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reph
05-23-2005, 06:55 AM
Will it hurt sales of a romance novel if the book has the following features that are undesirable in fiction generally?

- Frequent saidbookisms and enhancement of speech tags with adverbs.

- Verbs denoting bodily movement used as speech tags, like this:
"Welcome to our home," John smiled.
"I don't know," Maggie shrugged.

- Long descriptions of a character's looks that aren't relevant to the narrative at that point.

- Long, introspective reminiscences, presented as thoughts, in which an adult character recalls his or her childhood, usually pleasant scenes from it. These lack tension and don't move the story along. They seem to be there as a way of introducing the character.

- Lack of attention to POV; much headhopping.

- Much telling; little showing.

I ask because I need to advise someone about a book, and I'm not familiar enough with this genre.

Susan Gable
05-23-2005, 04:26 PM
Will it hurt sales of a romance novel if the book has the following features that are undesirable in fiction generally?

- Frequent saidbookisms and enhancement of speech tags with adverbs.

- Verbs denoting bodily movement used as speech tags, like this:
"Welcome to our home," John smiled.
"I don't know," Maggie shrugged.

- Long descriptions of a character's looks that aren't relevant to the narrative at that point.

- Long, introspective reminiscences, presented as thoughts, in which an adult character recalls his or her childhood, usually pleasant scenes from it. These lack tension and don't move the story along. They seem to be there as a way of introducing the character.

- Lack of attention to POV; much headhopping.

- Much telling; little showing.

I ask because I need to advise someone about a book, and I'm not familiar enough with this genre.

Reph, good writing is good writing. What you've described is not good writing. Editors of romance expect strong, good writing. Head-hopping is a definate no-no these days. Long, dull passages, whether introspection or description are no-nos. Too much telling, ditto.

Now, what used to be done is a whole 'nother thing. And what the well-established authors can do is also a whole 'nother thing. But if you're asking about a manuscript that hasn't sold to an editor yet - that manuscript is in trouble.

Susan G.

veinglory
05-23-2005, 04:32 PM
It would be damaging, yes. Romance readers may be looking for a certain positive and familiar experiences, but they are at least as selective as other readers when it comes to the basics of writing a narrative.

reph
05-24-2005, 06:27 AM
I hoped for an answer that would get everyone off the hook, like "Well, there is this one subgenre where telling instead of showing is okay." I didn't expect that kind of answer, though. Thanks for your opinions. They will very likely influence the course of the project.

reph
05-25-2005, 09:27 AM
The publisher has now withdrawn the book from production in order to correct its faults.

veinglory
05-25-2005, 12:16 PM
Umm. How enigmatic. How about telling us more?

reph
05-25-2005, 05:20 PM
I'm leaving out details so I won't compromise anyone's privacy.

maestrowork
05-25-2005, 05:26 PM
I am surprised the publisher would actually acquire the book in the first place with all those flaws.