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Lorreign
08-19-2007, 12:44 AM
So on my book, I'm toying with the career my hero has. He does well, since he is in like the top 40 most eligible bachelors or something like that, but what is his career? Does he own his own company? Was it inherited? Is he the bastard son of a European prince? lol. My first thought was that he owns a record label and the story is set in Nashville. But I haven't done any research yet so it isn't solid. I've never seen that done before though...but certainly it would be more refreshing than the multi-millionaire greek business tycoon? lol. What do you think, what are the most used careers for the heros?

What about the heroine? She's certainly easier I guess since most of the time, she ends up being happy homemaker cause he can provide more than enough to support whatever family they might have. Teacher, librarian, owns a bookstore that has been in the family for generations...a writer! lol. I can't think of the more used careers for heroines since mostly what I read is historicals where women didn't have jobs XD. So far my heroine works in a local library while she's going to school part-time to be a teacher. Easy enough I guess. I'm still refining the details. But what are the most used careers for the heroines?

And finally, does the career being used too much really affect the book overall? Sure if you look at ALL books as a whole, it is a bit unrealistic that there are THAT many billionaires with their own companies in the world, but who really looks at it that way? lol. I think I could deal with another European billionaire as long as the rest of the book was good. I dunno, what do you think?

I start too many topics XD. I'm sorry, I am just brimming with the need to discuss stuff like this. Perhaps I shall browse through the old topics and see what I can collect that way.

AndiB
08-19-2007, 12:56 AM
To play the devil's advocate...why does she have to be the happy homemaker? Why can't he become Mr. Mom. For that matter why do they have to be wealthy? Couldn't he be as believable as a fireman, police officer, ambulance driver (guess I'm in a true hero frame of mind today), or a helicopter pilot for the local TV news station?

Why can't she be the CFO, CPA, or the owner of the local ice cream shop?

Just my little two cents and my goodness I'm getting ideas over the ice cream shop thing.

Lorreign
08-19-2007, 01:07 AM
I think for the most part, or well, I assume for some part, that women want to be carried away. I think there is some small part in all of us (well, maybe not all) that wants to be dominated. A secret desire, maybe. They might often read romances that follow a similar pattern, like cinderella stories, etc. If the tables were reversed, to me, it just doesn't seem as right. Not that it would be wrong, but I dunno, imagine a Duchess or whatever who falls in love with a pick pocket thief (who doesn't turn out to be a true prince or king or other high title, just a street urchin). To me, if the female were the dominating role, it just wouldn't appeal to me. Simply because I don't want to dominate, I want to be dominated.

The best equation is when both are equal. Where one isn't dirt poor and one filthy rich, but rather both living comfortably, if even one better than the other.

That is just my opinion and my tastes, but everyone is different. Part of it I guess is that I WANT to be a happy homemaker who stays at home and takes care of the kids and cleans and writes when she can.

veinglory
08-19-2007, 01:13 AM
A lot of woman may want to be dominated or to fantasise about this. But those of us who don't, even as a fantasy, have a hell of a time finding romance to read and are often implicitly told either we aren;t romance readers or aren't even really women. I want romance with submissive males. The romance books I have found in this area, well, it is less than 10. But there is a difference between the subordinate-fantasising 'type' and being female. I also think blurbs should indicate subordination so I can avoid it rather than giving it as the ubiquitous norm.

As for careers, they should be intergral. A marine who cries when she chips her nail, a reporter who runs around all day without producing copy, a squeamish veterinarian who isn't busy all day dosing and operating etc--these annoy me. Career women (and men) should be shown doing their career and what is shown should be accurate.

Cathy C
08-19-2007, 01:13 AM
And see, that's exactly why I can't stand to read a lot of the Regencies or historicals. I can't imagine wanting to be taken care of, nor bonding with a guy who'd want to take care of me. So, I tend to create "equals who don't really need each other, but love each other." That tends to make our books appeal more to the urban fantasy reader than the romance readers. Because I think that you're right and some women really DO long to be taken care of--and whether that comes down to mean "dominated" I'll leave to individual discretion. ;)

Lorreign
08-19-2007, 01:25 AM
lol I don't mean dominated as in the female has no will of her own. It seems hard to put into words. Like, they are both equal to each other, but the male is usually the stronger of the two, the shoulder, but he's got a sensitive side too. It is easier to write contemporary where it is realistic that both would hold upstanding roles and one isn't higher than the other by gender or position.

Now, I have read some BAD books that do put the female as some brainless twit and those do annoy me. Where is her fire? Or sometimes they give her TOO much fire and she doesn't want to compromise with the hero at all (how does a relationship work like that?).

I think if the hero is made to be outstandingly rich, the heroine has to have some pull of her own that makes her just as important, if just to the hero. And vice versa. Cause sometimes what you need isn't wealth, but something else. Like maybe they own that building that you need to demolish to build your theatre? etc.

Equality is best, but I think it would be OK if the scales were tipped just a LITTLE bit, but more than that and you are in the danger zone.

Oh dear, weren't we supposed to be talking about overused CAREERS of characters? LOL.

