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What’s Missing From Romance Novels?

by on February 26, 2013

So I was plotting a new story the other day for a project I’m working on, and here is how it went…

  •  Heroine: She is either well to do, or has absolutely nothing. She is also beautiful, but doesn’t know it, or knows it and hates it. She is never a plain Jane with freckles and cellulite that has a minimal 401k, and a modest savings account to support her and her three cats.
  •  Hero(s): They are either well to do or have absolutely nothing. They are gorgeous, cocky, protective, sensual, perfect….unattainable for the rest of us real women.  They never had to determine whether or not they will pay their water bill or purchase comic books, and they never spend a Friday night playing the X-box online with their buddies.
  •  They instantly fall madly in love with the heroine and walk around with a rock hard erection for the next 10 chapters. Our heroine will of course be faint with her need for the hero(s) and walk around with wet panties for the next 10 chapters. It’s a tossup between whether or not she will resist their charms like a good girl, or meekly accept their magical sexuality.
  •  Another tossup: will she be a naïve virgin, an experienced kinky freak, or an ignorant submissive desperately needing a strong Dom to take her in hand?
  • The men will gladly take her under their wing no matter her experience level without question, and they will make love to her, bringing her to mindless orgasms over and over and over and over….. (yeah we’ve all done that on a regular basis, right ladies?)
  •  She will be in danger. It will be by either: an ex-boyfriend/husband, terrible mobsters/drug dealers, or her abusive father.
  •  The men will fuck it up. (Somehow they always do)
  •  BUT they will save her from whomever is after her.
  •  She will fall into their arms as though they are angels fallen from heaven, and they will agree to forgive and forget, and live happily ever after. Of course they will marry and have babies, and they will never argue about bills, or spending too much money at the grocery store, or who’s turn it was to take out the trash, because hey, this is romance baby!

So….we’ve all read this story. We’ve read it hundreds of times in various formats. We LIKE this story, some of us LOVE this story. So you say, just keep writing it, and the readers will keep buying it, but I’ve never done what was expected of me. I’m not good at status quo.

What I want to know is what am I missing? Is it just the fantasy of this unattainable relationship with imaginary men that we crave, or are we really pretending that this could happen. I’m spending a little extra time on this new plot, trying to figure out what I’m missing from making this story unlike all of the others. Does it have to fall into this same rhyme or can it walk to its own beat?

If you’ve read a romance that has completely disregarded all of the above bullet points, PLEASE share it with me, because I want to read it! And don’t be shy, tell me what you think is missing, or why you think that we all go for these stories.

As always, Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance!~Lori


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  1. Lori, I like my heroes to be alpha, but I also like my heroines to at least TRY to save themselves, at least play a role in their own rescue. I don’t want a heroine who sits around in the remote cabin with the serial killer waiting for someone to save her. What a wimp.
    But, I do like the mindless orgasms…. over and over and over and over and… 🙂

    • I agree Lara, it’s nice to see a woman with a backbone, especially if her life has been threatened!
      I also see a lot of “submissives” who are portrayed as weak willed. I believe you can be Wonder Woman, and still enjoy submitting. And those mind blowing orgasms…yes yes yes! 😉

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