Not long ago, I told a friend that one of the few negatives of this authoring business is the inability to take part in discussions on some of the forums. Darned if right after that some really tempting discussions didn’t crop up here and there. My hands were all but itching to start typing. So I sat on them.
I’m not sure if this blog format works very well for discussions, and maybe no one but me is feeling itchy, but since I still am, I’m giving in to the urge to speak my piece here. The topic that most tempted me was a discussion of how much realism you like/want in a romance. The OP actually used Sing as one of the books that made her start the thread, and while the discussion veered off topic and IMO into silly stuff too quickly, the original question is the one that provokes me.
In the past I’ve mentioned that I first wrote Eyes in rebellion against things I didn’t like in the romances I was reading. Lack of realism was one of those things. Yes, I understand that a romance is in many ways a fantasy. I don’t want guts and gore all over the pages; I don’t want to spend time in the bathroom with H or h. In westerns I certainly know that I’m ignoring a whole lot of the uglier aspects of life back then when it comes to, for instance, flies, smells and dirt. However, pretending characters never needed to eliminate, women never menstruated, the air always carried a trace of lavender scent, the hero could get up the day after a beating that should have killed him and take raw revenge on the bad guys, or the heroine can leap to her feet after an experience that would give most of us PTSD and fall orgasmically into the hero’s arms creates a wall banger for me.
Figuring out where to draw the line is, of course, the problem. Since it seems I may be towards one end of the fluffy vs. realistic spectrum, I obviously need to be careful not to go too far but I don’t expect to change much in my feelings on this subject.