Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Latest Trend That Doesn’t Work For Me

STATUS: I’m finally caught up. I haven’t felt this feeling in 6 months. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. Good thing I’ve asked for some full manuscripts this week. And next Monday, a client will be sending a new work my way (which means at least 3 other clients will also send me something because they have this uncanny timing and invariably that will happen).

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HANG FIRE by The Rolling Stones

I’ve been noticing an interesting trend in the already published romance books I’ve been reading lately, and I know it obviously works for some agents and for a lot of readers (because several of these books are selling like hotcakes), but I have to tell you that it just doesn’t work for me.

For the most part I’m seeing this in the paranormals I’ve been reading.

Basically there is a really cool paranormal concept (and excellent world building), and sexy alpha hero (yum!), and then this milksop of a heroine.

For example, I just read a paranormal romance and I mapped out the plot. The heroine literally has one horrifying near-rape scene (and not by the “hero” which is always an immediate NO for me and it was well-done so I didn’t have a beef with that), two or three scenes at the office/job, one scene in an alley, and the rest of her scenes were literally at her home or at the Hero’s home having sex. Not very dynamic.

The hero is wild about her beauty and has an overwhelming need to protect her (why is not clear). He also loves her caring and nurturing spirit that is exhibited only once and very briefly after a sex scene and after the hero brings a wounded compatriot back to his home.

And that’s it.

It drives me crazy.

And trust me, I don’t need every heroine to be some action-packed, kick-butt kind of gal. She can be normal (and then rises to extraordinary in unusual circumstances in some way that’s fits with her being a normal person). She can be brain-y too. I love that. But then I need to see her use her brains in action—rather than simply be told that she is smart by the other characters in the story. I want to see her brains help move the action, escalate the conflict with the hero, and be an essential part to the story’s resolution.

I don’t want my romance heroines to simply be a vessel for the hero’s unbridled (and in my mind, completely unexplainable) passion.