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Topic: Question I REALLY need some input on

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Subject: Question I REALLY need some input on
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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My bucket list has always include "write the great American novel" and over the past 3 or 4 months I've been attempting to write a romance novel.  I know my own personal pet peeve is the dreaded "secret baby" plot.

I'd love to have you weigh in on what REALLY turns you off in a story.  I'm basically writing it to my tastes but I know that I like things others don't, so.....

What's your romance pet peeve?

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I have several:

1) heroines who are TSTL, ultra-bitchy, or complete doormats

2) heros who are arrogant, egotistical, chauvanistic, etc.

3) plot that hinges on the "big misunderstanding"- something that could be cleared up with a 30-second conversation

4) overdone accents in dialogue by characters.  Just leave that to the imagination of the reader.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I will add more if I think of them later.

Best of luck with your writing!!

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I'm trying to come with one and off the top of my head I'm coming up blank, of sorts.

What I don't care for is a HorH with a profession I don't like reading about. I like male sports stars but don't like female athlete stories; I don't generally care for books set in show business or the law. I avoid them, though have read some that were excellent. 

That said, I'm not all that picky re stuff like secret baby plots - it's how they're written. One author can make it work for me, with a different author it wouldn't work at all.

What type are you thinking about? Historical (what era), contemporary, romantic suspense? Knowing that might tickle my brain more. I have more specific likes/dislikes depending on what type of book it is.

Best of luck, this is exciting for you.

Gail

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Lesley - overdone accents in dialogue by characters.  Just leave that to the imagination of the reader.

Thank you!!! I've been struggling with how much inflection to add.  (the story is set in Ireland)

 

Gail - its a time travel set in Ireland.  Heroine is American contemporary - she's a paramedic.  He's from the 15th century and is the War Chief of his clan, but not the Laird/Lord. 

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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My biggest is the big misunderstanding and/or long separation.  I like a book where the characters actually have some sense and interact with each other.  Like Lesley said, something that is drawn out because they can't bother to have a 30-second conversation is the worst! 

And I know I totally dropped the ball, but I will get back to you on what you sent me!  smiley

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,540
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Ditti everything that Lesley said and I would like to add.....If you describe the H and H once or twice that is great, but to begin every sentence with, " Her shiny blond hair and deep blue eyes......."  I get really bored with repeated info. 

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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hidden baby, long separation, TSTL, cheating, choosing between 2 good choices, long misunderstandings.

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 3,291
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I like everyone's suggestions so far.  One I would add is people being overly polite.  I am all for good manners and being polite to your fellow man but sometimes you have to call a witch a witch and forsake being PC.  Sometimes characters come off as doormats because they are so concerned about being polite that things would be resolved a lot quicker if they would just stop being so polite and not be so consumed about not making waves.

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2008
Posts: 928
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I have to chime in on infidelity/cheating.  Even if the guy (or girl) gets mad and picks up someone else, but doesn't go through with it, it's still too much for me.  That'll make the book a DNF for me every time.

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Last Edited on: 6/5/11 2:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2010
Posts: 335
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Even internal dialogue that includes ogling other people is completely off putting for me. None of us are idiots, we all know our future or current love thinks other people are sexy or stacked but for God's sake I don't need to know about it, especially not in romance novels. I just read Sanctuary by Nora Roberts and between the hero checking out the heroine's sexier sister when he meets her (they weren't involved yet in all fairness) and then gently rejecting said sister when she comes on to him (after noticing that she's tempting and "tasty" of course) the book was a total fail for me.

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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The big misunderstanding, does not have to be PC, tstl heroine, hero being a total jerk for most of the book, heroine being to nice. I would so read it, Sherri. :)

Last Edited on: 5/4/11 10:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Sherri, on the accent thing, I think some is fine.  I just think it is distracting to have every sentence full of inflection, you know?  What really bugs me is when authors get creative with spelling in order to emphasize an accent, such as "Wat eez eet, dahhleeng?"  Blecch!  Some is definitely ok though.  Think Jamie- I can hear his accent in my mind without the Highlands being in every other word.

I have to agree on the cheating.  That really ruins it for me too.  No character who cheats can redeem themselves, IMO.

I thought of another pet peeve, and that is too much going back and forth between past and present.  A perfect example of this is Susan Wiggs.  Love her stuff, but the constant back and forth between flashbacks and the main storyline really annoy me.  I realize that the flashbacks serve a purpose, but I think it could be done differently- it really interrupts the flow of the story, at least for me, when we suddenly go back 20 years for 2 chapters.

Oh, and another one- TMI.  Never would have thought this could be a problem, until Robyn Carr.  Vaginal dryness in women over 60 in a romance novel?  Umm, no thanks.

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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LOL Lesley - I have that same problem with VR, part of the reason why I stopped reading them. Michelle B has read some of what I've written and I think so far its setting a good pace. I also despise a long separation.

