Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First of all, just wanted to mention that a free, online writing conference is happening right now (August 16-18), and at least two of the four WeHeartYA girls are participating in the agent query forums and agent pitching contests. If you're a writer or a reader who'd love an inside scoop on what writer's and publishing professionals get up to--go check it out.


I mention this because I've read so many great articles there, and read through countless publishing chats that have really informed what I want to talk about today--which is THE LOVE INTEREST.

This morning, editor Martha Mihalick wrote this about writing believable romance. Basically, it's about smart writing and, similar to Kristan's last post, changing your point of view or thinking outside of the normal romantic plot. Mostly, though, it got me thinking about the books I've read recently and how annoyed I get with the love interests.

I love the love. But I hate the love that doesn't match up with reality. Do you know what I'm talking about? Those hot, brooding bad boy types that are so "attractive" to us in literary form, but your friends in real life would tell you is sort of twisted? They don't? Okay, I'll be the friend that tells you. Bad boys are twisted. More interesting than nice guy? Yeah, until they twist you.

Get me?

Okay, I'll be honest. I love me a nice guy that could be bad, but chooses not to. Why? Not just because he's NICE, (why would you want to be treated any other way?) but because it's more realistic. I'll even buy into the idea of a bad boy reformed. A bad boy who is now nice.

If you haven't come across this site yet, it's awesome--Boys Don't Read. This post says what I'm trying to say, but in a much better way. Essentially, REAL guy characters are in demand, and I couldn't be happier.

What books have you read that have REAL love interests? You know, the boyfriend that may spend late nights playing video games, but who listens (or at least pretends) to your problems and tries to sneak a hug or kiss or cop a feel when you're still trying to talk, but they're guys so you expect this. At least they're open and nice about it, not issuing ultimatums or POSSESSING you.

I mean, we have to give the nice guy a break because he doesn't have a clue about girls. If you want all softness, understanding, and sweet-smelling, well, that's what girlfriends are for. ;)


Joelle said...

How about a sexy nice guy who'll defend you in the face of danger without having to get all furry or fanged up to do it? A guy who knows how to romance the breath out of you but still listens when you talk with him. Someone who makes your heart melt when you see him hold a puppy or a baby and then makes your legs fall out from under you when he smiles at you. He wants to help if you ask him but not coddle you. Someone you can fell vulnerable around knowing he won't use it against you. And yeah a guy who won't consume your soul.

Okay so maybe I've given this a little thought or maybe too much thought. But I hear ya and agree that romance needs to change it up some.

linda said...

Ooh I so agree that there needs to be more realistic relationships and love interests in YA! I'm tired of the dark, brooding, possessive paranormal types, too. I'd rather read about attraction based on a love interest's great personality and admirable character traits than on his hotness and mysteriousness. Great post!

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Well, you have really thought this out...which makes me feel validated that I'm not the only one out there thinking there needs to be a dose of "real" in romance.

Perhaps this means there's going to be a demand for Contemporary Romance soon? Or Contemporary with a hook. I don't read romance, but I like when a love story is included in a story no matter what the level. Thanks for commenting!

Heather Reid said...

I was just discussing this on my blog yesterday! I'm so tired of reading about the weak girl who falls in love with a guy just because he's beautiful. The relationship doesn't grow out of anything! I love nice guys as well. I don't mind if they have a little bad streak in them, but I want them to actually care about the girl they say they love, even, as you say, he's a reformed bad boy.

Small Review said...

This is why I love the guys from Lisa T. Bergren's River of Time series. They're great, real guys and their relationships are healthy. The girls don't surrender who they are and their relationships aren't unbalanced. I can completely see why the guys like the girls and why the girls like the guys. Their relationships are based on far more than just appearances. Plus, these guys are 100% human, which is a nice change.

Unknown said...

Heather, great minds...
seriously, it's a challenge to get readers on board with Team Nice Guy because he's not an "escape" from reality...

But it seems like Small Review has found a good series. I'm going to check that out! Thanks!

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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