Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More of My Personal Pet Peeves

You've been waiting breathlessly for this list, right? Well, I've been doing a LOT of reading lately, and my list of peeves grows longer by the day. So here goes nothing...

1. Abandoning the core couple halfway through the romance. I've read a few books lately where the main couple is all but forgotten for the last half of the book. I love a good sub-plot as much as the next reader, but if you've asked me to commit to your couple at the outset, give me their full story. Please.

2. Data dumping. I don't want to know your characters' entire life story in the first ten pages. Don't do this to me. Nothing is more boring to read than nonstop recitation of past history. There are so many clever ways to get this job done. Please be clever.

3. If you build me up with crackling chemistry and sensual encounters that lead to the happy couple landing on a bed, please oh please do not have the next scene open with the sun creeping through the blinds. I beg of you. Show me what happens. Especially if you are writing for a line that promises a certain heat level. I have expectations. Please meet them.

4. Please remember your characters' names. I recently read a book where the name of a secondary character changed halfway through the book. I notice these things. Please remember the names of the people you create. If you don't, who will?

5. Kids in romances who are bratty, not cute. Thinking of what I would say to the kid takes me out of your story. Please discipline your bratty fictional kids the same way you would if they were actually yours. Don't make me have to do it. Don't make me.

UPDATE: Bonus Peeve that I thought of last night after I posted this: unplanned pregnancies in romance. Sorry, ladies (and gents), it's 2010. We all know how to prevent pregnancy. The unplanned babies need to stop. We're also grown ups, not horny teenagers in the back seat of Dad's car. The minute you foist an unplanned pregnancy on me, I think your characters are too stupid to live. ESPECIALLY if one of those characters work in the medical field in ANY capacity. That makes them even stupider. Now I have a pregnancy SCARE in my next book because of a "malfunction." I think that's different, but you may disagree. If you do, let me have it! :-)

Those are the latest additions to my list. Tell me some of yours!

OH and please don't forget to vote for Love at First Flight for Best Book of 2009 at the Long and Short of It Reviews! We're in 2nd place!!


Judy F said...

LOL Marie

1) I don't care for over description. A book once took pages and pages telling about the drive to the palace. Lordy get there already.

2)being unfaithful. I stopped reading a well know author cause of this.

3) I can no longer read the books were the guy is 40 something and the girl is 18 or so.

I am sure there are more but the brain is tired.

On being pregnant in this day and age. I tend to agree with you. I guess who could consider being on antibiotics as a malfunction. That is how my friend Nancy got her only child about 17 yrs ago.

Marie Force said...

More good ones, Judy! I totally agree with all of yours. I HATE big chunks of description and tend to be very lean on that in my books. Unfaithful should be un-allowed in romance (yes, I made up that word!) and the older man younger woman thing really only works in historicals, but I do have one such story line in one of my un-pubbed books that I really loved writing.

Yes, the antibiotic thing is a good excuse. Not, however, if you are a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. LOL!

Judy F said...

well same friend worked as a pharmacy tech so who knows. LOL

Marie Force said...

We may have to have a talk with her, Judy. LOL

I'm sure she considers it a good accident.

Mary G said...

I don't know that I have pet peeves
so much as preferences. I really wasn't crazy about first person POV. It worked for me for Undomestic Goddess but for romances I love hearing what's in the hero's head. Then I won Slave by Cheryl Brooks & read the first page & I was so intrigued.So I will give that one a go. I'll let you know - she's probably going to hook me in. I'm not crazy about huge age differences of either kind. I guess one peeve is when either character is TSTL.

Marie Force said...

I don't love 1st person for the same reason, Mary. I want the full picture from both sides of the romance. I agree about the TSTL (too stupid to live). Sometimes you just cry out--WHAT? Seriously? But I always think that can be good too. Making readers feel anything is critical, even if you make them mad. :-)