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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Favourite Romantic What?

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. And I have a terrible confession to make. I am not primarily a romance reader. *hangs head in shame* Yep, you have a traitor in your midst! My home genre is SciFi, or perhaps speculative fiction since I read a little fantasy and paranormal too. A lot of early stuff I read wasn't labelled romance and I didn't recognize it as such until I discovered science fiction romance, but I read as much if not more non-romance.

But since discovering SFR, I've found that stories with romance woven into the speculative elements satisfy me a whole lot more than those without. I want stories that really make me feel something, not just entertain my imagination. The emotional rollercoaster is as important as the world building.

So when I first saw the topic title, I struggled. I definitely have some favourite romantic tropes now. Enemies to lovers is top of the list at the moment (and the theme of my last two SFR releases - Imprint in Tales of the SFR Brigade anthology, and Tethered), but I wasn't sure about what constituted a romantic cliche. Research time!

So I Googled Romantic Cliches and found this list. I read it all the way through...and couldn't find a single one that I liked. Maybe because the creator has focussed on the negative ones, or maybe because I haven't read enough romances. *slaps wrist* But I did come across a couple I've used.

"6. The heroine claims she can take care of herself as she steps on a rattlesnake and simultaneously shoots herself in the ear." 

Well, not a rattlesnake, but my heroine did insist she could take care of herself, then ran into an antagonist she really couldn't handle alone. So I guess that is a cliche I like. It's not that I wanted my hero charging in on a white horse to save her, but in this case it was the calamity necessary to get the hero to accept and embrace what he was and master his alien abilities in order to save her. Without that, he would have gone on denying what he could do, and she would have died.

"Nine Months Later…
32. The heroine has a secret child. So first, she most likely hasn’t used contraception. Second, she hasn’t told the hero that she’s expecting his child..."

Okay, I've done this one too. But I did make a big point about the lack of contraception, and reasons why the whole situation came about. I can't go into too much detail as this book hasn't even released yet. >.< But I felt I gave a reasonable explanation for the drama.

So are cliches a bad thing? I guess it depends on how much of a cliche the reader finds it, based on their reading history, and/or whether it's one they particularly hate or love, and how well an author tackles it or perhaps puts a new twist on it. Perhaps they even deliberately seek certain ones out. And maybe next year I'll have learned a bit more about them all.

Are there particular tropes you consider cliches? And are there particular ones you love or loathe?


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Pippa,

I do find reading romance emotionally satisfying. I can be intrigued with world building and enjoyed the first Harry Potter but when the story is dark or thrilling as in psychological thriller, that is a turn off. I love to read how people find their way through the challenges of their daily lives to find their happily-ever-after. My tag line is "Relationship to Romance" and that sums up my stories. The heroine and hero may be enemies, friends, acquaintances, co-workers - it really doesn't matter what their relationship is at the beginning. It's the story that takes them from there to their HEA that I enjoy.

Sarah Raplee said...

I think one of the reasons tropes are tropes is that they are believable. (We've all known someone who unintentionally got pregnant by a guy she was not committed to.) It's how the author uses the trope or gives it a unique twist (as you did, Pippa) that makes it fresh and believable/fun.