The Top 10 Reasons I Can’t Write Romance

Part of my membership in the I’m Not Really Certain I’m Typical Female Nor Do I Want to Be Labeled as Such Club includes a general aversion to reading Romance. Naturally it follows that I have some distaste for writing it as well.

Today I realized I not only have a distaste; I am not certain I can write Romance. Why?

10. In terms of hormones, I’m a bit low on the ones interested in intercourse between animate beings.
Granted, I’ve had children nearly all of our marriage and they’re a bit of a killjoy that way…

9. I’m old and tired and just don’t care.
Now, get off my lawn, you young’uns!

8. I find cliché situations silly.
Whenever I’ve tried to write a romantic encounter, I laugh. I slip into over-the-top silliness, a twist, or simply give up.


7. I think sex belongs in marriage, to the person one is married to.
Seriously, so many problems would be avoided that way. Logic belongs in love, right?

6. I therefore do not find infidelity exciting and alluring; rather, I judge the protagonist(s) for weak character(s).
Those people really need to grow up and get jobs instead of meeting in cafés all day.

5. In fact, I find romantic dialogue trying.
I’d rather skip ahead to …the end?

4. When given the option of a night on the town, I choose a book in the closet.
And it’s not a romance novel.


3. I’ve never watched The Bachelor or anything like it.
This makes conversation with other females a bit limited, especially if I voice my opinions on such shows.

2. I do not find celebrities attractive.
Like with Number 6, I feel that they’re constantly making poor judgement calls. I like a few of them, but do not daydream about them moving in with me.

1. I am attracted to the ‘wrong’ sort of man.
People say there are all types. People say there’s no accounting for taste.
The problem is that book after movie after conversation assumes that ‘all women’ want a Bad Boy. All women are at least secretly turned on by an unkempt biker hiding a sexy set of muscles under that rough leather jacket.
Yeah, no. I’m like a zombie; I like brains.


Sometimes I’ve tried, but I am me and need to write what I know. And who knows; maybe there are more not-all-women out there who think just like me. Maybe they’ll read my realistic romance books and love them.

Photo Credits:
Alejandra Quiroz
Eliott Reyna
Oleg Yeltsov


©2019 Chelsea Owens

41 thoughts on “The Top 10 Reasons I Can’t Write Romance

  1. I constantly have the latest Danielle Steele novel open on my recipe book stand in the kitchen as I slave away at the sink. (Seriously though – I am a secret reader of Romances! In these true Romances they get married at the end and then they “do it” but only after the novel has finished.) I love Romances, I love Soaps, I love Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters. Hurrah!!

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  2. You just need a science fiction scenario of virtual reality or like in “The Matrix”. Then you could have a brain to brain romance where the sexual attractiveness would be produced as a by-product of the shared empathy — the physical images could change with the thoughts and each would have the image they want without the other necessarily being that, and it could vary. I suppose like in dreams where sex themes are often hidden but there. I suppose moment-to-moment, sex with a dragon, sex with a flower, or whatever suits the thought at the moment… but silliness can be charming and in a virtual world it could be kept under mutual control. A brain-to-brain conversation might avoid misunderstandings? But then on the other hand, since the brain is actually fragmented , it might be like multiple personalities each interacting with each ones counterparts— diplomat-to-diplomat, rogue-to-rogue….

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  3. I am interested to know what the “Not quite sure I’m female” camp is. Just feeling like you don’t meet stereotypes or expectations? Feel free to just delete my comment if it’s too weird.

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    1. 😀 Oh, just an ongoing conversation with the husband. And myself.
      Sometime around 12 I decided that being female was better than being male; but my traits, interests, and way of thinking are often more male-categorized. There doesn’t seem to be a different sexual orientation associated with all of it. 🙂

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  4. As far as I’m concerned, there is a vast difference between ‘romance’ and ‘having sex’. Unfortunately, that concept seems to be lost in the greater part of the 21st Century. I don’t specifically write Romance stories, though there is frequently romance in them. But until the couple marries, nothing goes on in the bedroom, and then it is only their business what happens therein. And, I think part of me wants to write an alternate view/choice, for those who want to read ‘romance’, not porn with or without a plot.

