No, you didn’t ask for it, but I’m about to share my opinion on romance books. Why? Because I have lots of them (opinions, not romance books) (although I have a few of those, too). If you love every romance story out there, this may not be the post for you.
First, as a disclaimer, I have read some amazing romance stories. Also, I am terrible at writing romance. It’s hard work. So if you write romance, good on you for trying! I’m just throwing out some thoughts. Who knows, maybe it will help someone write a better romance next time.
Pet peeve number one: I know by the second paragraph who will end up together, for certain, no doubts about it. Please, can’t we have just a little background and character development? Let’s introduce your main character for a page or two, preferably in an enjoyable little adventure like trying to buy soda with only pocket change. Are they patiently counting the last of their life savings? Too desperate for their cola fix to run home for a credit card? Or just having a terrible day and their wallet got stolen by a rabid monkey?
Number two: the girl acts crazy (usually more than once) and the poor sap who is in love with her just takes it. He usually apologizes after she’s calmed down because it’s obviously all his fault, right? Wrong! Once in a while, I’d like the realistic reaction of a guy running for his life during her meltdown and sending a break up text from the safety of his car. The truth is that crazy girls don’t usually marry sweet guys. (I’m the exception)
And my biggest pet peeve of all: When the girl/guy is madly in love, but they can’t figure it out. Not cool, writers, not cool. It usually sounds like this, “Every time the tall, handsome, rich, kind, generous and otherwise perfect man walked into the room, her hands started sweating and her heart was racing. She couldn’t think about anything but him at night as she tried to sleep. And she just DIDN’T KNOW WHY.”
Really? She didn’t know why? Gosh, my heart is all a-flutter and he fills my dreams, I must want to sell him a used car. Let’s stop this madness. Either he is very annoying and she doesn’t like him at all (until a dark, stormy night when he wins her over) OR she’s secretly in love with him and she knows it. If you’re looking for a middle ground, I will gladly direct you to the friend-zone where many men/women wait patiently, thinking of unrequited love. Or, go check in the she-is-my-sister’s-best-friend area. There are lots of hormones going on over there.
So really, my issues all boil down to one point: let’s keep it real. If we knew the moment we stepped into Chem 201 which boy we’d end up with, life would be sweet. If we could act totally crazy during the dating stage and still snag Liam Heimsworth, he’d be living a very polygamous life. And we all know when we are falling for someone, even if he’s not what we expected.
Now, can someone help me with my love story? My main character can’t find anyone who will put up with her opinions…