Character devopment without POV

by Diana

Question: I have been writing a story about 2 female characters that met in special circumstances and they each have a love story. Either one or the other has the POV, so the males are presented only through their eyes. Is that hurting the love story? I was thinking about giving up one love story and focus on the other, with POV from both female and male, but I'm not sure... Can I still call my book a romance novel (especially as some of the book is actually about the relationship between the 2 women?)

Answer: It's true that many romances are written from the point of view of the two romantic leads. However, this is not a rule. If you want to write for a particular romance line, check with the publisher's guidelines to see what is acceptable.

On the other hand, you are under no obligation to write a category romance. Plenty of books have romantic plots but do not fall into a strict category. For instance, the Romance Writers of America decided a few years back that a book can only be considered a true romance if the heroine finds true love in the end. However, that did not stop The Fault in Our Stars from being published, or being referred to as a YA romance. For that matter, Romeo and Juliet would not be called a romance under the RWA definition.

It's true that in many romances the male lead is the impact character and the female lead is the main character, so that the Relationship throughline is about the evolving relationship between these two characters.

However, there have always been exceptions. For example, in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility the impact character is the heroine's sister, and both the sisters have romances with men. The relationship between the sisters is used to explore whether it is better to wear one's heart on one's sleeve or to conceal one's feelings until a commitment has been achieved.

Bottom line: I don't see a problem.

Comments for Character devopment without POV

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Jun 03, 2015
Thank you
by: Diana

Thank you so much! Do you think I should still say it's a romance (if I submit to an agent) or just fiction?

Jun 03, 2015
To Diana
by: Glen

It should be obvious from the description/logline of the story in your query letter that romance is a key element of the plot. Agents and editors are usually smart enough to recognize what genre a story falls into without the label. In fact, if the genre isn't obvious from the description, there's likely something wrong with how you've written it.

Jun 03, 2015
Thank you
by: Diana

I understand. I'm not sure my plot is good enough, but you helped me on this POV problem, so thank you.

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