    I can agree with most of your points for the most part, but then I’ve always been a tomboy at heart and never really grew out of it. There are plenty of stories to be told that don’t have or need romance in them, though when people past puberty get together, it seems to inevitably slip into things.

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  5. Oh my. Are you me? I relate with every single word, especially point 5 onwards. I think romance as a character relationship subplot is fine, but only if it isn’t overdone and is realistic. I mean, if you’re thinking of your boyfriend’s honey-brown eyes in the middle of punching a dragon, it really takes out the charm of dragon-punching.
    Oh, and I’m not turned on by bad biker boys either. To be honest, I find a ‘ripped bod’ overrated. I prefer brains like you. I’m a huge fan of Supernatural (have you watched that show) and although most people would like to ‘do it’ with Dean, I’m utterly in love with Castiel. Not the actor who plays him, you understand, but the character itself. So I also don’t fall for a person purely based on physical appearance.
    I believe my aversion to romance will be very unhelpful while writing KTC as a novel. Although it is a YA novel, I do not intend for major romantic subplots, but you gotta have a little bit of it in a YA book, right?

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    1. Yay! I am especially pleased because i think you’re one of the most intelligent writers I read.

      I’ll have to look into Supernatural; I also love characters more than actors. There are a few obviously intelligent and well-mannered actors I also feel a flutter for; again, though, I have morals. 🙂

      That’s a good question about your WIP. My serial story is also YA. I think to put it together more formally and publish one day, yet know that romance is crucial. Beating-up-bed sex scene aside, Twilight is excellent proof that women may want the less-gaudy romance romance instead of the sordid steam.

      I hope.

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      1. Wow. Thanks. That’s flattering.
        Yes, in the words of Irene Adler, ‘Brainy is the new sexy’.
        I have an aversion to any kind of novel which is completely romantic, so I stopped reading Twilight after about 50 pages. The only complete romance I slightly like is Fault in our Stars. Although I never thought Twilight could be an excellent example of anything, you make a valid point about it being a less-gaudy romance.

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  6. I’m definitely not a fan of romance no matter if it’s a book, TV show, or movie. To me, romance can become escapist to the point of addiction and can create unrealistic expectations in a relationship. It’s too formulaic at times and the need for pairing overpowers the story itself.
    But, at the same time, I can see why the genre would appeal to a lot of women who continue to live in a world where male-centric stories dominate. Plus, it’s a highly lucrative genre.

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    1. You are so right! So many great points, ones that I forgot about. I know women who read the Romances that have little besides steamy sex scenes, and they behave as you described.

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      1. I do find that graphic sex can be problematic especially when it’s consequence free. I feel it lacks creativity than if the sex is implied because it limits the imagination. I have been known to drop many a Netflix series when in the first few minutes of the pilot episode she’s straddling his waist as he lifts her up against a wall and there peeling each others clothes off while sucking face. It’s a tawdry scene that has been used ad nauseum to hook viewers but it functions more as a cheap prop rather than a necessary plot point. It’s also lazy writing when applied to romantic novels.

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        1. Again, you’re right: lazy writing. Thank you.

          This classifies it accurately, in the same way as tropes and clichés in other genres. It’s the same reason why I don’t like seeing overdone bloody killing or terrible dialogue in films.

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  7. I’m with you on a lot of those points. When I do make it into a romantic scene in a book, I usually find it exceedingly cheesy, and then think too much about what must have been going on for the writer during those passages and what kind of real (and/or fantasy) life they might actually live.

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  8. Can’t stand romances either. Big agreement on the whole infidelity thing–why should I be rooting for people who are betraying their partner?

    I’ve tried writing a romance novel. It turned more into lampooning the genre (and a few others) and kind of required whiskey to keep it going. Woops.

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