AndiB
08-19-2007, 01:40 AM
Call me crazy but I don't see fireman, cops, or helicopter pilots as submissive men by any means. Not normally wealthy by any means but certainly not exactly submissive. I happen to be married to a computer program who defies all stereotypes when it comes to dominance because he is certainly no mild mannered geek.

My point was that we often limit our character's career options by stereotyping them.

BTW there are MANY romantically/sexually submissive people who have high-demand/high-power careers. The ability to be submissive when not in the corporate world provides a sense balance in their lives.

veinglory
08-19-2007, 01:44 AM
I know what you meant, it just bothers me. In fact swapping hero/heroine in your description what match what I am looking for. Having not found it I write and read gay romance instead. The romance genre in general does a *very* poor job of realising the alpha-male-averse reader even exists. But we do. So far books where the female is stronger or at least a true equal are all but impossible to find outside of BDSM which is not my thing.

What sort of careers were you considering--you left that pretty open?

Lorreign
08-19-2007, 01:50 AM
To me, firemen and cops aren't uncommon roles that men will play in books in my reading experience, especially cops (though secret agents are probably MORE common, but same kind of idea...kind of.). But the stereotype in them I guess is that the author usually makes them men. Firemen especially since a lot of the volunteer fire departments around here don't allow women to join (talk about sexist! lol).

If I'm reading contemporary, I don't want the heroine to be totally indepted to the hero, that I will admit. Like I read this novella once where the heroine was the hero's mistress and at the beginning, he gave her a choice to either stay on as his secretary or be his mistress. Of course she chose mistress. To me that screams that she had no self-worth, but her reasoning was that it was the only way she could be with him boo-hoo. And of course, he wasn't the PDA type of guy either. To me, it would have been more interesting for her to defy him and be his secretary and have the sexual tension of those close quarters just explode around them until they couldn't avoid it anymore.

Veinglory - I was just wondering what you guys thought were overused careers in books. Oh by the way, have you ever read Poppy Z. Brite? I've never read her, but I've been told she does a lot of the gay romance too. I want to read her books but my library doesn't have any of them.

veinglory
08-19-2007, 01:55 AM
I think the careers need to support whatever basic plot you have in mind. Most people spend enough time at work that it will need to be the right frame for them meeting and their conflict.

Careers I am tired of include male: cop, 'businessman', lawyer, cowboy and female: lawyer, reporter, veterinarian, psychologist. Nothing, however, bothers me more than people seeming to have all the money in the world with no real explanation of where they get it or have careers but spend no apparent time doing them.

Lorreign
08-19-2007, 02:01 AM
Nothing, however, bothers me more than people seeming to have all the money in the world with no real explanation of where they get it or have careers but spend no apparent time doing them.

Oh I totally agree on that one! And usually with scenarios like that, the hero takes off weeks for vacation or decides to blow off the office to take the heroine out to lunch...I would think that if you got in the position to be in that position, you aren't the family man who is home by 5 everyday. The only way I would think that could be decently explained is if it is old family wealth, but even then it is quite unrealistic.

Cathy C
08-19-2007, 02:53 AM
Now, something I WOULD buy is for the hero (or, even better--the HEROINE) to have done something really, really smart--like buy a whole bunch of penny stock in Google because he really did think it would hit big, and then he cashed in. Or he founded something like YouTube or Ebay as a lark/to fill a personal need and it took off, or is even the next Ron Popiel. Then he has plenty of money, and plenty of time and isn't sure quite what to do with either one. :)

Lorreign
08-19-2007, 03:04 AM
an Internet mogul, yeah that sounds possible. LOL What if you wrote a romance with Tom of myspace as the hero. Of course you couldn't, but the thought is amusing.

clara bow
08-19-2007, 03:14 AM
IMHO, I don't think it matters what career you choose. Choose what's exciting for you to write (and however much research you can stand doing). It all comes down to execution. You can refresh any type of of-used character career--or be lazy and do a retread. I don't question the author's choice of career for the characters unless it's done incompetently.

Stacia Kane
08-19-2007, 04:19 AM
Personally, if I never read another romance where the heroine writes romances it will be too soon. This seems especially prevalent in erotic romance.

Sonarbabe
08-19-2007, 05:00 AM
Personally, if I never read another romance where the heroine writes romances it will be too soon. This seems especially prevalent in erotic romance.

Erm, my heroine writes romance in my upcoming story. :o FWIW, she has a raging case of writer's block.

job
08-19-2007, 05:14 AM
Whatever careers you pick, you're going to be doing a lot of research on it and a lot of writing about it.
Why not pick two careers that interest you, or that you know something about already?

If you actually NEED to make your hero one of the top 100 rich bachelors in the country, it limits you.
If you just need him to be rich and self-confident and powerful, you have a lot more freedom.

So maybe approach it ...

"What kind of job would the hero I'm thinking about seek out?"
"What job works well to create story conflict with the heroine?"
"What job gives them the best chance of a HEA?"
"What job has elements I can pick out and use in the story?"

Then, when you have that profession picked, figure out a way to make somebody in the job reasonably rich.

