Romantic Fantasies

From Patricia Rice:

How fitting that I be assigned the 6/6/6 date for my blog!  I know the man who wrote Revelations was using archaic language to portray a beastly Roman emperor, but the fantasy images in that chapter are just too interesting to settle for the practical reality.

Which makes a fitting opening for my meanderings today.  Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?

I know lots of people call romance a fantasy without the need for elements like magic and monsters, but I happen to believe wholeheartedly in love and see nothing unnatural about it.  I think we’re meant to live with love, giving as much of it as we’re capable. 

So perhaps that’s why I’ve always been inclined to add that extra touch of fantasy—to take me a step further from reality.  Man loves woman is natural. Woman falls in love with beast…that’s pure romance. 

I suppose the act of falling in love with someone wildly different from one’s self is fantastical to most people. It’s hard to see beneath surface differences to the heart beneath, but I believe this is the heart of romance and why fantasy works so well with it.

I still don’t understand vampires and werewolves, though. Smileybigsmile  Maybe someone could explain to me the fascination of cold dead men who can’t see dawn and women with hair in more places than their armpits.  I think my practicality kicks in at that point!

48 thoughts on “Romantic Fantasies”

  1. tal sez:
    Someday I shall really have to explain Northrop Frye’s theories to you–you would all find it so useful!
    If more than slightly incomprehensible!
    Here’s a brief summary:
    Northrop Frye’s definition
    The critic Northrop Frye in Anatomy of Criticism (1957) separated some essentials of romance from the Medieval historical vehicles we identify it with, and usefully distinguished Romance as a mode that may be detected as a theme or atmosphere in other fictions. Expanding Aristotle’s Poetics, Frye classified fictions by the power of the hero’s actions, which may be greater than ours, or less, or roughly of the same degree. Thus if the hero is superior in kind to men, the action is a myth. If the hero is superior in degree to others and to his environment, the mode is that of Romance, where the actions are marvellous, but the hero is human. “The hero of romance moves in a world in which the ordinary laws of nature are slightly suspended: prodigies of courage and endurance, unnatural to us, are natural to him, and enchanted weapons, talking animals, terrifying ogres and witches, and talismans of miraculous power violate no rule of probability… Romance divides into two main forms: a secular form dealing with chivalry and knight-errantry, and a religious form devoted to legends of saints. Both lean heavily on miraculous violations of natural law for their interest as stories.” (Frye pp 33-34) In Romance, the action is never far removed from the forest, and the hero’s isolation or death “has the effect of a spirit passing out of nature” Frye perceives, “and evokes a mood best described as elegaic” There is a sense of fateful inevitability, but the sense of pity and fear that Tragedy produces, Romance absorbs into emotions that produce pleasure. “It turns fear at a distance, or terror, into the adventurous; fear at contact, or horror, into the marvellous, and fear without an object, or dread (Angst) into a pensive melancholy.” Pity, Frye finds rendered by Romance into the theme of rescue and a languid charmed tenderness.
    —Wikipedia. More on the genre here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%28genre%29
    In his scheme of things (which I buy), Romance (which includes not just modern fiction but medieval and Renaissance poetry and fantasy like Tolkien and William Morris), romance is an aristocratic form (hence all those dukes!) and only one step removed from myth. And he says that “a suggestion of allegory is always creeping in around the edges.” Hence so many romances are variations of classic tales like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and the like. Real enchantments were a central element of the medieval tales from which modern romances descend, and since the protagonist is ” superior in degree to others and to his environment,” it’s natural that wonderful things happen.
    Consider also Tolkien’s “eucatastrophe,” the turn that brings about the almost impossible happy ending–another element of fantasy that is common in romance, though not usually magical there. He finds the old letter that proves she never betrayed him; they meet by chance after years of separation; one of them suddenly inherits a fortune that makes it possible for them to marry–you know the thing.
    Incidentally, if you should ever choose to invite me to be a guest blogger, one topic I’d like to raise is that of the three fairy tales which I think cannot possibly end happily, no matter what the story says.

