Taking a stab at the differences between realism and romance is like comparing a single glass of wine to a multi bottle wine. This is especially true when one considers that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s not only realism’s constrictive limitations that come into play, but also the plethora of possibilities for which one can indulge.
While realism and romance may not share the same set of genes, the latter has the luxury of relegating its ephemeral offspring to the dusty attic. On the flipside, a savvy romantic has the opportunity to tinker with a well-crafted novel. The best part of all this is that a reformed tinkerer is likely to have a higher quality end result. One might even venture to claim that it’s the romantic’s epoch that makes the romantic medium the ideal medium of choice.
Although we’re not saying that realism and romance have equal footing in the literary department, they’re a lot more complementary than they were in the past. To take full advantage of this fact, romantics should be on their A-game. The best way to do so is to learn from the mishaps of others and to remain true to the spirit of the romance. The best way to go about this is to read as much as one can about the genre. It may even be worth the effort to learn from the experiences of a more seasoned romance reader.