So maybe your ichthyologist does undersea treasure hunting on the side, with tremendous success.
Maybe your artist in glass sells them for $8000 a shot.
Maybe your building contractor did some wise investment in land.
Maybe your archeologist wrote a best selling popularization.


Can I add one thought on women's work?

Lots of our readers are stuck in dull jobs.
They like to see women doing interesting work or important work because they wish their work were interesting and impotant.

Because they work, they want to know that working is valuable.
But they know the real payoff is home and family, which is why they read Romance, after all.

So HEA works if it's centered around home and family. Works fine.
You can also leave the door open to a future career HEA if you want, without much investment.

jodiodi
08-19-2007, 06:56 AM
One reason I write paranormal and fantasy means I don't have to worry much about jobs. My heroine in my fantasy was a student and when she got to where she was supposed to go, she was pretty much equal to the hero--she became a warrior.

In the ones I'm writing set in contemporary times, my heroines have work from home jobs that make pretty good money for them. one is a free-lance reporter. Another is an archivist hired to organize and catalogue the collections of a deceased explorer. There's a home-based medical transcriptionist and the other is a consultant.

The heroes have all been otherworldly except for the fantasy one. He's a warrior prince.

As a reader, I don't really care about the mundane day-to-day details. I want to read something exciting and different. I know all about paying bills and working and having my car repaired and such. I don't particularly want to be dominated, but I like the 'Cinderella' fantasy sometimes. I like having them be equals, but I like the idea of knowing someone will take care of me if I need it. Knowing he's got my back. That's how my heroes and heroines interact, usually. The heroes support the heroines and let them stand on their own, but are there for them when they need them and vice versa.

I don't like submissive men. I have no respect for them and so I don't like to read about them. I like a man who can give me a challenge both in real life and in the books I read. If i've got to take care of a man, he's useless to me. I have my own issues and don't need some needy guy.

But that's just my opinion.

Josie
08-19-2007, 08:21 AM
Veinglory mentions the profession of a "cop" or "agent" for the hero....I'm tired of that one...why so many cops and agents? Aren't those occupations get worn thin?

Cheers :)

Lorreign
08-19-2007, 08:33 AM
cop isn't so bad, at least it is something that is attainable by the average joe.

I once read a book where the hero was a retired (I think he resigned or something) cop who wrote suspense thrillers. That was an interesting choice I'd say, you go Sandra Brown! lol.

jodiodi
08-19-2007, 08:51 AM
There are plenty of attainable occupations: Nurse, teacher, soldier, check-out clerk at a supermarket, stocker at Wal-Mart, farmer, chef, student, insurance adjuster, vet, radiology tech, car salesperson ... the list goes on forever. Unless the occupation is key to the plot, you can pick any one you like.

Cathy C
08-19-2007, 08:23 PM
I tried to make a hero a manager of WalMart (although I called it "QualMart," an up and coming competitor.) Our editor said no and so did several others we tried to sell the idea to. Seems that normal "dull" jobs won't sell to the majority of readers. I think it goes back something a reader once said about the heroine in our first book, who was too "real" with mental health issues and a low self-esteem. The reader said something to the effect of, "I want to read about people who have BETTER lives than me. That's how I escape FROM my life. If I want to know about someone with an average, cr*ppy life, all I have to do is look out my window in any direction." :ROFL:

Susan Gable
08-19-2007, 10:19 PM
Erm, my heroine writes romance in my upcoming story. :o FWIW, she has a raging case of writer's block.

LOL. Ummmm...I seem to recall taking you to task on her career, too. <G>

Sorry, Sonarbabe. :)

Susan G.

Susan Gable
08-19-2007, 10:28 PM
I sort of like the role reversals, with the men being the more nurtering, etc.

I've had heroes who were: an architect, a psychologist, a computer guru who ran his own programming company, and a hero who was the Chief Engineer at a tv station. :)

Hereos in process include a social worker who runs an adoption agency, a zoo Director, a war correspondent, a chef, and...that's all I can think off the top of my head. <G>

Realistic, totally not glam jobs.

Susan G.

pepperlandgirl
08-19-2007, 10:28 PM
I just want to add my two cents. I'm tired of romance novels that don't seem interested in allowing the woman to have her own life and career. I mean hell, our heroine's career, and the importance of it in her life, played a major role in our recent Samhain release, and it was such a departure that Mrs. Giggles commented on it specifically when she reviewed the title.

Women are capable of being something other than librarians and teachers.

I hope my husband didn't expect me to be the "happy little home-maker" when he married me. If so, he's probably gravely disappointed. He cooks the meals, does the laundry, and makes sure we don't live in squalor. I write books, go to school full time, teach writing courses, and work another part-time job.

Stacia Kane
08-19-2007, 10:35 PM
My heroines: hematologist, sales clerk, Yoga instructor, accountant, private detective/bounty hunter, sales/product manager for a distillery, therapist...um...

My heroes, though, tend to unfailingly be wealthy businessmen, mostly because they're also paranormal creatures and so have had years to amass empires. One (of my non-para guys) was a teacher, and one worked in advertising...