    Reply
  2. tal sez:
    Someday I shall really have to explain Northrop Frye’s theories to you–you would all find it so useful!
    If more than slightly incomprehensible!
    Here’s a brief summary:
    Northrop Frye’s definition
    The critic Northrop Frye in Anatomy of Criticism (1957) separated some essentials of romance from the Medieval historical vehicles we identify it with, and usefully distinguished Romance as a mode that may be detected as a theme or atmosphere in other fictions. Expanding Aristotle’s Poetics, Frye classified fictions by the power of the hero’s actions, which may be greater than ours, or less, or roughly of the same degree. Thus if the hero is superior in kind to men, the action is a myth. If the hero is superior in degree to others and to his environment, the mode is that of Romance, where the actions are marvellous, but the hero is human. “The hero of romance moves in a world in which the ordinary laws of nature are slightly suspended: prodigies of courage and endurance, unnatural to us, are natural to him, and enchanted weapons, talking animals, terrifying ogres and witches, and talismans of miraculous power violate no rule of probability… Romance divides into two main forms: a secular form dealing with chivalry and knight-errantry, and a religious form devoted to legends of saints. Both lean heavily on miraculous violations of natural law for their interest as stories.” (Frye pp 33-34) In Romance, the action is never far removed from the forest, and the hero’s isolation or death “has the effect of a spirit passing out of nature” Frye perceives, “and evokes a mood best described as elegaic” There is a sense of fateful inevitability, but the sense of pity and fear that Tragedy produces, Romance absorbs into emotions that produce pleasure. “It turns fear at a distance, or terror, into the adventurous; fear at contact, or horror, into the marvellous, and fear without an object, or dread (Angst) into a pensive melancholy.” Pity, Frye finds rendered by Romance into the theme of rescue and a languid charmed tenderness.
    —Wikipedia. More on the genre here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%28genre%29
    In his scheme of things (which I buy), Romance (which includes not just modern fiction but medieval and Renaissance poetry and fantasy like Tolkien and William Morris), romance is an aristocratic form (hence all those dukes!) and only one step removed from myth. And he says that “a suggestion of allegory is always creeping in around the edges.” Hence so many romances are variations of classic tales like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and the like. Real enchantments were a central element of the medieval tales from which modern romances descend, and since the protagonist is ” superior in degree to others and to his environment,” it’s natural that wonderful things happen.
    Consider also Tolkien’s “eucatastrophe,” the turn that brings about the almost impossible happy ending–another element of fantasy that is common in romance, though not usually magical there. He finds the old letter that proves she never betrayed him; they meet by chance after years of separation; one of them suddenly inherits a fortune that makes it possible for them to marry–you know the thing.
    Incidentally, if you should ever choose to invite me to be a guest blogger, one topic I’d like to raise is that of the three fairy tales which I think cannot possibly end happily, no matter what the story says.

    Reply
  3. tal sez:
    Someday I shall really have to explain Northrop Frye’s theories to you–you would all find it so useful!
    If more than slightly incomprehensible!
    Here’s a brief summary:
    Northrop Frye’s definition
    The critic Northrop Frye in Anatomy of Criticism (1957) separated some essentials of romance from the Medieval historical vehicles we identify it with, and usefully distinguished Romance as a mode that may be detected as a theme or atmosphere in other fictions. Expanding Aristotle’s Poetics, Frye classified fictions by the power of the hero’s actions, which may be greater than ours, or less, or roughly of the same degree. Thus if the hero is superior in kind to men, the action is a myth. If the hero is superior in degree to others and to his environment, the mode is that of Romance, where the actions are marvellous, but the hero is human. “The hero of romance moves in a world in which the ordinary laws of nature are slightly suspended: prodigies of courage and endurance, unnatural to us, are natural to him, and enchanted weapons, talking animals, terrifying ogres and witches, and talismans of miraculous power violate no rule of probability… Romance divides into two main forms: a secular form dealing with chivalry and knight-errantry, and a religious form devoted to legends of saints. Both lean heavily on miraculous violations of natural law for their interest as stories.” (Frye pp 33-34) In Romance, the action is never far removed from the forest, and the hero’s isolation or death “has the effect of a spirit passing out of nature” Frye perceives, “and evokes a mood best described as elegaic” There is a sense of fateful inevitability, but the sense of pity and fear that Tragedy produces, Romance absorbs into emotions that produce pleasure. “It turns fear at a distance, or terror, into the adventurous; fear at contact, or horror, into the marvellous, and fear without an object, or dread (Angst) into a pensive melancholy.” Pity, Frye finds rendered by Romance into the theme of rescue and a languid charmed tenderness.
    —Wikipedia. More on the genre here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%28genre%29
    In his scheme of things (which I buy), Romance (which includes not just modern fiction but medieval and Renaissance poetry and fantasy like Tolkien and William Morris), romance is an aristocratic form (hence all those dukes!) and only one step removed from myth. And he says that “a suggestion of allegory is always creeping in around the edges.” Hence so many romances are variations of classic tales like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and the like. Real enchantments were a central element of the medieval tales from which modern romances descend, and since the protagonist is ” superior in degree to others and to his environment,” it’s natural that wonderful things happen.
    Consider also Tolkien’s “eucatastrophe,” the turn that brings about the almost impossible happy ending–another element of fantasy that is common in romance, though not usually magical there. He finds the old letter that proves she never betrayed him; they meet by chance after years of separation; one of them suddenly inherits a fortune that makes it possible for them to marry–you know the thing.
    Incidentally, if you should ever choose to invite me to be a guest blogger, one topic I’d like to raise is that of the three fairy tales which I think cannot possibly end happily, no matter what the story says.

