Monday, February 14, 2011

Romance and annoyances

There are two types of romance in fiction that drive me crazy.

  • The Nicholas Sparks Unhappy Ending

    I’m not sure about you, but for me, I prefer the romance element of any book to end happily. They can be standing on a destroyed planet, with no water, no food, things are looking bad, but if they are TOGETHER then I’m happy.

    See, I realize life is not always so happy. As a child of a divorced family, I definitely know that relationships do not always end happily. I get that, I do. But when reading, I want that warm fuzzy feeling.

  • Forced Romance

    I have issues with books where the romantic element doesn’t feel realistic. You know the ones? The romance is thrown in there because the majority of readers are women…blah, blah, blah…so let’s toss in a romantic tie (not related really to the story, mind you), because we women supposedly appreciate that sort of thing.

    I am not one of those women.

    If the story demands romance, then the romance really should be the central plot of the story or tied very closely to the central plot of the story. Am I alone here? Let's say the story is about aliens attacking from Mars, and the super star guy is supposed to kill them. Great, I can handle that. Now, try adding in his sweet next-door neighbor, who he’s always adored, and now that the world is ending they decide to get together.

    Oh-K...What’s up with that?

    Now tell me, what about the romantic element of fiction gets under your skin? I know we’re supposed to talk about the joys of love today, but I thought I would take a different approach. :)


  1. I'm with you. As long as they're together, I'm happy with it. I dislike the forced romance, too.

    Sometimes, in my favorite wip, someone has to die...

    I read once that the GREAT love stories are the tragic ones.... Romeo and Juliet being the prime example....

    (I prefer the happy endings!)

    Happy Valentine's Day :)

  2. I need my romance to feel natural. An ending like Pretty in Pink makes me annoyed (as much as I love Andrew McCarthy). If I feel like a couple belongs together, I went them to end up together. If they don't, don't you dare try to manipulate me with a contrived ending!

  3. I completely agree! I hate the unhappy romance ending. I'm thinking of one book in particular where the wife dies shortly after her daughter is born and her husband is left with only their daughter as a reminder of his wife. I cried my eyes out. Not the ending I was looking for at all.

  4. TWC - Oooo, the death ending. Yes, that's an entirely different subject. I can handle that one easier than two who go their separate ways. Ever read DEAR JOHN? - yuck is all I have to say. :)

    Krista - I adore Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, all those 80s movies actually. :) But I agree, the ending is crazy.

    Kelly - Seriously! I am not spending my valuable time to cry. I refuse to see movies like that. Now, don't get me wrong, I adore scenes that produce enough emotion to make me cry, but just to do it for the sake of crying like the book you described is frustrating indeed.

  5. Forced romance...not working....and also, stories which seem to follow the pattern someone else set and became a looks more like fan fiction to me....but then, it's just me...

  6. Cater - Totally agree. I get that romance can feel similar, but *try* to mix it up a little. :)

  7. Actually I've been thinking a lot about an unhappy ending one lately. I read it when I was about 14 (around the time the Puritans landed) and I think the title of the first book was Dawn of Desire. Around the 4th book in the series, the protagonist is murdered cut in small pieces and her names erased. I flung the book across the room. I'd been following this character for FOUR freaking novels. No foreshadowing either, to let me know that we were not going to have a happy ending this time.

    Hmm actually you've just inspired me to write an article!

    The CRITTER Project and Naked Without A Pen

  8. You inspired me to write this article Murder Your Character - And Get Away With It Thanks much! I've included a link to your page.

  9. Wow Lemur - I"m glad you found this useful and thanks for the mention! :)