YA Romance: When Strong Doesn’t Have to Mean Single

Hey folks! I’m guest blogging today at All the Way YA, discussing romance in YA and what the potential implications are. See a preview below. For more, click here.

When the movie Tomorrowland was doing its press tour, an interview in Vulture with writers Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof (and also star George Clooney) in which Lindelof was quoted as saying the following when asked about rendering strong female characters. “What if she doesn’t get distracted by romantic entanglements? What if her “romance” is with the future?”

In my infinite insecurity (I am, after all, a writer. We’re all insecure.) I started to think about my story while panicking. Was there something wrong with romance in an adventure story? My story doesn’t involve a romance with the future! The relationship between my main character, Jacklyn, and her confused and confusing as hell potential love interest, Kyp, is a central part of the plot. It’s often the driving force. By not having my main character’s true love be adventure, or being a hero, or something more abstract, was I being somehow anti-feminist? Considering my strong feminist stance, I was genuinely concerned that I had miscommunicated my message.

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2 thoughts on “YA Romance: When Strong Doesn’t Have to Mean Single

  1. I liked the point at the end that teens (and adults) read YA for different reasons. I happen to like the romances. I rarely read any genre that doesn’t have a romantic bent for the main character. And I’m apparently the only woman that like love triangles. Maybe it’s because I like all of the teen angst they produce. In reality, teen romance has way more sides than three and is one of the most confusing, mind-tripping thing I’ve ever had to deal with while raising kids (three being teens or close to it). Reality has nothing on the books I’ve read, and I’m now mining my fifteen-year-old daughter for plot ideas. I write what I like to read–so romance–but I’ll definitely be checking to make sure my female lead doesn’t suddenly turn into Bella Swan when the gorgeous boy next door bats his eyes at her (ugh).

    1. Having read this, I do NOT look forward to my son dating. LOL

      But yeah, as a strong woman who has been with my husband since my teenage years and has still remained strong, I like to see my heroines react in a similar manner. Being in a relationship shouldn’t drain your toughness. 🙂

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