Anonymous asked you: The difference of fluff and romance

I think I can help you out there!

Fluff (n): A story (usually fan fiction) or part of a story which has no plot or a very simple plot and no or very little character development; humorous and/or conventionally romantic writing; feel-good romance.

As I understand it, Fluff is a sub-genre of Romance. 

Romance (n): A story arc which centers around the romantic relationship of the main characters; a story in which love is a main theme. 

Other sub-genres of Romance include:

And any of those sub-genres can have Fluff-y elements in them just like Suspense, Horror, Fantasy, and just about any other types of stories can have Fluff-y Romance in them, but writing something sweet can be difficult, especially if you don’t normally write feel-good romance. See this post for idea on how to look at Fluff in a new way.

Basically, if the Romance genre is dessert, then Fluff is whipped cream. Fluff is sweet and light and giggle-inducing, and Romance is a major narrative genre with plenty of conventions, tropes, sub-genres, etc. under its umbrella. The two are not synonyms, though they are certainly connected.

Feel-good romantic Fluff isn’t a bad thing to write, but taking a break from carrying a narrative forward to smother the reader in cuteness without substance might not be the most effective choice you could make for your story. The easiest way to avoid doing something like this is to plan so that everything you write contributes to your story goals. For tips on that, you might want to grab a Towel. Remember, while you’re writing your first draft, you’re allowed to write Fluff if you want to. You can always edit it out during the revision process (or not)!

For more on Romance:

And here are a few books on writing Romance:

Thank you for your question!

-C


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