A Junkee’s Take on Paranormal Romance

Paranormal Romance is one of the hottest genres in the growing speculative fiction line. Throw a Paranormal into a romance and you have the best of both worlds, or so some people think. Romance lovers that are tired of Cowboys, Firemen and Police Officers now have new alpha males to worship – vampires, werewolves and the continuing growing line of hot males something or others – were-cougars, dragons, djinn, ghosts – the lists goes on an on. But, with the influx of Paranormal Romance {PNR} books on the market have the stories become stale?

While I hate to admit this, I’m beginning to think my book palate is done with paranormal romance, well adult romance in general.

**Stops and waits for mass gasping.**

Let me explain with a broad analogy. When my brain was churning out writing ideas in college, during one of my many creative writing courses, I often believed that Romance would be one of the easier genres to write. Now, I’ve since rectified my thoughts, because NOTHING is easy to write, but, in general I think contemporary romance might still be easier, than say a mystery to write. This is because they usually implement what I have dubbed the “Romance Algorithm.” Big words for — they all follow usual patterns. And, because of these usual patterns which have filtered into Paranormal Romance also, I, as an avid reader, quickly become bored.

Easy to write a romance?

Reading five paranormal romances over a period of six months probably wouldn’t throw up red flags — but 10 a month, at some point I’m just done when 9 out of ten of those books you could have just substituted names and species and they would have been the same book.

Let me explain my Romance Algorithm.

  1. Boy meets Girl
  2. Boy is instantly attracted to Girl
  3. Boy or Girl just happens to be a paranormal
  4. Boy or Girl or maybe both have something in their past that they are hiding, which has kept them from dating
  5. Girl’s past might be so harried that she couldn’t even get some action, rendering her one of those rare 18 – 25 year old virgins
  6. Boy and Girl’s attraction though, is SOOO strong that they circle around each other not being able to resist each other — no matter what it is that keeps them from each other
  7. In walks BADNESS – the badness is what will try to keep Boy and Girl away from each other, whether it is an antagonist or their past or rules in play that don’t allow them to intermingle.
  8. At this point, Boy and Girl can no longer deny their attraction and they have sex, mind blowing, life-changing sex
  9. Yet, in the morning after, or maybe a few days, depending on how long the romance takes, Boy or Girl suddenly realizes – “Oh crap! I might like this person TOO much! RUN!!” So, they break it off. Usually one party is not having it, but because of lack of self-esteem or really not knowing the others feelings allows them to be pushed away.
  10. Badness is still out there though and the dastardly plot plays out, usually by harming Girl – or even the Boy if the author reverses rolls
  11. When lover boy or maybe lover girl finds out about the others kidnapping, or injury or bad situation, they realize “I Love This Person and cannot live with them!” and sweep in to save the day, thus proving their love to the other and cementing their “Dying Breath” love and enacting an HEA. {Happily Ever After}

You can even see the algorithm in ‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer.

Edward breaks up with Bella to protect herThis algorithm can be seen in book after book. It even filters down into young adult paranormal romance sometime, which in general, with the lack of sex, makes their own rules. Case in point, the TWILIGHT series. The books actually implement the algorithm throughout the first two books. Steps 1-7 actually being the first TWILIGHT book, skip step 8 of course — and then move on to step 9 at the beginning of NEW MOON. Then of course Stephanie Meyers drags out their HEA for two more books. Like any stereotype there are differences but the gist of it is usually in plain site. This over and over again play on the usual romance tricks just wears on a reader when you are bombarded with it over and over again. Like a certain other romance trick that Stephanie Meyer also used – The Love Triangle. This is why this book junkee might have to take a step back from paranormal romance for a time or two and explore some different types of books, because even the GREAT paranormal romances implement this algorithm a lot of times.

Have you noticed this particular pattern in your romance books, whether paranormal or contemporary? Do you know of any good books that have thrown that pattern out the window and can suggest them to me? I’m all ears. Or do you think I’m completely off base and just a worn out, used up book blogger?? XOXO