    Reply
  4. Well, I was going to comment, but I think I am intimidated by Talpianna and Northrop Frye, but I agree.
    *Incidentally, if you should ever choose to invite me to be a guest blogger, one topic I’d like to raise is that of the three fairy tales which I think cannot possibly end happily, no matter what the story says.*
    Now this I would like to read.
    If you don’t blog it, email me.
    JH

    Reply
  5. Well, I was going to comment, but I think I am intimidated by Talpianna and Northrop Frye, but I agree.
    *Incidentally, if you should ever choose to invite me to be a guest blogger, one topic I’d like to raise is that of the three fairy tales which I think cannot possibly end happily, no matter what the story says.*
    Now this I would like to read.
    If you don’t blog it, email me.
    JH

    Reply
  6. Well, I was going to comment, but I think I am intimidated by Talpianna and Northrop Frye, but I agree.
    *Incidentally, if you should ever choose to invite me to be a guest blogger, one topic I’d like to raise is that of the three fairy tales which I think cannot possibly end happily, no matter what the story says.*
    Now this I would like to read.
    If you don’t blog it, email me.
    JH

    Reply
  7. Pat’s question: “Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?”
    I, for one, am an escapist reader. I use my reading for pure enjoyment and escape from reality for a brief moment. Adding that touch of fantasy to the dependable HEA that romance provides pushes the story another degree away from reality and, for me, makes it that much more appealing.
    Maybe the Vampire/Shapeshifter thing comes into play for the same reason. It is so separated from reality that it makes for a great escape. However, I’m not one that revels in the more graphic vamp stories. I prefer the paranormal stories where the hero isn’t so much demonic, just a dangerous guy with a good heart. The yucky vamps are the ones that, to me, need to be eliminated by a good Dark Hunter. The “love of a good woman” theory just isn’t enough to redeem these characters.

    Reply
  8. Pat’s question: “Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?”
    I, for one, am an escapist reader. I use my reading for pure enjoyment and escape from reality for a brief moment. Adding that touch of fantasy to the dependable HEA that romance provides pushes the story another degree away from reality and, for me, makes it that much more appealing.
    Maybe the Vampire/Shapeshifter thing comes into play for the same reason. It is so separated from reality that it makes for a great escape. However, I’m not one that revels in the more graphic vamp stories. I prefer the paranormal stories where the hero isn’t so much demonic, just a dangerous guy with a good heart. The yucky vamps are the ones that, to me, need to be eliminated by a good Dark Hunter. The “love of a good woman” theory just isn’t enough to redeem these characters.

    Reply
  9. Pat’s question: “Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?”
    I, for one, am an escapist reader. I use my reading for pure enjoyment and escape from reality for a brief moment. Adding that touch of fantasy to the dependable HEA that romance provides pushes the story another degree away from reality and, for me, makes it that much more appealing.
    Maybe the Vampire/Shapeshifter thing comes into play for the same reason. It is so separated from reality that it makes for a great escape. However, I’m not one that revels in the more graphic vamp stories. I prefer the paranormal stories where the hero isn’t so much demonic, just a dangerous guy with a good heart. The yucky vamps are the ones that, to me, need to be eliminated by a good Dark Hunter. The “love of a good woman” theory just isn’t enough to redeem these characters.

