christinex1001: (Default)
From a review of Elizabeth Hoyt's Wicked Intentions over on Dear Author:

"Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’ve been reading romances for too long. But I feel like sex has completely taken over character development. I mean, I like sex scenes, but if I wanted to read an erotica I would. What the hell happened to conversation? Tension? Building the longing? Where’s the freakin’ longing? This isn’t just a singular problem limited to this book or this author, but one that seems to have invaded every corner of Romancelandia. Character development is hard, but often the differences and similarities between the lovers are revealed in their interactions with each other. While those interactions can be sex, I find that without enough conversation and dialogue to balance that out, I don’t fully believe that they are in love. Does that make sense?"

Glory hallelujah. Someone just said what I've been thinking for years.
christinex1001: (Default)
...and want a good laugh, I highly recommend the Regency Romance in 2 Minutes.

I think the original blog is in Swedish, but the post is in English, so no translation worries there.

The funny thing is, I haven't even read any recent Regency romances, but I've read enough reviews of current ones to guess this is all pretty spot on. Oh, dear. :-P
christinex1001: (Default)
You and I are done. DONE.

OK, I tried. I tried to "research the market." I read contemporaries. I read historicals. I read paranormals. And out of all of them, I think I actually really liked two of them. And those two were both written by Jennifer Crusie.

I thought it would be a great fit. I mean, hey, I love to WRITE romance. So I figured reading it would be cake, even though up until that point I'd always been more of an SF/F person, with the occasional mystery or suspense novel thrown in for good measure (along with a good leavening of Jane Austen and my annual rereads of LOTR).

Um, no.

Maybe I've just bought (yes, BOUGHT...there's a chunk of change I'll never get back) a series of duds. But it seems to me that editorial standards for romance novels are just waaay lower than for books in other genres. Now, I'll admit that I'm seeing more mistakes in NY-pubbed books than I used to. Let's just chalk that up to the deplorable state of education in this country and the fact that copy editors probably aren't as good as they used to be. I know I'm overly picky because I used to be a copy editor. Fine.

But after finishing a completely shit-tastic paranormal (seriously, it had plot holes I could drive a Star Destroyer through, not to mention some of the flattest writing I've seen in a long time), I just plowed through Death Star, which a friend gave me last weekend. Everyone knows I'm a big ol' Imperial sympathizer, so it was great to see nuanced Imperial characters in profic, but what struck me more was how much better written that book was (and actually, the two Terminator novels I read as well, even though I really can't stand Alan Dean Foster) than any of the romance novels I'd sampled. And it was mass-market genre fiction, not exactly a novel that was trumpeted as the next Finnegan's Wake or something. I devoured that book, and all I had left was another paranormal, one that was a huge bestseller and one that a lot of people really seemed to love (I won't name names...there's no point, really). Anyway, I started it and wanted to claw my eyes out within the first 20 pages.

Dark, brooding, alpha hero? Check.

Total Mary Sue heroine with psychic powers, cascading raven hair, huge "sapphire" eyes, and a teeny-tiny waist? Check.

I was willing to overlook that. OK, some people like the overblown, purple approach to these things.

But then the author started head-hopping all over the place, and I threw the book away in disgust. I've ranted about that before, so I'll spare you the reruns, but seriously -- does NO ONE in the romance editorial field know what the hell third person limited is? It's not as if this book was purposely written in the omniscient p.o.v. I could have put up with that, even though it irritates the snot out of me. No, the author was in tight third person at the beginning and then started bouncing back and forth between the hero and heroine once they were actually in the same scene together. I felt like I was getting mental whiplash trying to keep up. Is he looking at her? Is she looking at him? I have no freakin' idea. Who am I supposed to be relating to in the scene? God knows, because I sure as hell didn't.

I'm sure there's some good stuff out there, and maybe I'll eat my words if I ever do end up publishing something in the romance genre. But at least my readers won't have to worry about me screwing up something as simple as p.o.v. Sheesh.

christinex1001: (Default)
I think we all do about now.

Anyway, I thought these were hysterical! (Some images may be VERY mildly NSFW.)

What did we ever do before Photoshop? :-P

christinex1001: (Default)
This thing is awesome. While I don't completely agree with his sweeping generalizations about romance as a genre, I have to admit that most of the titles and 98% of the covers are just downright embarrassing.

And I loved what it gave me right off the bat:

The Venusian Pirate's Willing Girl Friday

From now on, you may address me as such.
christinex1001: (Default)
Whilst following the Cassie Edwards kerfluffle (and please don't ask me to explain...just google "Cassie Edwards" and "plagiarism," and you'll find enough to keep yourself occupied for days), I came across the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website, which is full of fun stuff. The best part, however, is the archive where they mercilessly MST3K romance novel covers ('cause seriously, those things were just born to be mocked). I highly suggest you take a look at the archive when you have some free time, or just need a laugh or fifty.

Romance Novel Cover Mocking This Way!

Seriously, even Erik admitted some of this was damn good stuff. Have fun!

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