A dissection of “Contemporary Romance Fiction”

I have been reading too many contemporary romance novels these days. I read the reviews by friends on Goodreads. then I read the book. The idea is to understand what people like and dislike in a book. If I have to become an author in this genre, I must have that background.
I have read mostly, but not limited to, Indian authors. And here is a breakdown of the genre.
‘Contemporary’ means a lot of F word. This is by Indian and non-Indian authors equally. Have we really come to an age where nobody can speak a sentence without a swear word? I fail to understand the need of ruining a perfectly well balance sentence with a F.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not preaching and I don’t mean to say that people should just sanitize their work for readers like me. I am just saying that there should be time and place. Don’t just over-stuff every line with a cuss word.

‘Romance’ means a lot of physical encounters – unannounced and elaborated with graphic details. A couple of these books, I cringed to read. If contemporary fiction has this, what would erotica read like? A few clean romances I have read, which included only a kiss or two (out of love, not lust) and the story / chapter ends there, leaving things to readers’ imagination. Isn’t that great? Reader can go to any length and finish the scene as they please.
This part is mostly okay. In some cases, it reeked of autobiography. I don’t want to argue on the amount of fiction and autobiography in a book. I needed to included this, for the dissection to be complete.

I don’t want to be too picky, and therefore have not included the gazillion titles that I’ve read that fit the above description. The readers are smart to figure it out.
Perhaps the categories are too generic and the titles I happen to have picked, all belong to the far end of the spectrum.
I want to be fair. There were some clean romances as well. The problem is, there is hardly a way to tell from the cover and book synopsis of what is inside – a clean romance or a hot romance.
I am not sure if I want to categorize and tag my stories as “contemporary romance”. It may mean so many different things to different people. I will continue to write and finish the stories. But these questions sometime surface and leave me with a writers’ block.
Maybe I should stop overanalyzing and just leave things to fate.

Shabana Mukhtar

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Awnnn. Thanks 🙂

  2. Sara Saif says:

    Okay, I love this! Not only are your posts short and to the point, you write really well too and I always read them (cause they’re SHORT! haha) even though I rarely comment. And yeah, bohat hi bura haal hai ye in romance novels ka.