Sonarbabe
08-19-2007, 11:36 PM
LOL. Ummmm...I seem to recall taking you to task on her career, too. <G>

Sorry, Sonarbabe. :)

:ROFL:Yeah, I know you did. LOL. It's okay, though. In my current one, I'm doing a spin on the boss/secretary scenario. He's the CEO of a department store in NYC and she's his personal assistant. Of course she has tons of business skills that she'll be utilizing in the next couple of chapters while getting through his thick melon that yes, she does love him--even if he does like to pretend he's a jerk.

HoosierCowgirl
08-20-2007, 05:23 AM
My heroines have been ... a dairy farm manager; a therapeutic riding instructor; a banker; an ER nurse; a writer; a fabric artist; and in my historical projects, weaver, mid-wife, farmer's daughter running the show while the men-folk are fighting the War Between The States ..

Heroes have been ... a large-animal veterinarian who hates working on horses; a horse shoer; farmer; policeman who's thinking of quitting and becoming a farmer; a train engineer; utility lineman; and historically, several Civil War soldiers; farmers; school teachers; a frontier doctor; a weaver; and the owner-operator of a grist mill.

Do you think these guys sound too blue-collar? I can't help it if they do -- most guys look better in work clothes ;)

author_martina
08-21-2007, 12:25 AM
I think it's not a matter of attainable or realistic, what's important is how you create the characters and what they do. For me reading romance is escapism so I am much more interested in how excited I get about the characters and their story than what job title you give them.

kimb68
08-21-2007, 05:20 PM
Um, my heroine works as an AIDS project assistant at a social marketing firm and by the end of the book is considering heading off to grad school for a Masters in public health. My hero is a former partner in a buyout firm, currently a corporate negotiator, and by the end of the book is unemployed and broke.

For the record, I really detest all these marginal, low-paying jobs that women seem to have in romance: caretaker, horse trainer (or anything having to do with animals), struggling small business owner, secretary, librarian, matchmaker. Occasionally, you get a high-powered executive, but she's inevitably an irrational, emotional wreck.

As for the heroes, don't get me started on NAVY Seals. It's like Dukes in regencies. They must outnumber their real-world counterparts at least 1,000 to 1.

Of course, a good writer can make even these tired cliches work...

Crinklish
08-21-2007, 06:23 PM
Going way, way back to Lorreign's original question, she mentioned considering making her hero a music mogul, because she hadn't seen much of that. The prevailing wisdom is that, strangely enough, rock stars (or country stars, in this case) don't sell, in the same way that as a rule, sports stars don't sell. That said, Susan Elizabeth Phillips might beg to differ :). But if you're free to pick any career you want, I'd recommend playing it safe and not choosing the music world, because as an editor, I'd consider that a hurdle to overcome, rather than an asset.

Lorreign
08-21-2007, 08:18 PM
I decided against that cause I have no idea how to research it and make it believable. What about owning an apple orchard or a wine vineyard? And he refused to live in the house on the land because it deserves a family, something he can't give it. lol.

Crinklish
08-21-2007, 08:46 PM
I think seeing a job like vintner from the inside would be cool--there certainly have been stories set in that world before (there's an old Lisa Jackson Harlequin, among others), but I think there's plenty of room for updating. I'm not as sold on the "house needs a family" part, but that could be simply because I am cynical and black of heart.

Susan Gable
08-21-2007, 10:07 PM
I think the problem with the "glamor" jobs - rock star, sports star, etc. -- is that it's hard to buy into the HEA fantasy. We see these guys in real life, most of the time they're crashing and burning their lives.

So women (who constitute the majority of our audience) have a hard time buying into a HEA for one of these guys.

Also, there's the fact that many women who are sports widows turn toward our novels to get away from the reason the guy in their life is ignoring them. :)

Not saying these are MY opinions, just that I've heard all of this tossed around before in discussions about careers.

Susan G.

AndiB
08-21-2007, 10:52 PM
I think that's another problem I have. I see a lot of characters in jobs that require 80+ hours a week of work and yet they have all this free time in which to fall in love. It doesn't jive well with me. But that's just me. I want them to be believable and everyone can't be an oil tycoon or independently wealthy. If there were as many as I find in romance novels I would have met one by now (I've certainly read about enough).

StoryG27
08-21-2007, 11:11 PM
I happen to be married to a computer program who defies all stereotypes when it comes to dominance because he is certainly no mild mannered geek.
Me too, well sort of. I am married to an Army soldier and a sniper at that! Talk about stereo-types. And he is the sweetest most nurturing man you could ever know. He's exceptionally smart and light hearted. He is in no way submissive, but neither am I. There really doesn't have to be a submissive person in the mix as long as neither one is overbearing.

I don't mind if the hero and heroine have typical careers, as long as they don't conform to the stereo-types. When I'm reading a story, I like to be surprised and entertained. It is very hard to surprise or entertain a reader if the character is a stereo-type.

ZannaPerry
08-22-2007, 12:20 AM
Well, I have my hero switching from a negotiator to a fighter (boxer.) And my heroine...well, she pretty much is great all around and money comes easy for her. No, she is not a hooker, whore, or stripper. She's just......can't describe her just yet.

You see, I would love to make my hero something to do with the FBI or being a spy, but it wouldn't really fit well in my story. And hero cops are used over so many times.

job
08-22-2007, 05:47 AM
, I really detest all these marginal, low-paying jobs that women seem to have in romance: caretaker, horse trainer (or anything having to do with animals), struggling small business owner, secretary, librarian, matchmaker....

I'm with you in re secretary.
(Edited to amend that -- some secretarial jobs are intriguing. I used to work in overseas places where the secretaries were at least bilingual and earned twice as much as the 'junior executives'.)

The rest of them sound like interesting jobs that just don't pay well.

Isn't there something to be said for doing what you love, and not worrying about money?
(Jo, looking wryly at the royalty checks ...)

Susan Gable
08-22-2007, 05:56 AM
Regarding Matchmakers -- there is a cool new tv show about a matchmaker in Buffalo, NY, and she is just a PIP! Man, she calls 'em like she sees 'em, and I really like her a lot. She'd make a great character, let me tell you. :)

Susan G.

Marian Perera
08-22-2007, 04:30 PM
I would love to read a romance where the heroine was a scientist - someone who was intelligent, genuinely loved research and who didn't think she was plain or frumpy because she had to tie back her hair, put a lab coat on or wear glasses/goggles. If there was a sex scene in the laboratory, that would be even hotter (maybe they could start the big centrifuge spinning and make out on that). Of course, I'll probably end up writing this myself. :)

job
08-23-2007, 02:16 AM
I would love to read a romance where the heroine was a scientist

Nobody's Baby But Mine. SEP. Lovely book.

rihannsu
08-24-2007, 12:40 AM
I've gone on a tear recently and had my heroines entrepreneurs or artists. I think I'm playing out my fantasy of self- employment through my characters. ;)

loathlylady
08-24-2007, 03:12 PM
What if you wrote a romance with Tom of myspace as the hero. Of course you couldn't, but the thought is amusing.

Oh my god, that made me laugh and laugh. What popped into my head was a terrible, terrible parody of romances:

"But, Tom," she typed furiously into the instant messenger window, "why must you be everybody's friend? What about me? Why am I not in your Top 8?"

"DarkeChylde83, my love," he typed back tenderly, "if you cannot understand my need to unite and inform the peoples of Myspace, then there can be no future for us. I am like the wind and must caress the cheeks of the world, impartially and without question."


I think that's another problem I have. I see a lot of characters in jobs that require 80+ hours a week of work and yet they have all this free time in which to fall in love.

That's not just a problem with white-collar jobs in romances. I'm thinking specifically about Westerns, where the cowboys have been driving several hundred longhorns down the trail, from dawn to dusk, and the hero still has the energy to lure the heroine to a nearby stream and throw her into the arms of bliss. Er, what? She doesn't have traildust in all her nooks and crannies? He isn't thinking about eating some beans and crawling gratefully into his bedroll? Nope, they're gonna knock boots two or three times beneath a willow.

My favorite contemporary portrayal of a working lug is in a novel that I can't remember the name of (His Brother's Wife? His Brother's Keeper? Something like one of those), where the hero is a western Canadian cattle rancher. He gives a little speech towards the end about how being married to him isn't going to be easy because he comes home smelling bad and dog-tired, and sometimes he falls asleep in the bathtub. The part about falling asleep in the bathtub really clinched the character for me -- I grew up on a farm, and I can't even count the number of times I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and had to pound on the door because my dad had fallen asleep in the tub again.

I think there's room in the world of romance for more blue-collar-ish jobs. Not everybody has to be a mogul or a Greek prince or a Scottish laird. Gimme a guy from Maine who catches lobsters or a helicopter mechanic or a pharmacist.

Susan Gable
08-24-2007, 04:23 PM
I think there's room in the world of romance for more blue-collar-ish jobs. Not everybody has to be a mogul or a Greek prince or a Scottish laird. Gimme a guy from Maine who catches lobsters or a helicopter mechanic or a pharmacist.

Yeah! :)

I have a friend who wrote a novel with a scientist hero -- he wrote the heroine a Newtonian love letter. ("I was a stationary object until you acted upon me..." LOL. Something like that, anyway.)

Susan G.

Manat
08-24-2007, 07:35 PM
[quote=Cathy C;1560565]I tried to make a hero a manager of WalMart (although I called it "QualMart," an up and coming competitor.) Our editor said no and so did several others we tried to sell the idea to. Seems that normal "dull" jobs won't sell to the majority of readers.

Maybe not, but one of my favorite super jerk movie heros was Ash from the Evil Dead series.

Shop Smart. Shop S Mart

Judith



http://www.Judithjamesauthor.com

Manat
08-24-2007, 07:59 PM
Just thinking a bit more about heros and Lost came to mind. The obvious guy, hunky do right Dr. Jack, really annoyed me. I have to say I much preferred Sawyer and Sayid, though I don't know how a con man or an ex army torturer would work in a romance novel.

loathlylady
08-29-2007, 03:22 AM
Yeah! :)

I have a friend who wrote a novel with a scientist hero -- he wrote the heroine a Newtonian love letter. ("I was a stationary object until you acted upon me..." LOL. Something like that, anyway.)

Susan G.

Ah, man, that would be an amazing love letter. Far preferable to stealing from Shakespeare -- how many times has the sun risen in that balcony, now?

readitnweep
03-22-2012, 11:05 PM
If you actually NEED to make your hero one of the top 100 rich bachelors in the country, it limits you. Very true - and, as a reader, I look for stories where the main characters aren't on top of the universe. Successful in their profession or calling- yes. The richest man on earth? No. Wise input that the globe-trotting billionaire may limit you.


They like to see women doing interesting work or important work because they wish their work were interesting and impotant...

So HEA works if it's centered around home and family. Works fine.
You can also leave the door open to a future career HEA if you want, without much investment.I choose to concentrate on different things once I had kids, so my life is far from glitz and glamour, BUT I run from stories where the heroine is any of the following: a model, actress, reporter, fashion buyer. I may miss some good stories that include these professions effectively, but I've read so many stories that do not that I avoid them, perhaps unfairly so.

I do find heroines who have started their own businesses interesting, showing the challenges of doing so and how she overcomes them. I far prefer charactes I can relate to those I can't, but I guess I'm in the minority there.

Mr Flibble
03-23-2012, 05:27 AM
I don't know how a con man or an ex army torturer would work in a romance novel.


I've had a mass murderer a suicidal junkie, a murderous pirate and a mute viking as LIs. Oh and a misogynist woman 'lover'

It IS possible. It's more working out why this man needs to love/be loved. And why this chick is the right chick.,

So one MC is X

What makes other MC the antidote to that? Why do they fit? This is the question we all need to answer in romance fiction - what hole in X's life/soul does Y fit?

oooh I came over all deep there. I may have to lie down.

Lil
03-23-2012, 05:52 AM
It's probably a good thing to remember that there are always new readers who have never before encountered the arrogant Greek billionaire, the jaded rake. the shy wallflower who only needed a red dress, etc.

Everything is new for some reader. And sometimes, striving for something new tumbles over into the ridiculous.

Fins Left
03-23-2012, 05:59 AM
Personally, if I never read another romance where the heroine writes romances it will be too soon. This seems especially prevalent in erotic romance.

YES! My first thought was the female writer. I'm so tired of them in books, movies, everything. There are plenty of jobs that allow you to frit around all day, please no more female writers who save the day!

ETA: I'm also tired of male writers too.

Lyra Jean
03-23-2012, 06:37 AM
So on my book, I'm toying with the career my hero has. He does well, since he is in like the top 40 most eligible bachelors or something like that, but what is his career? Does he own his own company? Was it inherited? Is he the bastard son of a European prince? lol. My first thought was that he owns a record label and the story is set in Nashville. But I haven't done any research yet so it isn't solid. I've never seen that done before though...but certainly it would be more refreshing than the multi-millionaire greek business tycoon? lol. What do you think, what are the most used careers for the heros?

What about the heroine? She's certainly easier I guess since most of the time, she ends up being happy homemaker cause he can provide more than enough to support whatever family they might have. Teacher, librarian, owns a bookstore that has been in the family for generations...a writer! lol. I can't think of the more used careers for heroines since mostly what I read is historicals where women didn't have jobs XD. So far my heroine works in a local library while she's going to school part-time to be a teacher. Easy enough I guess. I'm still refining the details. But what are the most used careers for the heroines?

And finally, does the career being used too much really affect the book overall? Sure if you look at ALL books as a whole, it is a bit unrealistic that there are THAT many billionaires with their own companies in the world, but who really looks at it that way? lol. I think I could deal with another European billionaire as long as the rest of the book was good. I dunno, what do you think?

I start too many topics XD. I'm sorry, I am just brimming with the need to discuss stuff like this. Perhaps I shall browse through the old topics and see what I can collect that way.

You do realize that to be a librarian you need a Master's degree while to become a teacher you only need a Bachelor's depending on what grade you are teaching.

frimble3
03-23-2012, 08:43 AM
You do realize that to be a librarian you need a Master's degree while to become a teacher you only need a Bachelor's depending on what grade you are teaching.
But to be a library clerk - the 'library lady' that most of the public interact with, checking books in and out, collecting fines, and putting books back on shelves, you often only need general office skills, esp. in smaller places.

Lyra Jean
03-23-2012, 05:36 PM
But to be a library clerk - the 'library lady' that most of the public interact with, checking books in and out, collecting fines, and putting books back on shelves, you often only need general office skills, esp. in smaller places.

True. I think library assistants also do not need an MA.

JMC2009
08-04-2012, 08:00 AM
But to be a library clerk - the 'library lady' that most of the public interact with, checking books in and out, collecting fines, and putting books back on shelves, you often only need general office skills, esp. in smaller places.

I can vouch for this... I have a couple of friends who work in libraries... One does thingskme acquisitions and dealing with fines and such and she had to have a masters. Another is a page shelving books and while she has a bachelors in psychology, she has coworkers who are in high school.

