Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Anyone Need Fluffing?

I have been reading some chats this week and there have been a few that have been talking about tropes, specifically the idea that love is all you need to overcome any obstacle.
One of the reasons I chose to write romance is because I love a lot of the tropes that exist in the genre. I love the idea that love conquers all. In my opinion, it is the basic foundation of the romance genre. It's also one of the largest reasons I read (and got started in writing) romance. Romance is fantasy; it's escapist and I like it that way.
There have been some grumblings about writers using the classic (or maybe cliché) "love conquers all" trope as an easy way out -- a fallback because they are not talented or creative enough to write something different -- and that the characters and plot lines in these stories are one dimensional and trite. Yup, some are. I've read quite a few that left me feeling annoyed and shortchanged.
But have also been lots (and I do mean a lot) of stories that are perfectly fluffy and feel-good and charming just the way they are. Is it possible to fall madly in love with someone after three days? Three minutes in some cases? Maybe, maybe not, but it's awfully fun to imagine.

One of my favourite m/m romance books ever is Bareback by Chris Owen. That story fucked me up. I started it somewhere around eleven and by midnight I was so upset that I felt like I was going to throw up. It was that good. I had to stay up to finish the rest of the book because there was no way I was sleeping otherwise. Amazing book. If you haven't read it, go buy it now. It is such a good book (I just can't emphasize that enough), but so emotionally taxing at the same time. I try to read at least four books a week, and if they were all like that I might end up throwing myself off a bridge somewhere. There has to be a balance in the book world, just enough "brain popcorn" (as my friend Lex calls it) to feed the soul. I'm not asking for literary masterpieces inside every book I read. God knows the book I've written isn't a literary masterpiece, but I believe there is value to it. It's hopelessly written for hopeless romantics (the club to which I received my membership at the tender age of twelve) and I think it has merit.
American History X was a great movie. It carries an important message and I believe that as disturbing as it is, people should see it. Would I want to watch it over and over? No. You know what movie I would like to watch over and over? The Little Mermaid. Yes, it's a kid's movie. Yes, it's animated. (By the way, I fucking LOVE Disney). But it's a good story, and Love Conquers All.  (Besides, Ariel is a redhead, and us redheads have to stick together).
The chats that I was reading reminded me a bit of conversations I had in middle school about music. Everyone was trying to fit in; no one wanted to be the uncool kid that listened to the crap music, so most people I knew pretended to like some indie band no one had heard of that only played dissonant chords and performed at skeezy hole-in-the-wall clubs. There is nothing wrong with liking bands like that, if that's what you truly enjoy listening to. I'm betting though, that a lot of those people went home and listened to Backstreet Boys on repeat when no one else was around.
I suppose the moral of my long-winded rant is that there is value in fluff. There is nothing wrong with liking boy bands or believing in love at first sight or happily ever after. If there is, maybe I should quit writing now

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