April 8, 2008

Book # 11, romance ranting...

I'm done with Book #11 of the year. I'm not saying what it is, not because I thought it was bad, I'm just confused. Here's why:

I’ve said many times, when I read, I try to read for the pleasure of it, but sometimes things stick out. This book I just finished reading was a little weird for me. It was a historical romance, 1820’s England. Now, I don’t know much about the time period to be any type of critic. I’ve seen my share of movies from that time, and I remember some of my history, so I’ve got an idea. And this book, for the most part, made me feel like I was there.

The main plot—aside from the romance, was actually very interesting. It helped me come up with some good shit for Lucky, but that’s another story. Anyway, I did like both main characters, though, I think they were the type of characters you don’t usually find in these kinds of historicals. Unless all main characters don’t like their society, either way, they felt out of place to me. Might just be the book, don’t know yet…

I thought the way the romance was handled was weird. Again, I think this may be the characters involved, but it seemed a cruel way for two people to have a happy ever after. Granted, I know there’s supposed to be some conflict and struggle, this just seemed over the top, especially for the time period.

There were parts of the book that I loved and I was even mildly surprised by the sex scenes. YES, the word manhood was there, but it wasn’t that bad. The sex wasn’t graphic in description, but you knew exactly what was going on. That’s kinda how I’ve done my scenes in Lucky, so it was nice to see it elsewhere. Sensual, detailed, but no dang body parts!

Ha.

Okay. I *think* I’m starting to understand the, uh, “romance” genre a little more. The rules are a bit more lenient in romance, right? I mean, a best selling author, with 40 novels, knows how to write…right? The characters are supposed to be a little over the top. The plot is usually grounded, but allows for that fantastical aspect, even if it’s contemporary. Because, well, it’s a romance. Like, say an overly action-packed action movie where the good guy never gets hurt, etc. I get that.

Is the same true for the actual writing? Is okay to repeat the same sentence—and while I’ll admit the sentence did remain with said character when it showed up—at least a half a dozen times in the novel? Use the same descriptions over and over? Is that considered the author’s writing style to drive the point of his smoldering eyes or is that being lazy? At this point, I honestly don’t know. Unless it’s intentional, I try not to use the same…anything, verb, adverb, noun, start with the same word…to close together in my writing. Sometimes, it takes me half an hour to find a better word than the one I used twice in the same page.

Does that make me weird or anal? Probably, does it make me a better writer? Beats the snot out of me…

Sure, I get a little mushy with my dialogue, but I try to make my romance relationships seem as real as possible. Hell, quoting music lyrics from loves songs is cheesy, but people write those songs for a reason, right? When love in involved, people say things out of character. I’ve done it and seen it first hand. But when I read a book that’s a romance, centered around the romance, I’d like it to be based in reality, even if the circumstances aren’t.

One last time, it may just be the characters in this book, and no…I’m not saying which, it didn’t feel right. I’m going to have my sister give me another book, maybe the same author, maybe not, but it’ll be historical, and we’ll revisit this topic once again.

I got a couple of rejections the last two days, so I sent out five more queries. I think I’m going to give it until the 15th or possibly the end of the month before I go to phase two. Paper letters. I honestly don’t mind the expense, but the time and paper…I could do without. My room is a mess as it is. Guess I’ll have to clean before I start.

In happy news, Jenn is getting a wide screen, big HD something TV for her birthday. My bro is having everyone pool their money together to get it for me. Means I gotta buy a blue ray to play on the PS3. And I know he wants to play his COD on a big flat clear screen too. Heh.

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