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Monday Musings…Going Outside the Formula

In case you haven’t been outside of your house or watched any tv recently, I am here to inform you that Valentine’s Day is this week and so I thought I would post a bit about the importance of the romantic formula. Lately I’ve been reading novels that have been trying to leave the romantic formula. There is a romantic formula and it goes like this: Guy and girl meet, for whatever reason they can’t be together right away, but eventually they get together. It’s simple really and people have made millions of dollars off it. And frankly, we love it. But, when authors go astray in their attempts to be creative and unique it has a tendency to leave me…cringing or uninterested. Here are some examples of formulas that do not work:

1. Guy and girl don’t meet until late into the book. They absolutely must meet within the first 5 chapters whether it’s through mail or in person. If this novel is being advertised as a romantic novel please don’t go post-modern on me and have them meet in the end. I bought the book for the interaction! I will skim, there I said it!

2. There is no problem. There must be a problem folks. It can be a tiny problem, but it must be a real problem. There is nothing more aggravating than when authors create mountains out of mole hills and I, the reader, start thinking that the characters are idiots. It’s never a good sign for the novel if I start not liking the characters. Also, I love straight up romance novels that don’t need mysteries or high drama so the problem doesn’t have to be intense. It could merely be personality differences, but then the author almost has to add humor to it for it to work. But at the end of the day, there must be a real problem. 

3. Two guys one girl. Yes, I went there. I hate this idea that has sprung from Twilight. I can deal with it if one guy is obviously a loser while the other is a winner. But I don’t like it when you have two attractive, Godly, wonderful, mysterious men and one girl who really isn’t all that. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m single and finding one good guy is hard enough let alone two, but I don’t care for it. One guy gets hurt, or I prefer one guy over the other, or they fight over the girl the whole book. To me, this formula can only work sometimes, but lately it seems to be a common theme that I’m just not in love with.

4. Guy must get girl in the end. I hate sad endings. I only want to cry happy tears when I read books and while I know some people think that books are more poignant when someone dies, I am not one of those people. So yes, if it’s a new author, I will flip to the back to make sure that someone gets together in the end.

Anyone have anything else to add? Anyone disagree?

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