the biggest thing.

So what do you think? Could there be other reasons? Let me know in the comments, and let me know if you’ve seen/read stories that break this chain.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Divergence In Storylines, Where to Go?

Hi Jim,
How do you handle situations where you have two different ways a character can go? Right now, I’m sitting on a plot line where one of my characters is sitting at a crossroad. He can either choose to help the people he cares about or leave them to their own devices in order to save the bigger group. I’m not sure where to go. Every time I write one way, I wind up getting frustrated and turning back to that one point. What should I do?

Thanks,
Holly


Hi Holly

I think this might be a good opportunity for you in your writing. You’re standing at the edge and the path you choose will change the course of your characters’ lives and reality permanently. Write down how you feel. Jot down notes as you try to weigh out the pros and cons. Talk about how conflicted you feel and be specific. When you’re done, write those notes into your story. I’m not kidding. How you’re feeling right now is exactly how your character should be feeling and it is an incredibly relatable.
Now, about how to handle this particular situation. I can’t help you there. How you choose to write your story is your own. Ask yourself, which would you choose? What would you do and what would the consequences be? Would that be as interesting as the alternative?
Probably the best thing you can do is write out what would happen in both cases. Write two divergent stories and pick the one that looks better. I’ve had to do this a few times. In fact, my library is full of divergent stories where characters didn’t save someone or chose a path that led them into darkness.
(SPOILER ALERT!!!!)
In Magnfica, I actually have another follow up novel to ‘Tears of the Fallen’. It was an alternate to Gravestalker. In the book, Lia’na didn’t sacrifice herself to save Toby. She watched him die and wasn’t able to stop the bad guy from gaining ultimate power. As a result, the cult that had infiltrated the highest branches of world government were never exposed, and the bad guys essentially won.
Lia’na and her friends escaped, but were constantly on the run, seeking shelter with whatever friendly resistance groups they could. Eventually, they were able to recover the Magnifica and discovered an enchantment that would allow them to relive one moment in time. However, each enchanter could only use this once.
Lia’na then set out to find someone… anyone with enchanter attributes that she could teach how to use the Magnifica. Eventually they find someone, rescue them, and after several struggles to keep that person safe and teach them how to create the enchantment, Lia’na is able to go back and possess her previous form to do what she’d previously been unable to.
Obviously, none of this actually happened. Lia’na sacrificed herself to prevent the bad guy from achieving the power he wanted. Toby survived and spent the next book trying to discover a way to revive Lia’na.

I’ve thought about releasing it from time to time, but it wouldn’t make much sense now. So it sits in my library, perhaps for future reference.

Back on topic, I really think that would help you. Write out a couple of different scenarios and choose the one that makes the most sense for you. Who knows, you may wind up with more than one story to publish!

Readers, what do you think? Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you handle it? Leave a comment and let’s keep the conversation going!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

WHY ARE THESE NOT CONSIDERED CLASSICS!?!? I hear a lot of the classics stations play things from Motley Crew to Black Sabbath, but never Maiden… WHY!?

When to Listen:  This is coffee music for me. When I sit down to start writing, I put on music with intense power like this. It gives me the push to get going.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim