"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."
Seriously, Mr. Camus?
It's a helluva responsibility to keep civilization from destroying itself. Readers of this article should know, I work on it every day. How? I write romance novels.
I love the romance genre. It's about love between two people. (At least my novels are. Twosomes are my limit.) Love is the antidote to hate, to destruction. We romance writers should get combat pay. We live on the front lines.
Some people look down their noses at romance novels, calling them cliche' ridden. My reply is bring on the clichés. All genres have them: mystery, thriller, horror, science fiction. I'm on board the romance train if it means boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl forces boy to take a good, long, hard look at himself, and boy wins the girl back.
Shakespeare did it with The Taming of the Shrew, Midsummers Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet. I don't see many reviewers and booksellers looking down their nose at Shakespeare. Is the fact that he's a man have anything to do with it?
I hate to say it, but I think there's truth to that. Despite being the largest and most lucrative category in fiction, Romances are targeted as too simple, too trite, too gentle, too fierce, too boring, too feminist and not feminist enough. The only person who's gotten that kind of bad press is Hillary Clinton.
Oh, the parallels. But that's a subject for another time. My theme today is saving the world from destruction. It's stories that do that, whether fictional or non, whatever the genre. Stories give us perspective. Stories allow people to imagine themselves in dangerous, destructive situations. Those destruction situations are transformed by the actions of the story's characters, good or bad. If the story is told well, the characters learn from their mistakes, like people in real life do. Overcoming mistakes means overcoming life obstacles. And thus civilization is born... and saved.
To be continued...
Meanwhile, what is your favorite romance novel and why?