Some smart and insightful comments from Victoria Schwab, author of The Archived, in response to readers who aren’t interested in a books without a central and obvious romance:
Stories are about relationships, both those between characters, and those between characters and their world.
And of course, romantic relationships CAN BE IMPORTANT. They can be the most important, but even when they are, they are never the ONLY important relationship in a book. And I don’t think they should automatically be the ones we value most.
As a writer, I am fascinated by siblings. By family. By friendship. By unhealthy–even toxic–relationships. By the cog versus machine of a character at odds with their world.
The whole essay’s worth reading. Like Schwab, I enjoy romance, but not at the expense of other significant relationships, and certainly not at the expense of realism. Books where the heroine is obsessed with her love interest to the exclusion of all others, and where sexual attraction is the main basis of their relationship — well, I won’t say they’re unrealistic because relationships like that happen all the time, but I will say that they’re boring and overdone.
Anyway, do read the whole essay, as it’s brief but well worth it.
It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150…
During a discussion post today, one girl comments (in regards to the question: what’s you’re favorite quote?):
“I’m not much of a reader, so I don’t know a lot of stories or novels to quote from.”
She mentioned the Scarlet Letter, because it was the only book she could remember.