Saturday, January 22, 2022

Writing Contemporary Novels--How Do You Deal with COVID or the Pandemic? By Connie Vines #RoundRobin, #WritingTips, #COVID, #WritingFiction

Thank you, Rhobin, for allowing me to select this month's Round Robin Topic:

When writing contemporary fiction, are you including the topic of COVID or the Pandemic? If so, in what manner: as a plotline, part of the day-to-day reality of your characters? Or, is the topic excluded? If so, why? 

While researching this topic, I discovered there is a newly coined (for lack of a better label) sub-genre: "Pandemic (and Post Pandemic) Fiction. 

This came as no surprise to me in the 'historical sense.' In my Native American historical novel, a subplot was the diphtheria epidemic in the 1880s. Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water.

While the"Pandemic/Post Pandemic Fiction POV perspectives vary from historical novels to science fiction. Responses are just as varied: scientific ingenuity, unreasoning paranoia, defeated acceptance, heroic sacrifice, or sheer survival at any cost. And writers have long employed plagues and epidemics (historical and imagined) as the background or subject of their fiction.  

Publisher's Weekly has a list (published in 2020) of 13 Essential Pandemic Novels.

None of which I found exceptionally light or escape-from-reality-fiction to read when one could be worried about a friend or loved one.

To quote Elle Magazine: Romance Novels Are The Antidote To Pandemic Life.

I agree.

Since I write mostly Romance and YA novels, I'm more inclined to mention a 'shelter-at-home event' or have a main character remove/choose a mask.  

I will touch on politics in historical novels. (I include both sides of a topic because I did not live within the norms of that time), 

However, I do not include politics in Contemporary Romance novels. Why? Because #1 politics are not romantic, the storyline's focus is #2 Romance with a HEA (happily ever after) conclusion. 

Thanks for stopping by today,



Visit the talented writers in today's Round Robin Blog Hop to read more!

Connie Vines

Skye Taylor

Anne Stenhouse

Marci Baun

Diane Bator

Dr. Bob Rich 

Judith Copek


Helem Fairfax


  1. Hi Connie,

    I’m with you on this one. The pandemic is not romantic at all. I neither read nor write about it in fiction. It’s pervasive enough I don’t care to. I only have one book with a bit of politics in it, but the story really revolves around the heroine. The politics are secondary, but there because she wouldn’t have been able to avoid them.

    I haven’t looked for Pandemic Fiction. I think I’ll be avoiding that genre. LOL


    1. Marcie, a bit of politics...perhaps a bit of spice, too? I can see where that would work. Thanks for stopping by :-).

  2. Couldn't agree more that this kind of sub plot works well in historical, but if you're living through it, escape is the more entertaining option.

    1. Skye, I agree living in the reality is stressful enough. :-).

  3. I agree with everyone. Living through it negatively colors my interest in writing about it -- but that opinion could change in the future. Thanks for the blog theme idea!

    1. Rhobin, you never know...if five years or so, it might be a flashback with in a storyline. I was glad to contribute a topic. :-)

  4. Oh I don't know... what could be more romantic than AT LAST seeing each other's faces without a mask? Or a Zoom romance with the person next door? How about falling madly in love with the girl who jabs your shoulder?
    Something like the last one happened to a couple I know. He was in hospital for something. This little lady waltzed in, WOOMPH turned him onto his side, and a needle into the gluteus maximus.
    "That's the girl I'll marry!" he thought, and did.

    1. I do hate Google. It called me "Unknown," what an insult to a writer. Bob Rich here

  5. Hi Connie, this was a great topic and thanks for coming up with the idea. Many of the 'issues' of life will appear in the background of a romance novel, but that's the key isn't it? Background. Anne

  6. Hi Connie, I love the heading about romance novels being the antidote to pandemic life :) Thanks for setting such an interesting topic

  7. I am reading lighter fare these days--feel-good novels. I do not want to think about the pandemic as it smothers my life with worry, fear and what ifs.


Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews