Even a casual visitor to the AAR message boards quickly learns one thing: We are an opinionated bunch.
And in just about every thread somebody posts about a plot device they loathe. Be it a couple who jumps into bed right off the bat or an arranged marriage, the list of plot devices that we loathe seems to number in the thousands. Maybe millions.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here, but not by much. We’re a bunch of cranky pants.
And, when you think about it, we’re leaving authors with little to nothing to work with. Because constructing a plot that doesn’t feature any of the devices that someone loathes would be nearly impossible.
Here’s what I think: We’ve gotten so narrow in our list of what we’re looking for when we read, that we’re denying ourselves a whole lot of good stuff.
Because a good author can make almost anything work. (Please repeat this to yourself at least ten times.)
Honestly, I’m just as bad. Any book whose heroine is described as “a young miss” is one that’s off my list. Add in adjectives like “feisty” and it’s so off the table I can’t even begin to tell you. Yet, I just read – and loved – a book that featured a heroine who might have been described by a ham-handed back cover copywriter as a “a young miss” and maybe even the dreaded “feisty.” It is a book I loved. And, yes, I’m talking about The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway.
So, here’s my point: Maybe it’s time to lighten up on the absolute “I hate that” and the pet peeves and open ourselves up a little bit and give authors a little more room to work.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to take the chance?
– Sandy AAR