Writing Tips

More of My Romance Writing Pet Peeves

I know you’re supposed to include some good with the bad, so here’s something I love: reunion romances. We’ve all had a romance that we’ve fantasized about revisiting. In Romanceland, you can! I also love cranky Alpha heroes, heroines with a touch of crazy, characters facing natural disasters and the one-night stand that winds up being happily ever after.

Because there’s balance in the cosmos, here are more of my pet peeves. I’ll try to be gentle:

*On page 1, someone is driving. I know that’s a repeat. Sometimes driving to a destination in the opening is necessary and it’s not enough for me to reject a story but grrrrr, I see it so often, especially in suspenseful romances.

*After a passionate night, the heroine wakes up to the hero cooking breakfast. He can make an omelet. I can’t even make an omelet. You’d think this might be a unique post-coital scene, but it’s not. The hero often makes soft, fluffy eggs for breakfast, which signifies his soft, fluffy underbelly. Oh, and the other cliché, the character waking up to the smell of bacon or strong coffee. I wish I kept eggs and bacon in my fridge but sadly, I just have condiments.

*When they’re lost in the woods, there’s always an abandoned cabin. And in that cabin, there’s a dusty pantry. Somehow, the heroine finds enough there to prepare a five-course meal. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if all they had was a can of tuna to share?  Maybe not so romantic but potentially funny and real.

*Characters become amateur sleuths. A cop will go to a murder scene and someone close to the victim will insist on helping with the case. They fall in love as they both search for clues. This aggravates me, though I see it all the time and it can be explained away. Plus, if someone close to me were involved in such misfortune, I’d like to think I’d be a giant pain in the posterior and insist on helping. It’s still a pet peeve. I do like, though, when non-law-enforcement characters find themselves in the middle of a suspenseful situation.

*The ex is a passionless dweeb or a gold digger. My problem with this is…well, we’ve all made mistakes, but the ex must have had some good qualities or else why would the hero/heroine get involved?

*Exes/parents/grandparents are killed in car crashes. It’s easy to kill off characters this way, but car crashes are a given now in romances. Maybe these extraneous characters could exist without appearing on the scene. Car crashes create emotional conflict by making a central character an instant orphan. It happens, it’s real and awful but if I had a penny for all the car crashes I’ve seen…They have no impact on me anymore.

And those are my pet peeves for this Monday.

2 thoughts on “More of My Romance Writing Pet Peeves”

  1. I love these 🙂 My pet peeves: men who treat the heroine like crap, and yet are still adored (yes, they may redeem themselves later, but why would she like him in the first place?), “meet cutes” that are so improbable, I just don’t buy that they would ever happen, instant LUST (I mean, yes, we have all met people who turned us on right away, but I get really tired of romance books where the heroine and hero meet, exchange three words, and then start thinking about each other’s body parts–ugh).

    1. Oooh, I don’t like the hero treating heroine like crap either. I also don’t like the word “crap” as an expletive in a manuscript, unless in special cases.

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