Pamela - no danger there.  ;-)

Susanna - everything you said, not happening.  ;-)

Arica - what I've written so far has the opposite problem I think.  I'm very much into gritty realism.

Renee & Nancy & Amanda - no worries!

Sherron - thank you.  ;-)

 

Thanks ladies so much for the input!

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Um...totally putting this out there but here's a little sneak peek.  Ignore the grammar and punctuation - its a rough draft.  Tell me - would you keep reading?

 

Aingeal a voice whispered.

Startled, Tara turned around with her back to the window and opened her eyes. Who's there? she said, holding up the camera in front of her like a shield.

Tara felt her heart speed up in her chest. A man stood on the edge of the shadows, staring at her. He was tall, well over six feet, and handsome in a rugged, very masculine way. He didn't move or say anything else, just stood looking at her with a longing that seemed to reach into her very heart and soul.

Dia duit. she said cautiously, glad now for the rudimentary tutoring Nanna had given her in the Gaelic as she always called it. Hello, she said in English this time. You startled me. I didn't see you when I came in.

He moved towards her a step and Tara gasped. Vivid blue eyes, this stranger had the same eyes she had seen during her accident on the airplane. Who are you? she said softly. He visibly flinched. Her question seemed to cut him like a knife. He closed his eyes for a moment and when he reopened them, Tara thought she saw a sheen of tears.

Tá brón orm. Kieran is ainm dom.”

Tara held up her hand. “Ní thuigim. I don't understand you.”

He raised his hand and touched her right arm.

A ghra mo chroi. Cuimhnigh orm. he said, and faded into nothingness before her very eyes. She felt something brush against her cheek, soft like a caress from a lovers hand.

What in God's name ...? she whispered to herself.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I'm intrigued!

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
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Very good Sherri. I would keep reading.
Date Posted: 5/5/2011 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 5,468
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OOhh I want to read this book!  Do we get advance copies?

Actually, stupid titles that make me embarassed to even pick up the book or get it from the library really annoy me.  The sheik's  sister's secret brother's secretary's baby.  OR  Hot to trot on the beach or some such.  UGH. 

Or a guy who is too domineering rather than dominant; "I'll do the thinking for you, baby" kind of hero. NOT a hero, just a jerk.

Just my opinion. 

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2010
Posts: 335
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I would definitely keep reading. I like a strong but sensitive hero who cries over the heroine :) Oh and another pet peeve is people who persist in thinking they just aren't "good enough" or it just won't work and milk...it...to...death. I like a substantial portion of the book to be the couple happy and together and learning to adjust to life together because if all but the last twenty pages is them fighting it out just to be together some part of me always wonders if they'll make it work in the day to day world. And I HATE DOUBTS. They eat at me, lol. Let your couple be happy and let us see it smiley

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Willa & Sherron - thank you!  *blushes*

Betsy - I'll see what I can do when/IF I ever get brave enough to submit it anywhere.

Amanda - absolutely on your last statement.  I do NOT like it when they fight their attraction the entire story.

 

Oh and someone PM'd me: 

A ghra mo chroi. Cuimhnigh orm -
this means "love of my heart, remember me" in Gaelic.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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Let your couple be happy and let us see it smiley

AMEN!  I hate when the couple's HEA comes at page 399 of a 400 page book.  Ugh.

I discovered another pet peeve (totally hijacking Sherri's thread I think).  When there is a villian/criminal/enemy and it comes down to the final confrontation.... do you HONESTLY think the evil person is going to give the injured party a play-by-play description of their crimes to that point, simply because it won't hurt them to know since they'll soon be dead?  Ugh.  I'm almost finished with Black Jack by Lora Leigh & this is what's happening at the end.  The evil villain responsible for killing Lilly's father and attempting to kill her multiple times attacks her and Travis, has them at their mercy, and yet they go on to explain just how they perpetrated their crimes up to that point. Uh... you've been trying to kill this girl for 6 years, you have her in your sights and you're going to take time out for a chat?  NO!  In the real world you would just shoot her and be done with it.  Ugh ugh ugh.

Back to Sherri's book - I'm a SUCKER for Gaelic!  heart

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Sounds great so far, Sherri!  Keep up the good work, and please keep sharing with us!

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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and please keep sharing with us!

Really?  OK I will try to from time to time.  Don't want to too my own horn.  ;-)

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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These might have been mentioned already but here goes: listing.  If you have a scene where they're going shopping, cleaning their purse or cubboards out-I don't need a detailed list of every single item they looked at, every single food item on the buffet, every item thrown away etc..,  I also hate over descriptiveness (is that a word?).  Give me a general idea of what a room looks like-I don't need to know how many flowers are on the chair cushion, every little detail about the wall paper and a list of every book on their shelves.  I also hate it when unimportant characters are over described. If a person is only going to be in one scene, please don't take 3 paragraphs to tell me what they look like.



Last Edited on: 5/5/11 2:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/5/2011 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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Please, toot away Sherri. I would love to read more. Write fast. ;)
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