    Reply
  10. Wow, Tal, you remember the academic theory way better than I do! I’m reminded of why I wouldn’t have made an academic (which is why I got a degree in industrial design after my B.A. in 18th century literature.)
    Academic theory can be fun stuff, but at heart, I’m like Pat: I believe that love isn’t a fantasy, but a rock solid reality. And if our stories are sometimes (often? :)) over the top, that part is for fun. Even amazing coincidences don’t bother me, because they -do- happen in real life. Just not very often. Just like historical romance is full of handsome lords, while real life is so deficient in this area. 🙂
    But despite my theoretical incompetence, I am intrigued by the three fairy tales that can never be made happy….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  11. Wow, Tal, you remember the academic theory way better than I do! I’m reminded of why I wouldn’t have made an academic (which is why I got a degree in industrial design after my B.A. in 18th century literature.)
    Academic theory can be fun stuff, but at heart, I’m like Pat: I believe that love isn’t a fantasy, but a rock solid reality. And if our stories are sometimes (often? :)) over the top, that part is for fun. Even amazing coincidences don’t bother me, because they -do- happen in real life. Just not very often. Just like historical romance is full of handsome lords, while real life is so deficient in this area. 🙂
    But despite my theoretical incompetence, I am intrigued by the three fairy tales that can never be made happy….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  12. Wow, Tal, you remember the academic theory way better than I do! I’m reminded of why I wouldn’t have made an academic (which is why I got a degree in industrial design after my B.A. in 18th century literature.)
    Academic theory can be fun stuff, but at heart, I’m like Pat: I believe that love isn’t a fantasy, but a rock solid reality. And if our stories are sometimes (often? :)) over the top, that part is for fun. Even amazing coincidences don’t bother me, because they -do- happen in real life. Just not very often. Just like historical romance is full of handsome lords, while real life is so deficient in this area. 🙂
    But despite my theoretical incompetence, I am intrigued by the three fairy tales that can never be made happy….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  13. Hello All —
    I am by no means an academic. So nothing I say here will hold a candle Tal. (great stuff, btw)
    You have however, hit upon a topic I have spent three very long years exploring in great depth. I’m with Pat and MJ, love is, IMHO, real. But I think it is sorely misunderstood. While I’m far, far, far from having any answers as to what exactly love is, I have come to this. “To love is to free that which is loved, to seek a love of its own” Aristotle it is not. But it is what I am coming to learn.
    Pat asked “Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?” I remember reading a book about Count Dracula – the real one (some say to be Vlad the Impaler) and the one Stoker coined. The author (sorry, can’t remember who) was theorizing that we (as humans) tend to demonize that which we do not understand – especially when there is a chance that we might, as some already have, become it. Thus a fantasy is born — howbeit a dark one in this case. To me fantasy is a “safe” place to explore what is not while trying to accept and understand what is. We can go and hide in the world of fantasy. Pretend and learn. Love is the element that we bring with us when we enter fantasy’s gate. And when love and fantasy mingle in the same place, we are able to put aside prejudice and discover the more ephemeral truths behind freedom and choice. Of course, that is just my humble opinion.
    Nina

    Reply
  14. Hello All —
    I am by no means an academic. So nothing I say here will hold a candle Tal. (great stuff, btw)
    You have however, hit upon a topic I have spent three very long years exploring in great depth. I’m with Pat and MJ, love is, IMHO, real. But I think it is sorely misunderstood. While I’m far, far, far from having any answers as to what exactly love is, I have come to this. “To love is to free that which is loved, to seek a love of its own” Aristotle it is not. But it is what I am coming to learn.
    Pat asked “Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?” I remember reading a book about Count Dracula – the real one (some say to be Vlad the Impaler) and the one Stoker coined. The author (sorry, can’t remember who) was theorizing that we (as humans) tend to demonize that which we do not understand – especially when there is a chance that we might, as some already have, become it. Thus a fantasy is born — howbeit a dark one in this case. To me fantasy is a “safe” place to explore what is not while trying to accept and understand what is. We can go and hide in the world of fantasy. Pretend and learn. Love is the element that we bring with us when we enter fantasy’s gate. And when love and fantasy mingle in the same place, we are able to put aside prejudice and discover the more ephemeral truths behind freedom and choice. Of course, that is just my humble opinion.
    Nina