I thing one of the more annoying heroines I've read recently she was a teacher, supposedly the best in the nation working with troubled kids, but yet she let the hero (wealthy guardian of kid in question) basically steam roll right over her. I found myself with no respect for her and didn't even finish the book (unusual for me).

On the other hand, I read another book where the heroine was the owner of a scuba shop and the hero was a lawyer - both very dominant personalities which was fun because at ever disagreement there was always the question as to who would get their way. Helped to get from one scene to the next.

girlyswot
06-14-2013, 03:41 PM
Something that can be useful is to think of careers that bring inherent conflict. I've had a chef/food critic pairing and a marine biologist sheikh/oil tycoon pairing. In each case, the pairing of hero and heroine's careers was the source of their external conflict. Think about how their work will impact their lifestyles - again, this could be a source of conflict. What if one works Mon-Fri, while the other has a job that means they're travelling every weekend? And so on. For most people, work is a huge part of their lives, so it's bound to have an impact on their romance. So make sure their work works for you.

gingerwoman
07-24-2013, 11:04 AM
I don't want to read any more stories where the heroine is a waitress in a diner and the hero rescues her from her life of drudgery.

gothicangel
07-24-2013, 11:52 AM
And see, that's exactly why I can't stand to read a lot of the Regencies or historicals. I can't imagine wanting to be taken care of, nor bonding with a guy who'd want to take care of me. So, I tend to create "equals who don't really need each other, but love each other." That tends to make our books appeal more to the urban fantasy reader than the romance readers. Because I think that you're right and some women really DO long to be taken care of--and whether that comes down to mean "dominated" I'll leave to individual discretion. ;)

I agree, I don't like those kind of historicals. But it is also true that history is littered with strong female characters like Mary de Guise or Cartimandua who blow this whole stereotype of women out of the water. I write Roman historicals, and can point to the archaeological record that prove that women ran taverns in Pompeii or Empresses who where better politicans than their husbands. In my current WIP, my female lead is a Christian Deaconess in the 2nd century CE.

WormHeart
04-24-2014, 07:39 AM
From the total outside of the genre...

Do he have to be legit?

I mean, oodles of money, high self esteem, macho, can take time off when he wants.

So ... druglord?

Mafioso?

They dont have to be psycopaths, you could think up a reason for them to be "honorable" criminals. Heck, he could turn out to be undercover as the big reveal.

morngnstar
11-16-2014, 08:14 PM
Write the stories you would want to read, not what other people wish the genre would cater to. If you can relate better to a relationship in which the man is dominant, write that.

That said, I find the tendency to write stories about millionaire / billionaire men disturbing. It smacks of shallow greed for money. A man does not have to be a millionaire to be deserving of respect. Nor does he need a million dollars to be able to take care of you so that you can pursue an avocation instead of a paid career. You only need a millionaire if you want to buy a new pair of the hottest shoes every week, jet-set around the world, or spoil your kids with ponies and go-karts.

How about if, instead of a billionaire CEO of a major corporation, he is the founder of a medium-sized non-profit. He's not a volunteer; he pays himself a respectable salary appropriate to someone with his responsibilities, and sufficient to allow him, you, and children to live comfortably. Since his charity is up-and-coming and frequently featured in the news, and since he is handsome and charming, he is still one of the "top 40 most eligible bachelors" despite being #40 among them in net worth.

Maybe he is thoroughly capable enough to be a CEO worth billions in stock. Maybe he had an opportunity to go down that path. He had only to be complicit with a minor breach of ethics, and he would have been on his way, but he was too pure.

For the heroine, librarian is pretty cliche. Not everyone gets to have a job that relates to their passions (or rather your passions, as a reader and writer). If her real goal in life is to be a homemaker, then for now she's likely to just fall into whatever work pays the bills. Maybe she's close to her family. So maybe she has for the past couple years been working as a waitress for her uncle's catering company. Her humble career ambition is to move up to being the assistant chef.

Give her an avocation, too. Maybe she volunteers with kids. Maybe she has a creative hobby (but avoid writing - too self-referential). Maybe she studied history in college and collects antique maps. Whatever. Just something so she isn't passively pining away until Mr. Right comes along.

TessB
11-16-2014, 09:10 PM
For historicals, if you're willing to go down a social rung or two, there have always been women with jobs. My current WIP has an actress (alas! Overused, perhaps) and an abigail; the hero is a staymaker.

There are lots of well-paid professions that aren't terribly glamorous, mind you... Electrical engineers installing city-wide systems and the project manager he ticks off? Astronomer with some bestseller popular science publications and access to a planetarium late at night... The chemist who accidentally invents the next post-it note, and the lawyer trying to steal her patent for her employer? :D

frimble3
11-30-2014, 11:27 AM
I can vouch for this... I have a couple of friends who work in libraries... (snip) Another is a page shelving books and while she has a bachelors in psychology, she has coworkers who are in high school.

This could be kind of fun in a story. Maybe the MMC mistakes her for a librarian, and an actual librarian gets annoyed, and she has to explain, etc.

