Today I started a new series on my YouTube channel called Romance 101. I had found myself wanting to pause and explain various terms in my videos as I use them because a lot of the booktubers I follow aren’t really romance readers and I wasn’t sure people who just stumbled upon my videos would know what all the words I use mean. I also plan to cover romance sub-genres, romance tropes, a couple in-depth episodes on things like historical time periods and aristocratic titles, and my favorite, romance genre history. I don’t expect anyone reading a romance blog to need the vocabulary lesson, but I figured I’d put it here in text form anyway for people who process information better that way. If you go watch the video, you get the extra added bonus of seeing me try to make up a romance novel on the fly. It’s called Jack and Amy Get Fake Married. There’s even a cover. If you’re not interested in glossary, feel free to scroll on past to what I cooked last week!
meet-cute: Initial on-page meeting of the protagonists of a romance novel, might be cute or funny, but not necessarily and is still always referred to as a meet-cute.
sub-genre: The type of romance, determining the setting and world-building content, distinct from trope, for example: contemporary, paranormal, erotic, romantic comedy, romantic suspense. Maps roughly to other genres of fiction.
trope: The type of plot, for example: fake relationship, enemies-to-lovers, accidental pregnancy
single-title: A longer work of romance fiction not part of a category line, historically running over 75,000 words, but now any novel-length work.
category or series romance: A shorter work of romantic fiction, typically around 50,000 words, written to fit into a publisher’s line. Examples of lines are Harlequin’s Love Inspired, Romance, Blaze and Dare.
heat level: The length, frequency and descriptiveness of sexual content in a romance novel. Varies on a spectrum of chaste/cozy/clean/sweet to fade-to-black/closed door to hot/erotic.
LGBTQ+ romance: Not a sub-genre, trope, heat level or trend, but rather types of characters within other sub-genres, in every trope, at every heat level.
diverse romance: Romantic fiction about marginalized characters or by marginalized authors in every sub-genre, trope and at every heat level. Also not a trend.
black moment: The scene containing the final remaining barrier to the protagonists’ happy ending.
HEA or happily ever after: The end of a romance novel, not including endings where a couple breaks up, dies, reunites in the afterlife or finds each other as ghosts.
HFN or happy for now: Another possible romance novel ending, also accepted, where the couple is happy enough for the moment, but may not commit to a lifelong relationship.
indie or self-published: A work of fiction where the author takes on the role of publisher, hiring editors, marketing professionals, etc. in addition to being the creative voice.
trad, traditional or New York published: A work of fiction published by publishing house, that traditionally takes on editing and promotional responsibilities for the work.
RWA: Romance Writers of America, the trade association for professional romances writers providing a range of professional development opportunities including but not limited to conferences, publications and legal support.
RITA awards: The industry standard award for romance novels, sponsored by RWA and released annually by sub-genre. A great place for romance novels newbies to find works generally considered to be excellent by romance writers.
That’s the list! Did I leave anything off? If I missed enough things, I can do a follow-up video. Let me know in the comments!
Pork Adobo and Baguio (Green/French) Beans Guisado
Have you read any #romanceclass books yet? There is a whole group of writers in the Philippines writing romance novels. Plus tons and tons of romance fans. When I stumbled across this pork adobo recipe, it looked delicious and I had to try it. One of the writers involved in that group, Mina V. Esguerra, helped me out spontaneously with this recipe when I couldn’t figure out what kind of vinegar to use. She said I could use white vinegar which is what I had, but that the traditional choice would be sugar cane vinegar. Next time we make it I’ll hit the international market near me and get some. Also, this green beans were AMAZING so make double.
Chicken Gyro Salad
Yeah, it was below freezing all week and guess what I wanted for lunch? Salad. If you’re as weird as I am and you want salad in the middle of winter, I recommend this one. I added feta cheese and used lemon chicken from the prepared food section at my grocery store instead of cooking my own.I had this three times last week and will probably have it another three times this week.
Private Politics Ben’s Chili Bowl Copycat Chili Dogs
Have you read Emma Barry’s Private Politics? It’s a wonderful DC-set contemporary romance. Of all the books in the series, this one is definitely the least political, with the heroine working for a non-profit and the hero working as a journalist. In the book, the couple visits local legendary restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl so I tried my hand at a copycat recipe. I got pretty close! We ate this all through the end of last week until it was gone. Probably not the healthiest choice, but it sure was delicious.
That’s it for today! Let me know about any romance terms I missed and if you try any of these recipes!
January 29, 2019 at 11:42 am
Elizabeth, what do you think about adding “ship” [verb] to your glossary? It is not an organic part of my vocabulary and I now see it a lot in #romancelandia.
May 29, 2020 at 5:56 am
Best of luck for starting the new project and I am wishing you best of luck. I am very much interested to read the steamy romance novels, books and blogs. I have bunch of collection.