    Reply
  15. Hello All —
    I am by no means an academic. So nothing I say here will hold a candle Tal. (great stuff, btw)
    You have however, hit upon a topic I have spent three very long years exploring in great depth. I’m with Pat and MJ, love is, IMHO, real. But I think it is sorely misunderstood. While I’m far, far, far from having any answers as to what exactly love is, I have come to this. “To love is to free that which is loved, to seek a love of its own” Aristotle it is not. But it is what I am coming to learn.
    Pat asked “Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?” I remember reading a book about Count Dracula – the real one (some say to be Vlad the Impaler) and the one Stoker coined. The author (sorry, can’t remember who) was theorizing that we (as humans) tend to demonize that which we do not understand – especially when there is a chance that we might, as some already have, become it. Thus a fantasy is born — howbeit a dark one in this case. To me fantasy is a “safe” place to explore what is not while trying to accept and understand what is. We can go and hide in the world of fantasy. Pretend and learn. Love is the element that we bring with us when we enter fantasy’s gate. And when love and fantasy mingle in the same place, we are able to put aside prejudice and discover the more ephemeral truths behind freedom and choice. Of course, that is just my humble opinion.
    Nina

    Reply
  16. tal sez:
    I didn’t mean to intimidate anyone! Just think of me as a very furry reference book.
    I remember Frye’s theory so well for two reasons: one is that I wholeheartedly believe in it (at least for romance); the other is that I was his graduate assistant when he was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and gave lectures in which he explained things MUCH more clearly than his book does!

    Reply
  17. tal sez:
    I didn’t mean to intimidate anyone! Just think of me as a very furry reference book.
    I remember Frye’s theory so well for two reasons: one is that I wholeheartedly believe in it (at least for romance); the other is that I was his graduate assistant when he was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and gave lectures in which he explained things MUCH more clearly than his book does!

    Reply
  18. tal sez:
    I didn’t mean to intimidate anyone! Just think of me as a very furry reference book.
    I remember Frye’s theory so well for two reasons: one is that I wholeheartedly believe in it (at least for romance); the other is that I was his graduate assistant when he was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and gave lectures in which he explained things MUCH more clearly than his book does!

    Reply
  19. Now I AM impressed, Tal. Before I just thought how timely your post was because I am using bits of Frye in my lecture Friday as my world lit class moves from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Marie de France’s lais, but that you actually worked with the great man and had an opportunity to question him and learn directly from him truly impresses me.

    Reply
  20. Now I AM impressed, Tal. Before I just thought how timely your post was because I am using bits of Frye in my lecture Friday as my world lit class moves from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Marie de France’s lais, but that you actually worked with the great man and had an opportunity to question him and learn directly from him truly impresses me.

    Reply
  21. Now I AM impressed, Tal. Before I just thought how timely your post was because I am using bits of Frye in my lecture Friday as my world lit class moves from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Marie de France’s lais, but that you actually worked with the great man and had an opportunity to question him and learn directly from him truly impresses me.

    Reply
  22. “Adding that touch of fantasy to the dependable HEA that romance provides pushes the story another degree away from reality and, for me, makes it that much more appealing.”
    I’m the total opposite. I simply loathe fantasy/paranormal elements in romances. The helpful ghost. The magic necklace or ring. Time travel. Ugh. I want the LOVE to be enough. To be THE POINT. I want to be able to pretend that the story really happened.
    “However, I’m not one that revels in the more graphic vamp stories. I prefer the paranormal stories where the hero isn’t so much demonic, just a dangerous guy with a good heart. The yucky vamps are the ones that, to me, need to be eliminated by a good Dark Hunter.”
    I was just discussing this with a girlfriend who LOVES vamp romance, and she’s got a totally different take. She dislikes what she calls “neutered” vamps. It’s the Angel/Spike dichotomy: Do you want the vamp who’s been “cured” of his badness, or the one who CHOOSES not to be bad because he loves you? I’ll take bachelor # 2 every time (I think this falls back on the love of the reformed rake, another weakness of mine, curse you Georgette Heyer!).

