Engaged, married, and betrothed

More great thoughts from my good friend, Jane Kolven!

Jane Kolven

How to end LGBTQ romance in the age of marriage equality

You’ve probably heard the adage that comedies end in marriage and tragedies end in death. This comes from careful study of Shakespeare’s plays, which are often grouped according to their endings in addition to their subject matter. There are even entire books dedicated to the role of marriage in cementing allegiances and serving as narrative closure in Shakespeare’s work.

In romance, whether it’s a drama or comedy, the story ends with what literary scholar Pamela Regis calls a “betrothal.” This can be a wedding or an engagement – and, in more contemporary novels, it might just be some unspoken sense of commitment between the couple. But for Regis, if the story doesn’t end in a betrothal, it’s not a romance.

When I started writing LGBTQ romance, it was before 2015, when the United States achieved nationwide marriage equality. Between…

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