Three ways to drive a romance reader nuts.

 

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In the course of my career, I’ve been guilty of a few of these I’m sure. The learning curve is steep and readers will let you know quickly if you’ve created the following:

1. Unlikable heroes. Yes, that amazing hero has to be flawed, of course, unlikeable in many ways, but the reader has to like SOMETHING about them. In the course of the novel they are going to grow and change, hopefully improve too, but right from the get go there has to be that intangible something that makes us want to keep reading.

2. Weak heroines. Modern romance readers are accomplished women, smart, savvy, self sufficient. They know better than to walk into dark, deserted warehouses with no cell phone after hearing a scream and a chainsaw starting up. Heroines can’t be the “tied to the railroad tracks waiting for rescue” kind of ladies. Readers won’t respect that.

3. Dead pets. Readers will forgive a lot, but not the tragic death of Fido or Pussy Cat. If you hurt a beloved pet, you’re going to GET MAIL. Same applies to birds, as I discovered early on my career. It’s not just a rule for mammals!

So what drives you nuts in books that you read? Kicking off the new year with January prize-a signed book and an ITunes gift card. 

Preorder Dana’s newest book, a rolicking romance. Here comes Tippy!  Sit, Stay, Love

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by susanmsj on January 12, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I agree with your first two, especially. I also like what Carrie said about miscommunication, although that is sometimes the conflict that drives the story. There are times when I want to shake or slap a character to make him/her get it together. Lol. Usually, though, they redeem themselves.
    I love reading your books and they haven’t seemed to fall into any of those categories. I guess I missed the one about the dog dying.

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  2. Maybe because I just read a book that did this: Nix repetitive and redundant inner dialogue. I have no problem with inner dialogue, but keep it necessary and original.

    Another is “too perfect” dialogue and not using contractions. I’ve read a few stories where a writer has written their dialogue like it’s a post-grad dissertation. Writing like we truly speak keeps the story from sounding stilted.

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  3. Oh, I forgot. Congratulations on your upcoming book Sit, Stay, Love. Tippy looks like Baggy!! Also wanted to say that Sailing in Style was one of my favorite Heartwarming books. I still remember it fondly…so good.

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  4. As a reader said above, loose threads drive me nuts too. I find myself thinking “but what ever became of….?” I also hate it when a book starts out in one direction and I’m all excited and drawn in, and then veers off into a direction that loses my interest.
    I’m just finishing up a book where a dog died but even though it was sad I was okay with it because the dog was old. I guess I just looked at it from a realistic standpoint and it didn’t have a negative effect on my feelings about the book. I guess everyone’s different.

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  5. all of the ones you mentioned in your post… plus miscommunication that could be easily solved if they would just TALK TO EACH OTHER lol. 😉

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  6. I agree with all the above. Also, loose threads. Don’t mention that mysterious box in the attic in chapter 4 and never tell me what’s inside.

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  7. Posted by Suzan Michet on January 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Inconsistencies in the story drive me crazy. Factual error also get me frustrated. And I totally agree with your first two as well Dana.

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  8. Misspellings, typos, and stupid mistakes drive me nuts in a book. I’ve been know to make a list of them to send to the author!

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