Romantic Suspense, Writing Tips

Wednesday’s Pet Peeves

??????????????????????????Forgive my absence. In addition to my editing, I’d been doing what you writers call “revisions.” Though I definitely needed to revise, it was ego bruising to realize that my work wasn’t perfect. One of my authors said to me, “Isn’t payback a [rhymes-with-witch]?” It is! And after all the revision letters and rejections I’ve written, I’m sure to get even more payback.

But first to a few pet peeves I’ve rounded up since last time:

Shocked and pregnant heroines don’t always toss their cookies: I’ll admit, barfing in romance novels makes me want to barf. I know it shows a person’s reaction to terror or the heroine’s being in the early stages of pregnancy. But for me, the ew-factor stays with me forever after. Some authors are very descriptive about the process of upchucking, too. Now if you want to torment me, by all means, have a vomitarium, which the characters can visit after each meal.

Dress your characters in attractive, contemporary clothing: Nix the tan slacks (they are hipper as khakis or jeans) and the colorful sweatshirt with a big glittery flower on it (guilty). Avoid the stone-washed denim jacket with hearts embroidered by the heroine to go with the bandanna she wears around her neck. The best way to dress your characters is to look at your favorite clothing catalog or check out other covers of books you like–and make the clothes as un-remarkable as you can (unless they’re in evening gowns and tuxes).

Buried treasure is very Pirates of the Caribbean: Though I buy books where characters are finding buried treasure, lost art or special amulets from ancient times, I’m not a personal fan of these stories…and I’ve been seeing a lot of them. I will buy them mostly because the authors skillfully convince me that readers will like them or I just like the writing. These story-lines tend to feel too dated to me and what I might have read a few decades ago. It’s true that every case is different so you might have a search for lost artifacts at the bottom of the Caspian Sea and I might love it. Usually, I prefer a glitzier side of treasure, which would be a room full of gems disappearing (with a dead body left behind) or killing for a special diamond.

And that’s about it for this Wednesday. Have a great rest of the week!