My greatest spike in views on this blog was not when I posted two things in one day, or when I started, or anything reasonable like that. It spiked on Valentine’s Day. 4 months after my last post (at the time), and two weeks before I even bothered logging back on.
(That said, I do link to the draft I have on this blog sometimes, without bothering to do anything else. I can’t remember if I did that on the 14th.. if I did, it makes this whole observation moot. Oh well.)
I know romance is popular. I read it and write it, and there’s a reason for that. I stay out of erotic/lemon territory for the most part (most good romance fanfics are rated M though, and there will be lemon scenes. I skim/skip them.) but it’s still romance. People will fall in love, and it is one of the most visceral and primal emotions one can experience. I take it farther too- I don’t just end the entire tale with a wedding (a pet peeve of mine) or a quick ‘babies ever after’ epilogue. I like those parts- I want entire stories based around what happens after the wedding and after the kids are born. None of this ‘oh, and these two awesome people reproduced and then nothing happened ever again.’ Please.
I started out thinking I just wrote fantasy stories with romance. I didn’t even want to cop to dark fantasy, though the werewolves, dragons, and google searches about blood begged to differ. Over time I realized what I focused on- usually dark things (classic fairy tales, beasts, the Magnificent Bastard characters), and family.
They don’t seem like they should go together. But I can’t think of many things more awesome than a Battle Couple having a Battle Family and dealing with a crapsack world. Andrew Lincoln’s best scenes in the entirety of the Walking Dead show are moments involving Rick’s family- coming home and not knowing where Lori and Carl are, and a few seasons later realizing Lori’s death.
As far as the dark lover aspect- well you need look no further than any baddie on any TV show at the moment. They will have fans, and people who are willing to look past the psychopathic murdering and hope to be their significant other. I think this quite a lot myself- but I will stress that what is cool and dangerous, and allowed, in fiction is a whole other game than what I’m comfortable and ok with in real life.
Fictionally, I’d love to be Hannibal’s Clarice. I can’t wait to see what Bryan Fuller does with them in the show. But even with a tiny bit of realism the fantasy becomes a horror.
(I do at times try to write in the horror alongside the fantasy of course. It can’t all be blood-tinted lust glasses. Actions have consequences.)