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Customer Discussions > Romance forum

Dear Author: Please DON'T...

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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2007 6:36:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2011 11:53:49 AM PDT
Please DON'T
- let your hero have a disgusting habit, like smoking cigars (even if he's rich) or chewing and spitting tobacco (even if he's a cowboy)
- put today's name brands on items. I may want to reread your book 15 years from now!
- forget about your secondary characters, even if you have limited space. Try to have them all as real as possible; it takes away from the overall effect if they're all cardboard cutouts.

P.S. - after 4 years and nearly 1,000 posts, please let me clarify that this discussion thread is for readers to share what they dislike about writing styles. This is not intended to be a dialog with actual authors. Authors are welcome to express their dislikes as readers, but we would REALLY prefer if you don't self-identify as an author. All readers are created equal - we don't need to know your profession. Authors who want to discuss a similar topic should go to the Meet Our Authors forum - there's a link at the bottom of the page. Thank you all for your cooperation.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2007 10:48:07 PM PST
- make your villains one-dimensional, everyone has a reason to do villainous things why not the ones in books?
- name your heroes Hunter, Connor, or [insert over-used name here] no matter how much you like the name... if you must use an over-used name go with classics like John, Sam or Robert... you guys are killing the 'exotic' names by making them common!
- base your characters (especially in a series) off of yourself, your current husband/lover or a close friend/family member... we can tell and it burns us... we hates it... >_< ...especially when you get divorced and turn the hero you make us love in books 1-4 into a prick we are supposed to hate in books 5-7.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2007 11:14:48 PM PST
Kyra says:
Please DON'T

--write without a dictionary, thesaurus, and an atlas at your side.

--make the villians easily identifiable by their greasy hair and bad fashion sense.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 1:19:36 PM PST
please don´t make your heroine with red hair!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 1:49:46 PM PST
dralo says:
...have everything your character does automatically be the 'right' thing to do.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 1:59:13 PM PST
Please DON'T
- have your heroine behave like an idiot and write it so that the hero finds this stupidity cute, winning, charming or adorable. There's a difference between making an error and lacking any common sense.
- have your hero behave like a sociopath - if the hero is, in fact, a sociopath, then the heroine should kill him and get on with her life

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 4:59:26 PM PST
Jane W says:
Do not use the words bro, sis or buckaroo. No one speaks like that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 5:31:04 PM PST
EB says:
Please DON'T
* recycle the same storyline over and over, changing only the names of the characters and location.
* forget to proofread carefully.
*forget that not all heroines have to be petite and blonde with huge breasts.
*assume that your readers have read all the books in your series and know the backstory. A little information for those of us who haven't read the entire series would be greatly appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 5:42:04 PM PST
Claudia I. says:
Please DON'T use foreign words or phrases UNLESS you know what you're talking about. A little research would be appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 6:02:29 PM PST
J. Lesley says:
Please DON'T
--have several characters with the same first initial in their name: Cindy and Cissy or Tom and Todd. For goodness sakes, you've got the whole alphabet to choose from.
--use a name for the heroine which could be mistaken for a male: Morgan, Joey or Danny (believe me, I've seen each of these!!).
--and don't forget to let me know how much time is passing. Was it a day, a week, an hour? Help me keep up, I can't read your mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 9:37:48 PM PST
Marchioness says:
Please Don't:
-- Have your main characters make love every night for months without referring to that monthly challenge
-- Have many bouts of love-making without at least ONCE (for crying out loud) reaching for a wash rag or the proverbial handkerchief. (It adds to the storyline rather than detracts from it.)
-- Please don't forget to put a little variety in your love-making (especially Mary Balogh. Her heroes always "hold still" and then relax at the critical moment.)
-- Please do keep track of your time as we are

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2007 11:28:05 PM PST
Dear Readers,

Thank you for your input. Authors often seek the feedback and ideas of what the reader is thinking, but seldom do we get the honest feedback we seek. Your posts here are filled with wisdom any author would be failing not to acknowledge.

Again, a sincere thanks for your voices.