    Reply
  23. “Adding that touch of fantasy to the dependable HEA that romance provides pushes the story another degree away from reality and, for me, makes it that much more appealing.”
    I’m the total opposite. I simply loathe fantasy/paranormal elements in romances. The helpful ghost. The magic necklace or ring. Time travel. Ugh. I want the LOVE to be enough. To be THE POINT. I want to be able to pretend that the story really happened.
    “However, I’m not one that revels in the more graphic vamp stories. I prefer the paranormal stories where the hero isn’t so much demonic, just a dangerous guy with a good heart. The yucky vamps are the ones that, to me, need to be eliminated by a good Dark Hunter.”
    I was just discussing this with a girlfriend who LOVES vamp romance, and she’s got a totally different take. She dislikes what she calls “neutered” vamps. It’s the Angel/Spike dichotomy: Do you want the vamp who’s been “cured” of his badness, or the one who CHOOSES not to be bad because he loves you? I’ll take bachelor # 2 every time (I think this falls back on the love of the reformed rake, another weakness of mine, curse you Georgette Heyer!).

    Reply
  24. “Adding that touch of fantasy to the dependable HEA that romance provides pushes the story another degree away from reality and, for me, makes it that much more appealing.”
    I’m the total opposite. I simply loathe fantasy/paranormal elements in romances. The helpful ghost. The magic necklace or ring. Time travel. Ugh. I want the LOVE to be enough. To be THE POINT. I want to be able to pretend that the story really happened.
    “However, I’m not one that revels in the more graphic vamp stories. I prefer the paranormal stories where the hero isn’t so much demonic, just a dangerous guy with a good heart. The yucky vamps are the ones that, to me, need to be eliminated by a good Dark Hunter.”
    I was just discussing this with a girlfriend who LOVES vamp romance, and she’s got a totally different take. She dislikes what she calls “neutered” vamps. It’s the Angel/Spike dichotomy: Do you want the vamp who’s been “cured” of his badness, or the one who CHOOSES not to be bad because he loves you? I’ll take bachelor # 2 every time (I think this falls back on the love of the reformed rake, another weakness of mine, curse you Georgette Heyer!).

    Reply
  25. You asked: Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?
    Well, this reader doesn’t – that’s why I haven’t read a book by Mary Jo for quite some time and why I’m so glad Loretta decided not to become the queen of gothic after all!
    Mileage varies and I’m not a reader of romantic suspense either, especially not those with supernatural gifted heroes. I have already “lost” a lot of once favorite authors but feel that I’m fortunate to discover new ones from time to time.
    Greetings from Germany, Bibiana

    Reply
  26. You asked: Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?
    Well, this reader doesn’t – that’s why I haven’t read a book by Mary Jo for quite some time and why I’m so glad Loretta decided not to become the queen of gothic after all!
    Mileage varies and I’m not a reader of romantic suspense either, especially not those with supernatural gifted heroes. I have already “lost” a lot of once favorite authors but feel that I’m fortunate to discover new ones from time to time.
    Greetings from Germany, Bibiana

    Reply
  27. You asked: Why is it that we like a touch of fantasy with our romance?
    Well, this reader doesn’t – that’s why I haven’t read a book by Mary Jo for quite some time and why I’m so glad Loretta decided not to become the queen of gothic after all!
    Mileage varies and I’m not a reader of romantic suspense either, especially not those with supernatural gifted heroes. I have already “lost” a lot of once favorite authors but feel that I’m fortunate to discover new ones from time to time.
    Greetings from Germany, Bibiana

    Reply
  28. I have to admit that I have a hard time suspending disbelief for most stories that include touches of paranormal or magic to them. There are exceptions, of course, but another “issue” I sometimes have with this stories is that I find the addition of magic weakens the climax. There just going to use their magic to save the day anyway – so why worry about the ending – sort of thing.
    I’m also like Tonda’s friend in that I tend to prefer the “darker” magic/paranormal stuff, and I’m pretty sure that comes from some of my Catholic upbringing.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  29. I have to admit that I have a hard time suspending disbelief for most stories that include touches of paranormal or magic to them. There are exceptions, of course, but another “issue” I sometimes have with this stories is that I find the addition of magic weakens the climax. There just going to use their magic to save the day anyway – so why worry about the ending – sort of thing.
    I’m also like Tonda’s friend in that I tend to prefer the “darker” magic/paranormal stuff, and I’m pretty sure that comes from some of my Catholic upbringing.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  30. I have to admit that I have a hard time suspending disbelief for most stories that include touches of paranormal or magic to them. There are exceptions, of course, but another “issue” I sometimes have with this stories is that I find the addition of magic weakens the climax. There just going to use their magic to save the day anyway – so why worry about the ending – sort of thing.
    I’m also like Tonda’s friend in that I tend to prefer the “darker” magic/paranormal stuff, and I’m pretty sure that comes from some of my Catholic upbringing.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  31. I like fantasy elements in romance novels, but I do not like the current ones. I have a problem with Anita Blake and clones. Especially from a “writing for women” perspective. I keep waiting to hear that Edward has killed Anita.
    *Grinning*
    All romance novels, which means genre romance, are fantasies, in my opinion. So I do agree with Frye and btw: love his work.
    Tolkien, by Frye’s definition, is a great Romance.
    I don’t think genre romance is all *great romance* though it could be. I’d like to see that happen, because I am a romantic by heart and believe love is vital to any story.

