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Medieval romances in or out?

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Joined: January 2009
Location: Lancashire

Post by Libby » Fri November 19th, 2010, 7:26 pm

I'm particularly interested in these divisions of genres. I was aware that there was 'historical romance' and 'historical fiction' but wasn't sure where the dividing line was.

It's something I've been discussing with writers on another forum and the consensus seems to be that if the main plot thread is about a relationship then it's romance.

My publisher on the other hand uses 'romance' in the wider sense of the word but I don't think that's an accurate reflection. I think what's important about a genre is what readers expect from the books.

The other problem is the characters. You can have characters based on real people who are not as well known as kings and queens. So where does that fit?
By Loyalty Bound - the story of the mistress of Richard III.


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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Location: Franklin, TN

Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Fri December 3rd, 2010, 5:05 am

[quote=""EC2""]From my perspective - and I could be wrong, there are medieval romance novels of the category variety - Harlequin, Zebra etc, where the romance and sometimes the sex is right to the forefront. It's dressing up box stuff really, even if well researched on the detail level.

Then there are the big hitters - biographical fiction about marquee names or people who actually existed. These are popular and sell well in mainstream - in fact flavour of the moment just now.

If you write a medieval novel about imaginary protags with a good mixture of history and romance, you end up falling between 2 stools. It's not full on romantic enough for the category romances and it's not about real people so misses the marquee market and thus becomes very hard to sell.

My earlier novels fell into the above category and I have moved into marquee and seen a big difference in sales. If you're walking the in between path as a writer, then you have to decide what you want to do.
Of course this doesn't take readers into account and they are often very happy with choice number 3. But the majority still seem to go for for choices 1 and 2 at the moment - or else that's what publishers and booksellers take up. You are making things harder for yourself by going with 3 - which is a bum if it's what you want to do and you do it well. But times and markets are always changing.

Right, I'm off for the weekend. Anon :-) [/quote]

I believe you just described my manuscript. I'm completely between those silly stools! :( I don't like explicit sex scenes -- they just don't do it for me. But I do love a sexy male figure whose plot line tangles into my strong female prot's story, making things even more exciting. Also, I write about fictional regular folk who may or may not become well known. I keep the world as it truly was in 13th c England -- politics and places as they were and all -- but I introduce fictional characters, one of which has a touch of paranormal ability. Does anyone have a thought on where my project would fit? Hist Fic, Hist Rom, Hist Fantasy?

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Gabriele Campbell
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Joined: August 2008
Location: Germany

Post by Gabriele Campbell » Wed December 22nd, 2010, 7:16 pm

a novel involving a convent of ninja nuns founded by Eleanor of Aquitaine where one of the pupils recognises Eleanor from the portrait hanging in the Abbbess's lodging.[/quote]

Ninja Nuns? I want to read that. :D

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