Ayn Rand agrees with the fundamental principle of Romanticism, and in The Art of Fiction she regularly contrasts Romanticism in literature with Naturalism and other approaches.
“The main distinction between a Romantic and a Naturalistic novel,” she argues, “is that a Romantic novel has a plot where as a Naturalistic novel is plotless.”
When it comes to characterization, “The Naturalistic method is to present only one layer of motivation; the Romantic method is to look not only at the immediate onion skin, but as deep as the author can go.”
The basic philosophical distinction between Naturalism and Romanticism, Rand explains, comes down to the author’s view of free will. “The Romantic school of literature approaches life on the premise that man has free will, the capacity of choice.” In contrast, if “a writer’s basic conviction is that man is a determined creature . . . that writer will be a Naturalist. The Naturalistic school, in essence, presents man as helpless.”