What is it about romance novels that seems to rein people in? Is it their happy endings? Or maybe their perfectly portrayed characters. Quite possibly a bit of both. Romance novels are popular throughout the world, and anyone that knows romance knows Nicholas Sparks always does a great job portraying the genre in his novels. Nicholas Sparks develops the romance genre within his novel “True Believer” by incorporating all the key elements of romance. “The genre of Romantic Fiction has two strict criteria: The first is that the story must focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people. Secondly, the end of the story must be positive, leaving the reader believing the protagonists’ love and relationship will endure for the rest of their lives.” “The plot line must be substantial enough for the reader to maintain interest from chapter to chapter.” (SB FMAA)
A very intriguing part of the novel “True Believer” is how perfect the characters in the novel seem. Within a romance novel, the characters must be portrayed perfectly. The physical descriptions of characters within the novel are usually cliche and stereotypical. “With his dark, wavy hair, light blue eyes, and fashionable stubble, he looked every bit the New Yorker that he was” (NS 1). Lead men are shown to be handsome and perfect to draw the reader in. Characters are always portrayed with predictable personalities. “You know, you really shouldn’t stare, women like a man that can be subtle” (NS 49). Women are shown to be mysterious and bold, drawing the lead man in, grabbing the readers attention.
“True Believer” shows many examples of different types of relationships. Relationships are a subject that most people compare and relate to their own lives. Within a romance novel, relationships are understandably a very important part. Romance novels sometimes include unrealistic relationships such as love at first sight. “After the first time he saw her, he found it harder to let the woman’s image drift from his mind” (NS 114). Love is then sprouted from the first look. Romance novels also include the main relationship being driven apart, which usually tends to be the climactic part of the novel. “Please don’t ruin this for me, okay?” (NS 244). The main relationship is always torn apart so that the main characters may reconcile, and this will then lead into the story’s happy ending.
In the novel “True Believer” detailed language is used as a tool to rein in the reader. Boring, dull, lifeless language doesn’t capture the attention of a reader, therefore language is a very important and effective tool in grabbing and keeping the reader’s attention. Descriptive language is often used in romance novels. “In a restored, turn-of-the-century, peach coloured Victorian” (NS 40). Such language is used to keep the readers attention throughout the novel. Predictable language is also used throughout a romance novel. “Wrap around porches decorated with hanging flower pots and American flags” (NS 39). This gives a reader the stereotype image of what houses in a small town in America look like. This is done to relate the reader to the novel by understanding.
Romance novels contain many unique characteristics. “The genre of Romantic Fiction has two strict criteria: The first is that the story must focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people. Secondly, the end of the story must be positive, leaving the reader believing the protagonists’ love and relationship with endure for the rest of their lives.” Nicholas Sparks brilliantly incorporates all characteristics into his novel “True Believer” from cliche personalities and romantic relationships to one big, happy ending, making his novel “True Believer” a great example of a romantic novel.