In my current novel, from the first few chapters, it should be pretty obvious that this is NOT a romance novel. I work with a website called Project Team Beta to find my beta readers and editors. This is the third novel that I have pushed through their site and it might possibly be the last. While I love working with them, and they do often catch many mistakes, often times, I feel as though the entire point of the story is missed.
For example: after explicitly stating that this was not a romance both when asked the genre and when describing what I wanted the beta’s to look at. I still get comments like this…
“I enjoyed the slice-of-life feel of this chapter, but I felt that too much time was spent on the run-in with the drunk man and the woman with the flat tire, especially in comparison with the scenes with [REDACTED].”
“I also would like to have seen more interaction between Grace and [REDACTED]. As the first run beta said, if this story is meant to be about them and their relationship, I’d spend more time focused on their evening.”
Their evening takes up the last thousand words of the chapter (which is about 7 thousand words long). It is not a large part, but it is necessary for the rest of the novel to move forward. This book is about Grace and her life, which includes romance, but is not solely focused on Grace’s romantic interests.
Romance is a part of life, not the entirety of it.