Romance

E is for…

 

Day… I actually think I messed up yesterday, and now I’ve lost count. That sounds just like me. Let’s just get down to business…

 

 

Most people I know (and it’s common in books, films, TV show, etc), wen they have a relationship break up, there’s a lot of animosity between them, and their now, ex. I can understand if infidelity or some form of abuse is involved, that someone would want nothing to do with that ex, but what about those relationships that simply drifted apart?

I’m lucky. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen out with an ex, and am still in contact with some twenty years later, albeit, distant friends via the interwebz.

In books, there’s always that ‘I need to show my ex what s/he is missing’ and I sometime quite enjoy that, but when it’s been overdone, it can be very cliche. Second chance romance are some of my favourite books, and when I was writing The One That Got Away, I loved diving into the dynamics of a couple who already knew each other – sometimes intimately, finding one another again.

The word ‘ex’ doesn’t always need to equate to ‘enemy’, especially if a split isn’t acrimonious. An ex can still be a friend, someone with a shared history, even if you have gone down different paths later in life.

In the comments, I’d love to hear about your relationship with an ex, especially the positive ones.

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B is for…

 

Yay, day 2 and I’m a little ahead of myself… have I just jinxed myself? We shall see.

 

 

Friends – to – lovers are some of my favourite romance books. The dynamics of friends and lovers are two completely different things, and when it’s done well, it can be an amazing story. Add MC’s that were Best friends into the mix and it can very quickly become a 5* read for me.

Best friends, especially those who have been friends for years, can be amazing. Writing about platonic friends can be fun as they tend to have so many ‘in’ jokes and a wide shared history. The dialogue can be brilliant, and you have a lot of freedom because these characters know just what buttons to push to get a reaction without taking it that step too far. So, what happens when one of them falls in love with the other? This is a person they know almost as well, if not better, than themselves and they can’t begin to picture themselves with anyone else. They get jealous of new boyfriends/girlfriends because of the time they get to spend with their friend.

Most friends who love their best friend have this internal battle about whether a relationship will ruin their friendship or not. That aspect can be absolutely fascinating to write and read. The war within one person can be hard to fight, especially if they’re scared to tell the other person how they feel. Sometimes they do and it’s wonderful, sometimes it falls apart, and sometimes they keep it to themselves for forever. There’s no hard and fast rule to writing about best friends.

Also, sometimes best friends are just that, and nothing more.

Comment below and give a shout out to your best friend. Mine’s the amazing Sarah. She’s my sounding board, my concert buddy, and my parabatai (yes, a book reference, go me). I would be without her.

 

A is for…

 

Well, it’s day 1 and I’m already behind, so let’s see how I get on. Just a warning… I may not be able to contain my posts to books, but that’s ok, right?

 

 

If there’s one thing I hate in books (and films and TV shows) is insta-love. Yes, attraction can be intense, we’ve all felt it, but is insta-love a real thing?

I know people who believe in love at first sight, and if it’ happened to them I’m pleased for them. Personally, I don’t. I believe in lust at first sight. You know, when you walk into a party, or a club, or an ice rink and spot someone that just by from how they hold themselves, walk, smile… you want to get to know them better. In that split second moment, you are undeniably attracted to that person.

So, you go over, introduce yourself – now here’s where things can get tricky.

  • Option A – Person you admired from afar is wonderful. You spend the rest of the evening talking and laughing and by the end of the night (or the next morning, depends how lucky or drunk you are), you realise that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. They are THE ONE. That’s wonderful, all systems go, and have at it
  • Option B – Person who caught your eye turns out to a complete loser. They end up spending the entire time talking about themselves, their ex, or worse, talking down to you. You end up making an excuse to get away from them and end up spending the rest of the evening hiding from them the way Herminone runs away from Cormac McLaggen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all experience both of these scenarios, but what does that have to do with a romance novel?

A lot of books follow the “Oh my god s/he is gorgeous, I love them” vein of story. And while it works for a lot of stories, after a while it gets old… fast. Or so i think anyway. Yes, you can have a connection to someone as soon as you meet them, yes you can be highly turned on by them, and yes, you can want to sleep with them, but is it love? Honestly, I doubt it.

In my books, the attraction between my main characters is always there from the start (Except in Just Like in the Movies – Ava hated Morgan from the get go, despite how good looking he is). I like writing the chase and the build up to a relationship. It’s that and the getting to know one another I love to write about.

So, what’s your favourite thing about attraction in books? The chase, the build up, or insta-love. Please, leave me a comment and tell me, I’m honestly interested.

The Predictability of Romance Books

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As someone who both reads and writes romance stories, I’m hyper aware of predictability in this genre. I remember once, when I was about 15/16 and working Saturdays in a library, I had a lunchtime lecture from one of my co-workers about Mills & Boons books. They were the only books this woman read (I’m not judging, honest) and she had realised over the years that there were a staple set of story lines that were used over and over again.

“Why do you read them if you know what is going to happen?” Was my question. I always read to escape, so I couldn’t get my head round the idea of knowing what was going to happen at the end.

“It’s not how the story ends, it’s how the reader is carried to that ending that is important.” Her response has always stayed with me.

Now I’m an adult, I can completely see where she’s coming from. We’ve all read those books where we know exactly how it’s going to end, but we still read it. The predictability doesn’t affect our enjoyment of the story in any way, and most of us forgive the tell tale giveaways, especially if the story takes us on a journey with a few twists and turns that the reader isn’t expecting. Yes, we may well be able to guess how a book is going to end, but if we are still compelled to turn the page to see how the characters get there, surely that author has done their job well, right? – This is a quote of something I wrote in a review of Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover over on my review blog. For me, that shows an author’s skill. 

A lot of readers want to know if there is a HEA at the end of the book before they read it because they don’t like cliffhangers or sad endings. Personally, I don’t. I like to get stuck into a book without reading existing reviews and knowing little about it. There’s a magic about reading a book for the first time, especially if you end up loving it, even if you ‘kinda’ know how things will pan out.

How do YOU feel about predictability in books.

***Disclaimer***

I know this isn’t just common in the romance genre, it’s just the genre I have used for this post. I have seen it happen in fantasy books, horror, erotica and other genres.