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Two many heroes?

I had a different entry half completed, but I'm putting it aside to draw your attention to a good column written by Lori Devoti over at romancingtheblog.com this morning. She lists some of the major romance conventions and asks which ones we'd like to say bye-bye to.

The one that caught my eye, predictably, is the one I've ranted about here before -- editors are convinced that romance readers don't want real love triangles. Fake ones, okay - -but if you can't tell who the hero is right away, editors will tell you that in your case, WIP means wallbanger in progress, not work in progress.

I don't think the editors are correct. Sure, there might be a few readers who have an absolute rule against this, but I'm willing to bet the huge majority would love to mix it up a little, hero-wise. Aren't readers always saying they want variety? And frankly, I'm a reader myself, and I love those kinds of plots.

Especially in romantic suspense! It's a win-win, right? It ups the suspense, and you get two hunky guys to enjoy. Sometimes the fake hero turns out to be the villain -- I love those. And even if the one who loses out is a great guy, well the beauty there is, the heroine goes into the sunset with the real hero, and you get the other one! (Until he gets his own book someday)

I'm not suggesting that a writer should drag it out right till the end. But if there's some question about which guy is Mr Right for the first third of the book, let's say -- or a moment of huge doubt half way through -- is that so terrible? (Or is it fantastic? I think so)

Oh well, I could be wrong. But I have a lot of faith in my readers. They wouldn't want a steady diet of love triangles, but every once in a while? Bring it on! Otherwise, some really fun plots get abandoned by the wayside.




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Bring it ON!!!
I enjoy these types of stories. I like them for the fact that if one turns out to be the villian and I like the real hero better I am that much more thrilled when the hero wins. Yeah sucks for the chick that is about to find out her man is a vile rat...but she gets the cake at the end.

A friend of mine is writing a story where you love the guy she is with...but you want her with the other guy even more...it is frusterating but at the same time exciting. You want all parties to be happy at the end and can't wait to see how things go.

I really don't like to be bored with cardboard cut out stories. Give me a something to keep me reading even though it is 3am! If I can put it down and sleep without thinking another thought about the characters Houston we have a problem...

Great post as usual!
Jun. 17th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Bring it ON!!!
Hey Charity! Nice to see you again. And thanks for the great feedback. I agree -- who wants the same story over and over again?

I actually think that in my love triangles it's pretty easy to figure out -- early on -- who the real hero is. If the heroine is wildly attracted to a mysterious, somewhat dangerous guy, and another guy seems like the wise choice -- ding*ding*ding, we have a winner -- the mysterious one. Every time. So I think the editors are underestimating the readers, even the ones who want to bond early with the right guy.

Now would I want to read a story where I'm completely shocked by the heroine's choice at the end of the book? No. I want to fall in love with the hero along with her. But if i can fall in love with two guys during the same book, well -- is that so wrong?

Jun. 18th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Extra heroes
Ray, Justin, Will from ID CRISIS

The bf and the boxer in KNOCKOUT by Erica Orloff (Remember? The bf ended up being the bad guy and Erica herself didn't even know that til she was writing the book and we don't even meet the guy the heroine ends up with til about half-way through. Talk about breaking all the rules. FANTASTIC book -- why can't we have surprises in our books -- we have them in life.)

and plenty more I could bring up (just finished listening to one last week with 3 possible heroes).

Done right, more than one guy is fine . . . As you writer types say, "It's all in the execution."

Jun. 19th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Extra heroes
Amen, amen, amen..

I actually think a few extra heroes could have SAVED some of the books I've read recently -- books where the hero just didn't do it for me for whatever reason. If there had been another guy in the story for ME, I could have enjoyed the book more, while still respecting the heroine's choice, since obviously, the hero worked for her.

A spare guy in every book, just in case -- is that asking too much?

Thanks for stopping by, Penn!

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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