Frederick A. Babb

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 6:58:02 AM PST
Please DON'T write the book in first person. To me, Robert B. Parker's books, save for the Jesse Stone series, don't work for that reason (I don't buy you as a tough detective or as a woman). Ditto any of the other authors I've read who try that or other tricks (Lawrence Sanders writing everything in present tense is one). The only ones who've made first person work well are Rex Stout and, of course, the master herself, Agatha Christie in "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 8:39:59 AM PST
Karlyn says:
don't tell us what a great lover your hero is, then give him only a short paragraph or two to prove it. Speed sex is not sexy, spend some time on these scenes and give it at least a few pages. i.e., Suzanne Enoch writes great stories, but she could use some lessons in writting love scenes that match the description of the hero. The sex is over with so fast you can't possibly believe either one of them enjoyed it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 9:16:42 AM PST
Dyanne Davis says:


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 9:27:23 AM PST
Mary Hughes says:
Thank you for your input. I am always wanting feed back but very seldom get corrective criticism. This helps.
Mary Hughes

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 9:31:02 AM PST
Corrine says:
Please DON'T

-give your hero a moustache - or your heroine, for that matter.
-discuss the amount of body hair your heroine has
-try to convince me that rape/sexual abuse is sexy, and equals a lasting, once-in-a-lifetime love

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 9:33:20 AM PST
- have a fight in the bedroom while their naked in bed and then he leaves out jumps in the car WITHOUT ANY CLOTHES ON?
-make me read the roller coaster ride of a plot you've put the hero through and then on the last page of the last sentence a shot rings out and then I have to wait for the sequel except it won't come out until two years from now
-if you're going to do erotic, keep the animals out the bed and if he/she is a shapeshifter, it's not cute to change in the middle of a love scene, it's just beastiality.
-flesh out your secondary characters.
-quit giving me detail descriptions of how to get somewhere on a freeway across town including the turn right and left thing.
-give me three sentence love scenes. GAWD I HATE THAT! Especially in erotica.
-don't jump POV's to the hero's baby momma's cousin (Valencia Williams did that in Hottest Summer Ever)
-Switch tenses throughout your whole story
-talk slang outside of the dialogue in the narration part
-have any more baby momma drama books. (at least rework it as a surprise to us orsomething, but vindictive women getting revenge on baby daddy's is not romantic anymore.)

Sylvia Hubbard
Author & Avid Reader of Romance

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 10:53:24 AM PST
JerseyGirl says:
"Do not use the words bro, sis or buckaroo. No one speaks like that."

I have 5 brothers, and I know it's geeky, but they use bro & sis (not buckaroo thank God). They usually use it when they're being goofy, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 12:21:52 PM PST
Serene Night says:
Please Don't:

-Make every hero a man whore. Sometimes less experienced guys are hot too.
-Sermonize in your fiction. I don't care if its vegitarianism, your favorite brand of shoes, or social responsibiity. Having your character lecture your readers is annoying!
-Don't forget to include a plot. The days when I Read romance novels for sex are pretty much over. A storyline would be nice.
-Characters should have some sexual quirks. Not every character is going to like it the same way.
-Forget your characters have jobs, lives, and other responsibilities. Sure the sex is great, the hero hot, but don't have your character give up everything for their hot significant other.
-(this is probably a personal peeve, but I'm including it). Have too much girl talk. I don't have a clutch of gossiping girlfriends who dish men, and reading about it is boring. I can't enjoy the heroine if she's acting like a gossiping cat.
-If you're going to use magick have the character be concerned about consequences. Sure its easy to brainwash the neigbhor so he doesn't see you're vampire masquerade ball, but what are the ethcial ramifications of using powers without consequence?
-If you're writing a twenty-five year old college student, don't make her act like a 60 year old matron whose never seen a guy naked.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 12:55:44 PM PST
Like to Read says:
Please don't
-have your heroine's innocence unrealistic; IMO having her experience her first kiss at age 25 is odd.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 2:26:54 PM PST
Like to Read says:
Please don't have your hero and heroine unite after several years apart where he was a slut, during that time, and she didn't have another relationship.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 4:05:17 PM PST
LC says:

Yes, yes, yes about the 25 year heroine who acts like a 60 year old matron. I've read so much hen-ish behavior from 20 to 30 year old career girl heroines lately that I just had to chime in and give my support to you. Sometimes I feel as though I'm reading about my maiden aunt, who's 65, never been married, and has been living in third world missions for the church all her life.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 4:20:54 PM PST
Gemma says:
--so with you on the overused names. I swear if I read another romance with a hero named Rafe I'm going to SCREAM!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2007 4:28:08 PM PST
Karlyn says:
speaking of over used names, the female name 'Cat' would be tops in my list of worst offenders.
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  460
Total posts:  2190
Initial post:  Nov 23, 2007
Latest post:  Apr 25, 2014

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