Romance Update: Changing Roles?

So, here’s another weekly update on the cheesy paranormal romance novel I’m writing. Again, this novel is to take a break from the dark urban fantasy series The Adventures of Sam Hain. I’ve finished Act I, and I’m about to shake things up and propel the novel into Act II. Of course, now would be the time I have a repeated thought pop into my head: Should my main character and her love interest switch roles?

How did this come about? Well, I set up a cute little scenario that could happen in the modern world, assuming all the supernatural creatures in our stories were real. In the process of fleshing out the story conflict and the internal conflicts for the main character and the love interest, I started to realize that the love interest’s internal conflict was more interesting to me; I also realized her internal conflict was the one driving the main plot toward the big conflict.

Of course, this sets up the question of what will happen if I switch their roles? Sure, I’ll rearrange the scene placement in my chapters to focus more on the “new” protagonist. I’ll also rework some scenes to focus more on her point-of-view. But my real question is how will this change impact the structure of the novel as it relates to reader expectations in a romance?

I’ve been reading a few books on how to write and structure romances, and all agree that the love interest has to “save” the main character three times. And that won’t happen if I switch their roles but change nothing else. Changing their roles would have the main character saving the love interest, and while that would still offer the narrative of “saving the one you love,” which is important for the romantic fantasy, it forces the reader to identify with the love interest instead of the main character. And the goal of a romance is for the main character to be a stand-in for the reader’s fantasy. So, this change would leave a reader unsatisfied (pun intended). That would be bad.

Where does that leave me? I’m going to leave the characters in their assigned roles for now. Once I finish the draft, I’ll look it over and send it off to beta readers, asking them to specifically comment on whether or not the roles need changing. That seems to be the best plan.

Now, it’s time to write my least favorite part of a romance novel: the Adhesion beat.

Promotional Hype

My debut novel, Liam’s Doom, is on sale at all major and minor retail outlets from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Bookshop.org. I request that you support Bookshop.org, as their site supports local and independent bookstores. The eBook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my webstore.

Carmilla’s Ghost is now on sale. The paperback version is available all major online retailers, including AmazonBookshop.org and at Barnes & Noble. Currently, eBook pre-orders are only available at Amazon and through my webstore.

It Hungers (formerly Stone Cold), the third book in the series is currently available for pre-order as an ebook on Amazon. Paperback preorders go through my website and will all be autographed! The book will officially release on 3 May 2022.

My prequel novel, Blood/Lust is also available as an Amazon exclusive.