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Topic: Really Irritating Plot Twists

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Subject: Really Irritating Plot Twists
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 5:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2006
Posts: 1,007
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So, I've been getting such a kick out of all your posts on the "that makes me so angry" threads.  I decided that I want to read some more.

*grin*

Think of this as more of a "bitch about plot" thread rather than an "irritating personality" thread.  Think deus ex machina, think Improbable Virginity in the 21st century, think "we weren't kissing, he was comforting me".  So, medammes, have at it!

My personal example falls into the really annoying/stupid plot twist that instantly resolves the conflict between the hero and heroine category.

I was reading a short story where the hero/heroine had broken up four years previously.  He dumped her because her Dad wouldn't give him permission to marry his daughter (this was NOT a regency) because he didn't have any money.  Then two days after the dumping he catches her naked in bed with his little brother.  Betrayal feelings ensue.

Hero feels standard "I can't forgive her because I saw her in bed with him" angst about it for most of story.  Then, conflict is resolved when we find out that.....

Heroine was helping hero's brother with his sexuality by offering to try and have sex with him.  But since hero's brother was really gay, nothing happened.  Therefore, all is forgiven and everyone lives happily ever after.  WTH!

I laughed out loud and immediately stopped reading the story.

Anyone else find this kind of thing annoying....

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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Sarah, I would definitely find THAT story plot annoying! Sheesh, that is totally ridiculous:)

Hmm, what I find annoying.... A couple of my biggest pet peeves are authors who ramble when writing. You know, the same thought processes 10 times over or a total description of a room, right down to the pin sized stain on the bottom side of the couch cushion. My other big pet peeve is stupid reasons for avoiding a relationship. I can't think of any good examples right now, but I'm sure you know what I mean:)

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I think my biggest pet peeve is when the woman has a baby with a soldier/cowboy/cop/mercenary and decides her child doesn't "need" a father and never tells him...then said father shows up and wants to be a part of baby's life and mom is a total bitch about it.   Come on!   I know MANY families who would love to have a devoted dad like that in their life!

Sherri

Angie -
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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Or has a baby and doesn't tell him until 10 years later or something. I hate that.

SoBe -
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
Posts: 658
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I have quite a few that get on my nerves,including the ones already brought up esp the one just mentioned about having a baby and not telling the father (grrr)  but I  cant come up with any more at the moment....though one thing that bugs me isn't so much a plot twist but...  when the summary/description is better than the actual book itself...

That just happened to me with a  book that sounded so so good, but sucked so so bad...and it's a WL'd one too!



Last Edited on: 6/5/08 2:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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My plot pet peeves:

Amnesia:  I hate it when someone gets in an accident or something and can't remember who they are for a long stretch.

Long seperations between h/h-If the book picks up with them reuniting and it's about them getting together-that's ok.  It's when half-way through the book someone is kidnapped, sold to a harem, held as a sex slave by an obsessed admirer etc.., and they spend most of the book apart that I hate. This is why I gave up on Bertrice Small.

"The Big Misunderstanding" that turns out to be something really stupid.  Heroine won't marry hero because her great-grandmother cheated on her great grandfather one time and therefore she must have the "slut" gene.  Horsepucky.

 

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I had that happen recently in a mystery written by a man, with a female protagonist.  The female lead catches the male lead (whom she's worked closely with, really connected with and dated a couple of times) in bed with his crazy soon to be ex-wife, and yes - they are "doing it."

She calls a girlfriend to commiserate, and GF says something like "You know men, always thinking with the little head.  Don't make too much of it."

Did I mention this was written by a man?

Then, when she finally talks to him about it and asks him why, his response is "I remembered all the good times we had together and how smart and fun she was, and how much I loved her.  She was there at my place, and she's really sexy, and so I slept with her."

Heroines response - "Oh, that's ok then."  Seriously.  All is forgiven and they end up together.

Did I mention this was written by a man?

