The Romance Genre on the Web

Researching online romance genre communities and their perspectives

Research vacation

Filed under: General — Bron at 10:42 pm on Friday, May 11, 2007

This blog will be a little quiet for two weeks, as I’m off on vacation – in the Outback. We’re heading into the north-west corner of New South Wales, then across into South Australia.

It’s amazing country, and I’m looking forward to the trip. We did a similar trip last year – there’s a series of photos from that trip on my photoblog.

I’ll have few opportunities, if any, to access the internet, so I’ll have to catch up with news and happenings in the romance bloglandia when I return.

(NB – if any potential burglars are lurking, let me just say – housesitters, with dogs.)

GuestBlogs, Bellas, and heroines

Filed under: Discussion questions,General — Bron at 8:42 pm on Thursday, May 3, 2007

I’m GuestBlogging over at Romance By the Blog today, so if you haven’t come from there, please pop on over and join the wonderful RBTB Bellas in some lively discussion.

And for the Bellas who’ve come over here to visit – a big welcome! All the discussion questions are open for comment, so please feel free to browse through and add your thoughts and views

Also, another big ‘welcome’ to students from my uni’s COMM 323/423 New Media unit, who I’m looking forward to working with next week. (After you’ve had a browse around here, click that link above to RBTB – a great example of an active, positive, and warm online community. There’s also some links to other romance genre sites in the links over on the right of this page – have an explore, and we’ll talk about some of them next Thursday.)

Last week’s post about heroes and the responses to it got me thinking more about heroines in romance novels. Like heroes, much of our discussion uses only a few labels, that probably kinda work okay for our ‘insiders’ purposes as a kind of shorthand, but not so well for those who don’t read the genre, or who want to explore it more thoroughly. And some of the commenters on the previous post agreed that we seem to label heroines more negatively – TSTL, Mary Sues, ‘feisty’.

So, if we were to think about the types of heroines we see represented in romance novels, what would those be?

I’m just brainstorming here, but I’m coming up with:

The Innocent
– she’s usually young, with less experience than those around her, but she’s got courage.

The Nurturer
– she looks after everyone else, and cares deeply
The Battle Maiden – well, Maiden’s probably the wrong word; this is the kick-butt, take-no-prisoners kind of heroine
The Capable Woman – she gets things done, often behind the scenes, but can neglect her own needs because of her ‘duty’
The Artist – she’s a free-thinker, often unconventional, sometimes quirky, and will probably turn the hero’s ordered world upside-down.
The Scientist/Genius/Scholar – this is the dedicated, very intelligent heroine. who because of her special gifts has focused on her talents and missed out on other aspects of ‘normal’ life.
The Princess – she’s rich, privileged, adored by many – and she knows there’s more to life than money and fame.
The Crusader – she’s passionate, and dedicated to a cause

What do you think? Do these broad ‘types’ fit the heroines in romance books you read? What others would there be? What ones don’t you agree with? Or are heroines really too diverse to even contemplate identifying ‘archetypal’ characters?