Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Can you say redundant? (Words and situations overused in writing romance)

I know there is supposed to be a "formula" for writing romance.  I also know there is a certain percentage of readers that get real upset when that formula is not followed.  However, I suspect that most people get tired of the same situations occurring over and over.  We get bored enough with real life.  Does a genre have to be the same way?

Here are some of the things I am really tired of in romance novels:

1. One is poor and the other is rich.  Yawn.  How many times has that happened now in fiction? 

2. The man finds the woman attractive and forces himself on her against her will.  By some strange force outside herself, she loves it and falls completely in love with him.  Yeah.  Right.  I have been almost raped.  Gotta tell ya, love is not a word that entered my mind then, nor does it now when I think of the man (actually, he was a boy.  I was a teenager).  Sorry.  It does not happen.  Hey, he was gorgeous.  Just like in the books!  What was wrong with me that I did not become "smitten"?!

3. Every single sex scene in the book is the same.  Hey, if we wanted that, we would have sex with our partners of twenty years instead of reading!  Can't they mix it up a little bit?  Honestly, the authors who do that must either have no sex life (no surprise) or be in dire need of couples therapy.

4. Boring, wimpy sex scenes.  This is not 1950.  It is not "his sword of love" nor is it her "secret place" anymore.  True, I may write more graphic than some would like, but at least my readers won't go to sleep.  Turn up the heat or go write childrens books.  You don't have to be blatantly graphic, but get with the times. Even writing historical romance, you need to use up to date descriptions.  Your characters may talk sixteenth century, but the descriptions should use words we use now.  He has a cock, not a "male appendage".

5. Historical novels where all of the men care about what a woman thinks and if she enjoys sex. Men did not care back then.  Women were not supposed to like sex. It was considered a fact. If your hero actually wants to make them like it, make it obvious that this is unusual!  Otherwise, it is not "historical" fiction, it is just fiction.  That can be something that makes your hero special, but it should not be a given that he acts that way.  It does not read true.

6.  My number one irritant?  Using the word "throbbing" to descibe the man's penis.  Once is ok.  But if your man has anything that throbs on him repeatedly, he has either had it slammed in a door, or he has an awful disease.  Have you ever seen one actually throb?  Seriously?

Would love to hear from you what things you think are over used in romances.  Pet peeves, anyone?

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