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I hate it when the big misunderstanding is no longer mentioned but events are occurring around it and as a reader you sit there and yell but obviously no one hears you :\

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I hate stories that wrap up too prettily. Like when the titled lady pines for the servant and they finally find the courage to be together despite class seperations then in the last chapter lo and behold said servant finds out he's the long lost son of some duke somewhere and stands to inherit some fortune.

 

Ugh, and there is nothing worse then the hidden pregnancy and secret baby. God, I hate when I come across a book in my TBR where that theme pops up. Yeah, that theme is just sooo romantic...



Last Edited on: 6/5/08 4:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Or how about when the hero can't/won't have a relationship because he'll be just like his father who was a drunk/murderer/crazy?   Who thinks of these plots and says "yeah, that's a good one!"????

Sherri

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Sharon - It sounds pukesome.  An idiot man's wishful thinking:P  Which probably made sense to the clueless buttwad at the time, since he obviously believes men who don't think with the "little head" are the product of some over-active female imaginations.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 529
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This really isn't so much about plot than character.  I hate when the female is a total b***ht to the hero but he still falls in love with her or the other way around.  I'm sorry but if I met someone who was always be rude and mouthy when I had done nothing to bring this on, well forget about you.  I call that being an a**.  

.  

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Sharon, who wrote that?   That must be romance for men... Hey!  That could be  a warning tag! LOL... gotta add that in the other thread.

I hate it when the whole plot is about a baby.  Especially, when I see the heroine's so called love for the child is all self serving.  Screw everyone else and what is best for the child, the kid stays with her because its what she "wants" and what SHE needs, and SHE can't live without the kid.... because she's just a  needy....and clingy person who had a bad chldhood, ugh!   

  If thats not bad enough, books like this usually have the heroine pregnant half the book.  Sex scenes with heroine's belly out to there is not sexy!  Have you seen what  a 8 months pregenant woman  actually look like?!  Not sexy, nooo.... NOT sexy! 

This is just one of the plot lines that gets on my nerves... I'll add more later, there are just too many.



Last Edited on: 6/5/08 8:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Sharon I totally agree with you about the b*tch heroines!!!  I don't mind a strong heroine or one with a little sass but to treat a man like he's somehow "less than" because she's such a tough b*tch totally turns me off.  I've quit reading books for less than that.

Sherri

Angie -
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 1:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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I like bitchy! (I think, maybe it depends...)

This isn't a plot twist...but I had a really hard time getting through the first 50 or so pages of The Raven Prince...and probably would have given up by page 10 except it was the only book I had with me at the time so it was either that or no reading...BECAUSE...brace yourselves...this is really petty....and brace yourselves...I really like periods tonight...

She describes him as ugly. I'm pretty sure the heroine uses the phrase "that ugly man"...

Why the hell would I want to read a book-a romance novel- with an ugly hero!!!! No!No!No!

The scars I could get over, and I did get over it, but as a general rule of thumb- NO UGLY HEROS! Sheesh.



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 1:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 3:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2006
Posts: 1,007
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This is such fun everyone.  Thanks for posting.

I've thought of a few more things that bug me, some of which have already been answered like the page-and-a-half resolution to the Misunderstanding cliche.  I actually like that cliche, as long as it comes up in a Harlequin Presents novel.

I don't like anachronistic behavior.  I'm sorry, but unmarried women in the Regency period were incredibly restricted in their movements.  They couldn't just show up at the hero's house!  And yes, most likely there were unmarried women of the time that resented the heck out of those restrictions, but even fewer of those actually broke away from their families for one reason or another.  So, I like regencies where the woman is strong, intelligent and not afraid to ask for what she wants, but I hate it when the plot turns on something that a woman would have been severly punished for if caught; i.e. dressing in men's clothing, organizing a strike in 1808, walking down ANY street, alone day or night, causing a scene in public, etc etc etc.

