Category Romance Fiction
by Melissa Alvarez
What is “Category Romance Fiction”? Within the genre of Romance Fiction there are categories of novels and within these categories are themes. In this article we will discuss the twelve major categories of romance fiction but remember new categories are emerging all the time, some last and others have short lives.
I want to suggest that you always do your research with the publisher that you are targeting before submitting. Find out the categories they currently want to expand.
Contemporary – This category usually is about modern women with modern outlooks. The heroine is strong and liberated, independent women who know who they are and what they want. The short contemporary usually focuses on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine where the long contemporary includes subplots that involve other characters.
Historical – A historical romance occurs before the year 1940. When writing a historical romance you must research, research and research! Readers will notice it if the elements of your story do not mesh with the time period in which your novel is set. The primary element of historical novels is the compelling romance. The story usually focuses on the heroine and how her life changes because of her love for one man.
Inspirational – These characters face challenges of faith and love in life. The central element in an Inspirational Romance is Faith. The characters learn lessons about the power of faith and trust. This category promotes strong family values and high moral standards.
Traditional – The hero and heroine are modern people with conventional values. Their relationship is conventional and the plot revolves closely around the hero and heroine and is usually written from the heroine’s point of view.
Paranormal – Magic, witches, ghosts, and warlocks make up a paranormal romance. The Paranormal Romance is very similar to a contemporary romance but contains the element of the supernatural. Fans of paranormal romances are a loyal bunch and a few publishers have lines dedicated to this category of romance fiction.
Intrigue – Nail biting, edge of your seat thrillers. Well, almost. A heroine of an intrigue is involved in a mystery and falls in love while solving it. These novels are also called romantic suspense and include women in jeopardy. Whether it’s a murder mystery, psychological thriller, kidnappings or a stalking, the heroine and hero fall in love while avoiding danger.
Ethnic – A new line of romance fiction has finally emerged in the publishing industry that features heroes and heroines of non-Caucasian ethnic origins. These novels focus on multicultural relationships.
Erotic – Pure sensual pleasure. These novels of romance fiction focus on the sexual relationship between the hero and heroine and the consummation of the relationship.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Futuristic, and Time travel – This category blends romance into each of the topics listed. They are very similar to category romances and are usually included in a publisher’s contemporary line. There are several publishers who only print these types of novels.