    Reply
  32. I like fantasy elements in romance novels, but I do not like the current ones. I have a problem with Anita Blake and clones. Especially from a “writing for women” perspective. I keep waiting to hear that Edward has killed Anita.
    *Grinning*
    All romance novels, which means genre romance, are fantasies, in my opinion. So I do agree with Frye and btw: love his work.
    Tolkien, by Frye’s definition, is a great Romance.
    I don’t think genre romance is all *great romance* though it could be. I’d like to see that happen, because I am a romantic by heart and believe love is vital to any story.

    Reply
  33. I like fantasy elements in romance novels, but I do not like the current ones. I have a problem with Anita Blake and clones. Especially from a “writing for women” perspective. I keep waiting to hear that Edward has killed Anita.
    *Grinning*
    All romance novels, which means genre romance, are fantasies, in my opinion. So I do agree with Frye and btw: love his work.
    Tolkien, by Frye’s definition, is a great Romance.
    I don’t think genre romance is all *great romance* though it could be. I’d like to see that happen, because I am a romantic by heart and believe love is vital to any story.

    Reply
  34. From Pat Rice:
    Ah, yes, I understand the climax/magic problem. I’ve struggled with that one, but it’s so tempting…
    Generally, though, if the story is done right, the magic is part of the conflict, thus part of the climax not as a solution but as a problem that can blow the whole thing apart.
    And I’ll agree about some of the dark novels–to keep the tradition of darkness, really, the heroes or heroines ought to be killed at the end of the series. Wasn’t it Buffy that did it that way? Another reason why I can’t write dark, sorry.

    Reply
  35. From Pat Rice:
    Ah, yes, I understand the climax/magic problem. I’ve struggled with that one, but it’s so tempting…
    Generally, though, if the story is done right, the magic is part of the conflict, thus part of the climax not as a solution but as a problem that can blow the whole thing apart.
    And I’ll agree about some of the dark novels–to keep the tradition of darkness, really, the heroes or heroines ought to be killed at the end of the series. Wasn’t it Buffy that did it that way? Another reason why I can’t write dark, sorry.

    Reply
  36. From Pat Rice:
    Ah, yes, I understand the climax/magic problem. I’ve struggled with that one, but it’s so tempting…
    Generally, though, if the story is done right, the magic is part of the conflict, thus part of the climax not as a solution but as a problem that can blow the whole thing apart.
    And I’ll agree about some of the dark novels–to keep the tradition of darkness, really, the heroes or heroines ought to be killed at the end of the series. Wasn’t it Buffy that did it that way? Another reason why I can’t write dark, sorry.

    Reply
  37. Personally, I love magic in books. Not the “wand” kind, although I do like Rowling’s work.
    I like the kind of magic/power that lives inside. A power that can be used to do only a limited number of things. Powers that we wished we (as humans) had and could almost believe that we do. If we tried hard enough.
    Like MJ’s heroine in TMS. She writes Abby in such a way that you as the reader could imagine yourself having a little bit of what she has — the empathy to know when someone needs her, the ability to feed another her strength.
    One time or another, I know I’ve been there as the “healer.” Called up a long lost old friend for absolutely no reason at all because nothing else would satisfy my emotional state until I did; only to find out she was sitting on the edge of her bed with a gun in her hand. And, of course we all have the best friend that comes over, emotionally vomits all her woes and walks out the front door with every ounce of emotional strength we allotted for that day declaring how much better she feels.
    Do I have a special power? No. Do you? Maybe. But then again, maybe we all do – if we would just be sensitive enough to own it. Hone it. Now that’s magic! IMHO.
    Nina

