Rant: “Oh, readers like the repetition…”

ThoseScenes

This morning, I was listening to a YouTube interview with a woman who purports to make a living writing romances. She originally wrote science fiction and fantasy novels, and she frankly admitted that she started writing romance because that’s where the largest reading audience was. It wasn’t that interesting an interview, but I kept it going in the background because I was working on something tedious and I wanted a distraction. And then…

Interviewer: So how do you handle writing “those” scenes?

Author: Oh, you know, “those” scenes are really repetitive, but you have to include them. Romance readers like the repetition, they really do. Of course, I don’t read romances myself, so I always try to include a bit of mystery or science fiction in my stories so that it’s interesting to me personally. But I’m telling you, the readers like the repetition.

This irks me.

WrathOfReaders

I had never heard of this author before this interview, but I have to wonder how good her books are. If she’s bored by what she’s writing, and thinks her readers love repetition, then why does she bother? Get a job as a plumber or a secretary or chicken farmer.

Writing takes a lot of time and effort. Writing a novel that bores you for people you don’t think much of because you think you’ll make lots of money doing it… no. Just no. Chicken farmer.

Neither the interviewer nor the author defined what they  meant by “those” scenes. They both smirked, so I imagine that they are thinking of some kind of scene that would be considered as a graphic love scene. But I don’t even think it matters how you define the term.

Romance novels are about the emotional connection formed between two people. Whether a love scene is graphic or not — even if the author is writing about a couple just holding hands, as I am — the author is, or should be, writing about the emotions involved. The characters in the book are unique. The scenes in which they express their feelings should be unique. A scene cannot be believable if you could replace it with a scene from another book.

Each love story is unique.

Author: Evelyn Hill

Writer of inspirational historical romances. Crazy cat lady (i.e., I have a crazy cat) who lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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