What is Quest Romance?




Image: Chivalry by Frank Dicksee (1885)

I’ve always written romance.  The whole concept speaks to me on a deep level.  It’s about human connection, and the highs and lows that go with it.  It’s about the crazy things we do for love.

I’ve changed my subgenre over the years, starting in the YA category, then moving towards the more adult variety the older I got.  Though I loved reading historical, I never felt I could accomplish the attention to detail that was required for writing it.

I discovered chick lit in my early twenties, and wrote it straight away.  I still love chick lit, but I started to feel like I needed something more…something exciting.

Even in my contemporary stories, I tended to veer to the fantastical or mystical.  When elaborate plot bunnies began to plague me, I realized I should try something more adventurous.

Now I write quest romance. Quest romance, you say?  How is that different from fantasy or sci fi?

I found the perfect explanation on Wikipedia under “Chivalric Romance“:

As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and early modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest, yet it is “the emphasis on love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates.” Popular literature also drew on themes of romance, but with ironic, satiric or burlesque intent. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history to suit the readers’ and hearers’ tastes.

This description fits my writing perfectly.  I love chivalry.  I want my men hot, but I also want them to be gentlemen to a point.  I want them to prove themselves through action.  I also love irony and satire- as evidenced by my style of humor.

Fairy tales and legends?  Stay tuned for my novel.  This is a prominent theme.

It’s also the main theme for most of the plot bunnies bouncing around in my head.  I plan to have much fun with them.

In the end, it’s the relationship between the hero and heroine that matter.  Does it help if they must partner together to go on a quest, defeat a villain, and save humanity?  You betcha!



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