Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Director- CUT!"

Sometimes, that’s how I really feel. I have to laugh at people who think romance readers can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality; they would have no more concerns if they could hear my internal dialogue with heroines. It usually goes something like this:

“Umm, okay. He’s tall, gorgeous, has no commitment issues, has a job, and isn’t gay. Your problem with him is what, again?”

But there has to be a conflict, so I get the Somewhat Implausible Reason I Don't Jump Him. I’ve written more than a few myself. And almost every heroine will, at some point in the book, do something stupid. I’m not talking about the waif who is TSTL. She could have several doctorates and a tenured position at Harvard, but she’ll do something stupid. That’s okay, too. After all, it’s the equivalent of yelling at the blonde in the slasher flick, “Don’t go in the basement! At least not in your skimpy nightie!” Fun times.

What makes me want to get out the 2x4 and warm up my batting arm is the nonsensical reason she always comes up with in the last act to keep the hero at arm’s length. She’ll invariably be upset over something that really, after everything else that’s happened, doesn’t matter. This hero has just gone through at least 250 pages of hell for this woman. He’s saved her. She’s saved him. They both know that the other is the Only Man/Woman For Me, so what’s the problem? Something pissy that makes me want to choke the life out of her. It’s like the authors know they’ll need two more chapters, so they spin the Wheel of Random Angst.

  • You haven’t said you love me.

  • You’ll always love your first wife more.

  • You ~sob~ LIED to me!

  • You hate my father.

  • You hate my cat.

  • I don’t know how to be a Viscountess.

Puh-leeze! I feel like the Colonel in that old Monty Python skit who yells at the director to stop because it was quaint and amusing, but now it’s just got silly.

Get it together, girl! Didn’t the last 23 chapters (and a big chunk of my life) teach you anything? It isn’t a good sign when I begin regretting putting off the laundry to finish this frigging thing. If it was done 20 pages ago, stick a fork in it and serve it up already.

Authors and editors, I beg you- if you need a bigger word count, bring back the prologue and the info-dump, but put the wheel away.


Blogger StarvingWriteNow said...

Hear, hear! I just finished reading a historical like that and I was kinda pissed off at the end--it's like, you crammed another few chapters in just because the hero hadn't told the girl he loved her yet? (Retch!)

What aggravated me most is that it was one of my regular reads and to this point she hadn't done that. So why start now? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

4:25 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

So true!
If she's going to be all silly, erratic and uncertain, for heaven's sake do it early when it might make sense.

4:57 AM  

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