Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let Me Count The Ways

Eva's husband loooooooves her. Seriously. Read this post and find out how much.

In comparison, MY husband thinks I'm mighty cute, and might consider taking me to a movie sometime if something better doesn't come along soon. (I threw up the length and breadth of two entire pregnancies, and never ONCE did he offer to clean the toilet for me. Mostly, he rolled his eyes and said, "Again? Seriously?")

However, he buys my feminine hygiene products without complaint, and actually SAYS "I love you," frequently and without flinching.

Eva's post sent me over to Romance By The Blog, looking for Bob Mayer (of the Bob&JennyShow) to discover what he has to offer about heroes who don't come right out and say "I love you" by the end of the book...only to discover that Bob surrendered his balls (and those of his heroes) to a a carnivorous crowd at an RWA meeting some time back. And that's just as it should be, of course. :p

But it doesn't change the fact that MY heroes don't tend to be the "I love you" type. Is this a problem?

My mama always said "actions speak louder than words." Of course what she meant was, "don't TELL me you're going to clean your room/unload the dishwasher/do better at not being the school tramp, DO it." So that may not actually apply here.

Let's see, how many of my heroes actually step up and profess undying adoration by the end of my stories and novellas? (These are listed in order of publication, btw.)

MOONDANCE - Nope. But by the end of this short story the couple in question has only known each other a few hours. I'm going to give Johnny a pass on this one.
HER BLACK LITTLE HEART - By the end of the book, the hero and heroine are planning to blow that pop-stand and run away together to Italy. But since they've only known each other a day, no "I love you."
LIE TO ME - Nada. Drew's just not the "I love you" type, and I think MaryJane would smack him silly if she thought he was anything less than sincere. So this still works for me.
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT - Nyet. At one point, the vampire hero WANTS to tell the human heroine he loves her, but she won't even look at him. The silly bint. But the THOUGHT is there.
DARK OF THE DAY - This one's tricky. Nobody says "I love you," but they talk about love a lot. And that's all I can say without giving away key twists in the story. (It's short, it's free, go read it already.)
DIRTY SHAME - Well...Dare says "I think I love you" near the end, right after he saves the heroine's life. Does that count?
SKIN DEEP - Yahtzee! Noah says "I love you, too" after Erin says it first. This counts. Yes, yes it DOES, dammit.
FLESH AND BONE - (soon to be released, Watch This Space!) No. Attractive, appealing couple? Check. Hair-raising external conflict? Check. Painful, angst-inducing internal conflict? Check. Happy ending, with aforementioned couple planning long-term relationship? Double-check. But no "I love yous." They haven't known each other long enough.
HARDCORE - (work in progress) I don't know yet. I suspect one of my two heroes is an "I love you" kinda guy (this is my first M/M romance) but I can't be sure 'til I get to the end of the story.

Wow. Apparently, I SUCK at romantic heroes. Who knew? I thought doggedly pursuing the heroine over, under and around all manner of obstacles, plus abandoning one's plans of vengeance (SKIN DEEP)/plans for a new life (TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT)/carefully built career (LIE TO ME and HER BLACK LITTLE HEART) and putting one's life at risk to save hers (MOONDANCE, LIE TO ME, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT and DIRTY SHAME) would be enough of a declaration, actions speaking louder than words and all.

Do I need to work on this? Do I need to force my heroes to say things I know are out of character or wrong for the circumstances of the story? Some guys just don't do "I love you." Others do, but not after they've known the heroine a day or a week or a month.

I suspect that my heroes' "I love yous" will fly fast and furious once I make the leap from novellas to full-length novels, but I can't make any promises.

My heart tells me to write my characters as they develop, and not force this issue. I will think on it some more. In the meantime, I need to call my husband and remind him to stop at the pharmacy on the way home. - Romance of Dubious Virtue


Blogger Eva Gale said...

Hot Damn! you took the ball and ran. Way to go, chica.

Bob Woodward-Kay then, gotta fix that. (*eeek*)

And my dh is adorable with the I love you's too, but I also know he means it when he takes meticulous care of my car. And makes me coffee in the morning. And the hundred other little things he does.

Do I have to make a list of I love yous for my stories? I don't think I have any yet either? Not outright declarations. (how bad is it that I hate writing that in? I should be banned from writing romance, I know-or maybe I don't write romance and have yet to figure that out. ? )

You're so right-Maryjane would totally smack Drew if he said that.

4/18/2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger Selah March said...

Don't change Mayer to Woodward, I was having a migraine moment and screwed up. Sorry.

Funny? I'm the one who takes care of the husband's car and makes the morning coffee. I've offered this up as proof of undying devotion in the past. His answer is usually, "I'm too busy making money to get my oil changed, and your coffee is so much better than mine that it only MAKES SENSE for you to do that stuff."

A real romantic, my husband. But he is good with the "I love yous." After years of training.

As for Drew and MaryJane - I think that once he has her trapped in that house and completely dependent upon him until she gets back on her feet, he's going to condition her to hearing it over and over and over. Just to make her nuts. Because he's wicked passive-aggressive that way.

Then, when she graduates from wheelchair to crutches? Watch out.

4/18/2007 4:49 PM  
Blogger Eva Gale said...

Mine formulates pills. There is an EXACT science to the coffee. No Kidding. Who am I to judge genius? *shrug* I just drink the benefits. Now if I could only get him to admit that if he can formulate a time release capsule, he can EASILY read a recipe. Same thing, right? It's not getting me anyhere though...

Sorry about the head pounding.

4/18/2007 5:20 PM  
Blogger Ann(ie) said...

In shorter length works, I think it makes more sense to forego the "I love you", especially when the h / h have known each other a short time. Nothing makes me roll my eyes faster than "soulmates in a day" and "I love you more my life!" after they've been together all of 18 hours.

Pick up his dirty undies for ten years and then tell me how much you love him. Fucking soulmates.

4/18/2007 7:31 PM  
Blogger Selah March said...

I hate the entire concept of "soulmates," my I'm a decrepit hag with destiny issues. Don't mind me. :p

4/18/2007 9:49 PM  
Blogger Ann(ie) said...

OMG, me too.

It seems like an excuse for a writer to be lazy. I don't have to persuade you these two belong together. They're soulmates!

I ranted about this back in January actually. Instead of repeating myself like a broken record, I'll just say:

Here it is.

4/18/2007 10:01 PM  
Blogger Eva Gale said...

Not only is it lazy (the concept of soulmates) but isn't it more powerful to acknowledge love by choice?

I think it means so much more to have people chose to love eachother rather than be destined.

4/19/2007 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Hm-- now you've got me thinking. Evil bee-yotch, you know what that does to my disposition.

Okay-- pubbed works--

Adiós: No "I love you" but it's a YA, young love and all that and Jaime is the only one who ever uses the word "love" but it's as a sign off on a note.

Accent: I can't say, since it's not published yet, but you know.


Late For Your Life: Michael says it first.

Thirteen: Josh says it first. Sort of. As they're breaking up.

This Time Around: Heather says it first. Javy's a butt.

These Are the Days: Doesn't count since it's Josh & Isa, take two

Breathe: Nick says it first. As they're saying their final goodbyes.

I think I'm sensing a theme here.

Aside from the fact that my guys are entirely too quote/unquote, beta. *snarl*

4/19/2007 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I think it means so much more to have people chose to love eachother rather than be destined.

Oh, AMEN, sister.

4/19/2007 5:39 PM  

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