    Reply
  38. Personally, I love magic in books. Not the “wand” kind, although I do like Rowling’s work.
    I like the kind of magic/power that lives inside. A power that can be used to do only a limited number of things. Powers that we wished we (as humans) had and could almost believe that we do. If we tried hard enough.
    Like MJ’s heroine in TMS. She writes Abby in such a way that you as the reader could imagine yourself having a little bit of what she has — the empathy to know when someone needs her, the ability to feed another her strength.
    One time or another, I know I’ve been there as the “healer.” Called up a long lost old friend for absolutely no reason at all because nothing else would satisfy my emotional state until I did; only to find out she was sitting on the edge of her bed with a gun in her hand. And, of course we all have the best friend that comes over, emotionally vomits all her woes and walks out the front door with every ounce of emotional strength we allotted for that day declaring how much better she feels.
    Do I have a special power? No. Do you? Maybe. But then again, maybe we all do – if we would just be sensitive enough to own it. Hone it. Now that’s magic! IMHO.
    Nina

    Reply
  39. Personally, I love magic in books. Not the “wand” kind, although I do like Rowling’s work.
    I like the kind of magic/power that lives inside. A power that can be used to do only a limited number of things. Powers that we wished we (as humans) had and could almost believe that we do. If we tried hard enough.
    Like MJ’s heroine in TMS. She writes Abby in such a way that you as the reader could imagine yourself having a little bit of what she has — the empathy to know when someone needs her, the ability to feed another her strength.
    One time or another, I know I’ve been there as the “healer.” Called up a long lost old friend for absolutely no reason at all because nothing else would satisfy my emotional state until I did; only to find out she was sitting on the edge of her bed with a gun in her hand. And, of course we all have the best friend that comes over, emotionally vomits all her woes and walks out the front door with every ounce of emotional strength we allotted for that day declaring how much better she feels.
    Do I have a special power? No. Do you? Maybe. But then again, maybe we all do – if we would just be sensitive enough to own it. Hone it. Now that’s magic! IMHO.
    Nina

    Reply
  40. tal sez:
    I know the Tigress doesn’t like fantasy, either. Her explanation is that she wasn’t raised on it, as she didn’t have children’s books in English in her early youth (being a feral Welshbeing who didn’t speak the language till she went to school) and once she DID learn to read it, went more or less directly to adult books. I wonder why others never developed a taste for it? Is early exposure to fairy tales the answer?
    Perhaps the fantasyphobes among us could explain.

    Reply
  41. tal sez:
    I know the Tigress doesn’t like fantasy, either. Her explanation is that she wasn’t raised on it, as she didn’t have children’s books in English in her early youth (being a feral Welshbeing who didn’t speak the language till she went to school) and once she DID learn to read it, went more or less directly to adult books. I wonder why others never developed a taste for it? Is early exposure to fairy tales the answer?
    Perhaps the fantasyphobes among us could explain.

    Reply
  42. tal sez:
    I know the Tigress doesn’t like fantasy, either. Her explanation is that she wasn’t raised on it, as she didn’t have children’s books in English in her early youth (being a feral Welshbeing who didn’t speak the language till she went to school) and once she DID learn to read it, went more or less directly to adult books. I wonder why others never developed a taste for it? Is early exposure to fairy tales the answer?
    Perhaps the fantasyphobes among us could explain.

    Reply
  43. From Pat Rice:
    Nina, I firmly believe the human mind can do much more than we realize. I, too, have received that “vibration” to just call someone and found them in desperate need of someone to talk to. Maybe it’s coincidence, but who can say?
    Talp, interesting question. I read adult books and the usual childhood stuff while a kid, but I’ve always, always been drawn to romance and fairy tales. Prior life experience maybe?

    Reply
  44. From Pat Rice:
    Nina, I firmly believe the human mind can do much more than we realize. I, too, have received that “vibration” to just call someone and found them in desperate need of someone to talk to. Maybe it’s coincidence, but who can say?
    Talp, interesting question. I read adult books and the usual childhood stuff while a kid, but I’ve always, always been drawn to romance and fairy tales. Prior life experience maybe?

    Reply
  45. From Pat Rice:
    Nina, I firmly believe the human mind can do much more than we realize. I, too, have received that “vibration” to just call someone and found them in desperate need of someone to talk to. Maybe it’s coincidence, but who can say?
    Talp, interesting question. I read adult books and the usual childhood stuff while a kid, but I’ve always, always been drawn to romance and fairy tales. Prior life experience maybe?

    Reply

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