A Science Fiction Romance told completely from the hero's point of view?
It's a highly unusual way to present a romance, even when the story falls into the more imaginative genre of Science Fiction Romance. I've only read one other SFR related from the hero's POV and that was Diane Dooley's Blue Galaxy. I know there are others out there, but they haven't yet joined my ARP--Already Read Pile.
After writing the first SFR novel in my series, I had many a critique partner, beta reader, respected author and editor (whilst in the process of pitching) tell me I couldn't sell a romance novel told in this way. That I simple had to include the heroine's POV in the mix. After all, what's a romance if the reader can't get inside the heroine's head to know what she's thinking and feeling?
Yeah. They had a point. A BIG point.
And at first, I believed them. Attempting to rectify my heinous error, I tore my manuscript apart to include the required female MC POV. And as soon as I started the process, my muse sent an urgent memo: "Cease and desist. This is not working! This is not the story in your heart."
Time for some major soul-searching. Time to measure instinct against common sense. Time to weigh all the advice to write a story in the classic romance style against some great authorly words of wisdom that say, "Write the story that needs to be written."
The internal deliberation went something like this:
Point: A reader wants to know what the heroine is thinking and feeling.
Counterpoint: Sharing the heroine's direct thoughts with the reader will destroy the future revelations about who--and what--she really is, but her feelings can be conveyed even without her POV.
Point: A reader must get inside the female MCs head to relate to her.
Counterpoint: The mystery surrounding the female MC's words and actions will heighten the tension and conflict.
Point: If reader doesn't know who she really is, they may not like her.
Counterpoint: Let them not like her at first glance As the veils are lifted, reveal her finer qualities and true intentions through the hero's eyes.
Point: No reader is going to be interested in a romance that doesn't include a female POV.
Counterpoint: Take it as a challenge to write a story that will interest them in spite of the "missing" POV.
The counterpoints definitely held sway for what I wanted to accomplish, but something else finally tipped the scales, and that was a look at the current market trends. What was selling extremely well in romance?
Male/Male Romance. Ta-da! Hero POV times two.
That provided strong evidence that the female POV is not essential for a romance story to appeal to the readership. It implied romance readers (and maybe the "rebel" SFR readers, in particular) may be more flexible in what they are willing, and possibly even eager, to experience in a story. That they may be quite accepting of romances presented in new and different ways. Maybe it's never a good idea to prejudge what readers will and won't embrace. Let them decide for themselves.
I'd love to hear other thoughts on a sole hero POV. Do you think you'd enjoy a story presented in this way? Or would the absence of the heroine's POV be a problem for you? Have you read a romance with a single male POV that you enjoyed?
About the Author
Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 500 members.
Her extended family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico.
When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director.
Her first published work is a SFR novelette titled Farewell Andromeda (written in the Heroine's POV). Her second novel, INHERIT THE STARS, is the subject of this blog.
You can connect with Laurie at the following links:
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
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