Thursday, June 01, 2017

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, June 01, 2017 2 comments
True confession. I feel like I ought to like reading romances. I generally prefer a happy ending to a sad one. But each time I've tried one--especially the Kindle First offerings to Prime members--I've been disappointed.

The romance plot model has become so entrenched, it no longer allows room for any genuine surprises. I know there will be some dumb thing that separates heroine and hero at roughly the midpoint and that dumb thing will clear up in a matter of chapters. I know the heroine will be beautiful, as will the hero, though one or both will be clueless about this or insecure in some way. If one of them has a deep, dark secret, the counterpart will have a corresponding one. Even in the hands of a great wordsmith, the formula clunks along as usual, boring me to tears.

I'd love to know if there are established writers out there who have earned a free pass to write plots that don't follow the predictable formula of boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl-back-again. I'd like to see some heroines who aren't the usual healthy, educated, white, and beautiful. How about a blind protagonist, or one with a learning disability, or someone biracial or average looking but brainy, or even disfigured (say an amputee veteran)? You find characters like this in literary fiction, women's fiction, romantic comedy, YA and MG. It would be great to see their love stories, and have a departure from the same-old, same-old.

Is there a genre you've tried but just can't connect to? Why do you think that is? 

Is there a romance author doing something unique I might actually enjoy? Do tell. 


  1. Hi Laurel - I'm not into romance as romance ... if it's got some history attached to it I'll happily read. Less so now perhaps - but history gives the story some extras ... cheers Hilary

    1. True--a more interesting milieu does add a lot to a story and will keep me sticking around longer even if I can predict how the plot will go.