I understand that a certain amount of poetic license is required for Regency-set historicals to feel romantic for our modern sensibilities, I just don't like it when ten unlikely things happen before the book is half over.

That was a biggie, so I think I'll stop there...

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Sharon, who wrote that?   That must be romance for men... Hey!  That could be  a warning tag! LOL... gotta add that in the other thread.

It was one of Ken Follets books - published in 1998.  It was a good fast paced book, and I was really enjoying it until I got to that part. It really interrupted the story for me because it was just so senseless.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Angie I was going to bring up the same thing.  I hate it when they constantly point out that the hero is "ugly" or the heroine is "plain".  I read a Leigh Greenwood once where the hero was supposed to be this super hunky guy and the heorine was "plain".  Through the whole book the hero and all the townspeople couldnt' believe he was falling in love with such a plain unattractive girl.  Cinnamon and Roses (Heidi Betts?) had a similar theme. Gorgeous hero/super plain heroine.  Now sometimes it's refreshing to read a book where the hero isn't 6'5" and super handsome and the heroine isn't a Barbie doll. But not when it's constantly in your face. 

 

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Oh, I agree with you, Mary.  Drives me crazy when the authors  puts down the heroine constantly, like she's not really worthy of the hero.... Also, I hate it  when someone in the book  (hero) says something like.... " she had small beautiful breast BUT with ripe whatever, etc"... like having small  breast is something to be defensive about... why can't authors write something like  "small breast AND blah blah"...




I don't even know what people would call a book like this... I would say lame.  I once read a book (harlequin), where the heroine was aloof, cold and was considered frigid.  She's been single for 8 years because of some drama.  Most people would think, OK she must've had some shocking trauma.  Maybe abused as a child, raped or something God awful.... well, 5 pages from the end, the BIG trauma ended up being her "almost"  being raped.  Apparently, 8 years ago her ex fiance slapped her in the face once, ripped off her shirt and tried to have sex but someone walked in.  And thats it.  OMG, talk about a spineless woman.  Because someone smacked you ONCE, tore your shirt a little and tried to rape you ( light struggle from reading the scene), you turned into a cold woman, couldn't date or make friends for 8 YEARS and made the hero go through hell.....  The most rediculous plot line ever.   I ended up not even finishing it... 4 pages before the end.  Good ridance.



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 12:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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Ok this is gross but I just finished reading Ken Follett's Pillars of The Earth and am currently reading World Without End by him......I really, really like the books but every time there is a sex scene his description includes the woman being able to feel the guy "releasing" inside of her....now I know that we are all aware when that time has come but have you ever actually felt the stuff inside of you?.....Great now I am blushing...



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 1:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I've felt sticky afterwards but I've never felt the "hot jets of steaming (you know what)" that frequently gets described in sex scenes. I mean come on, the average load is what like a teaspoon? Tablespoon max. 



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 2:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 529
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Tina, I thing I read that harlequin but I can't remember the name.  I want a strong overcoming heroine but I'm with you 8 years....Give me a break.

Jessica, I've read authors (men & women) who describes the uh..release scene in which you mentioned.  The first time I read it I thought gee maybe my insides aren't sensitive to feeling that as other women.  Never did ask a doctor about it.  LOL!  Now aferwards...that's another story. (blushing) 

 



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 2:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 529
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Mary, I couldn't help but laugh at your post and I though the "hot jets of steaming (you know what) is apparently how the man feels. 

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 24,463
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I don't mind the ugly man or plain woman if the person falls in love with them so completely that they wonder how they ever considered the other person ugly or plain to begin with.  Julia Quinn did that in a couple of her Bridgerton books (plain woman) and one of the best Harlequins I ever read involved a plain woman Night Of The Hunter (Silhouette Desire, No 481) .

By the end of it, not only did hero find her attractive but was convincing her she was attractive also.  GREAT book.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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Exactly Mary....why would you write that! I mean every single scene it said something similar to that....



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 2:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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