Romance versus Women’s Fiction

Today I want to talk about the difference between romance and women’s fiction. Romance is the bigger of the two genres in terms of sales, whereas women’s fiction is the biggest reads when it comes to books that are read and talked about in book clubs. Granted, as it is has been mentioned before romance is more the hot, steamy reads and as the old adage states, “Sex sells.”

But when it comes to women’s fiction the genre is more about women and the struggles that they overcome and there may be some romance but it is not the main point of the novel. Someone said that there is a grey area between the two genres and I would argue if sex/romance is not the main plot of the novel then you are writing/reading women’s fiction. This same person said that The Hunger Games is not women’s fiction either and to that, I would say “no duh”.

The Hunger Games was not written to be considered women’s fiction as it was geared towards teens in a futuristic world. If it The Hunger Games was meant to be women’s fiction then we would have a story from the mother’s point of view as she watched her little girl go off to be in the Hunger Games; however, the mother in the book was a very weak character whereas, in women’s fiction, the demand is for strong female characters.

Sorry, for the little rant but when I heard that I was a little pissed off about it. Since first of all, not every young adult novel that has a female character is intended to be considered women’s fiction. But I digress by saying that while Katniss is a strong character, who has to deal with the impacts of PTSD, it is not what a typical woman goes through unless she has given birth or been through some other dramatic situation.

Women’s literature has its place but it is not the same as romance. I feel that at times that women’s fiction is read/written to match what a typical woman goes through when dealing with relationships and family and everything in between. While there might be some escape in women’s fiction, more of the escape comes from romance fiction. I believe that while two genres can be compared, they are not exactly in the same boat as what is between the covers.

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