Littlebit66
12-06-2014, 02:32 AM
I'm personally not too fond of the wealthy man/poor woman trope because I'm not comfortable with my preteen daughter growing up with the idea that women need to be taken care of in stories (like so many Disney animated films) when at the same time we urge our daughters to get the best education to support themselves. I don't like characters like Bella Swan in "Twilight" who seems to have no other goal other than her relationship with Edward Cullen.

Partially in reaction to that, my WIP is more of a young adult/new adult romance between a couple in their 20's who meet in college. I'm planning to make the relationship equal by giving them both career goals where each one (at different times) is willing to break up with the other so as to not hold their partner back from achieving their professional dreams (The other partial reasons for the break ups are due to religious differences and later because of family obligations after a serious accident). Towards the end he converts on his own and they both realize that they love and need each other and decide to stay together after she moves out of state for a career opportunity. Luckily he gets a chance at a start up company close by.

lianna williamson
03-14-2015, 10:41 PM
Just piping in to say that although librarian and teacher are both traditionally "female" jobs, and although they frequently used as afterthought professions for Romance heroines, there is no reason you can't write about a librarian or teacher who takes her career seriously. Also, neither of these jobs is general; for example, a woman teaching Physical Science in an inner city middle school has a very different job than a woman teaching Drama in a performing arts boarding school or a woman teaching Kindergarten in a Midwestern farming town.

I am a teacher, and nearly all my friends are either teachers or librarians. We are passionate about what we do. Dismissing both fields as boring girl stuff is just as sexist as deciding all women secretly just want to be homemakers married to billionaires.

lexxi
06-10-2015, 08:52 PM
I'm not writing category romance, but the love story is pretty central in my current mystery work in progress.

The heroine is a stage manager and the love interest is a director who used to be cutting edge brilliant and she was a big fan of his work when she was in college. But now he's burnt out, recovering from a substance abuse problem, trying to rebuild his career from the bottom up. So they are closer equals working together at a level that would have been well beneath his notice when he was at his peak.

I had also done some collaborative writing with a partner a number of years back that focused on intrigues including romantic ones at a figure skating training center. There were two central interconnected love stories that we could have excerpted out as the focus of a romance-type novel: in that example, three of the four main characters were competitive skaters, and one was a musician/skating fan who started out carrying on an online relationship with someone she thought was another fan but was actually the champion skater she was a fan of. So there was some secret identity plotting going on there, before they finally met in person and all was revealed.

In both cases I'm interested in stories set within a somewhat-glamorous world that I do know something about but not on pure wish fulfillment. Not everyone is at the top of their field, and even the champion skater plot was more about how he deals with being fallible, and with retirement after not quite reaching his Olympic gold medal dream.

SiennaBloom
06-10-2015, 09:29 PM
Although this topic was originally started a long time ago, it interests me as well as the poster above me.
Personally, I do not read billionaire romances. I don't like the premise although I'm sure there are some really great love stories written with that premise, when I see that the hero is a billionaire in the blurb, I pass it by.

I am writing a series of 5 books. Here are the hero's careers for each: 1. Master's Degree Athletic Trainer, owns his own very small fitness center in a small town. (But he had dreams of things much bigger in his back story.) Novel is not about his training heroine. 2. Former military, back story, worked in a factory, did some house flipping. In the novel, he starts out unemployed actually and buys a run down motel that he plans to flip and ends up running with the heroine. 3. Youngest hero, inherited his father's contractor business, is a licensed contractor. 4. Fitness trainer (works for Hero #1), also a young hero (but novel is not about his training heroine). His character is not fully developed though. 5. Oldest hero, former Olympic Skier, now moving into retirement, works for Hero in #1 as a trainer.. not the emphasis of the novel. He is still competing in cross country skiing as well as mountain bike but not getting to nationals anymore.

Heroines careers: 1. Parole Agent (and absolutely loves her job, keeping it after the HEA). 2. Convenient store clerk ends up helping run the motel hero buys. 3. Musician. Very talented song writer, not so successful band. Wants to teach music. 4. Artist who ends up creating an event planning business (she will be more successful and earn more than the hero... I thought that was an interesting twist.) 5. Oldest heroine... yoga teacher for hero #1. I've been thinking of making her a writer or photographer as well. She's not fully developed.

travelgal
05-13-2017, 02:36 PM
Just piping in to say that although librarian and teacher are both traditionally "female" jobs, and although they frequently used as afterthought professions for Romance heroines, there is no reason you can't write about a librarian or teacher who takes her career seriously. Also, neither of these jobs is general; for example, a woman teaching Physical Science in an inner city middle school has a very different job than a woman teaching Drama in a performing arts boarding school or a woman teaching Kindergarten in a Midwestern farming town.

I am a teacher, and nearly all my friends are either teachers or librarians. We are passionate about what we do. Dismissing both fields as boring girl stuff is just as sexist as deciding all women secretly just want to be homemakers married to billionaires.

Ancient thread, but THIS. Even part-time, teaching is demanding, not some girly fluff.

I recall a time when very other job was the all important advertising executive. I detest rampant commercialism, and the billionaire trope reeked with the message us females are only good for is buying stuff we don't need, and being beautiful.

I'm one of those who thought 50 Shades was a mystery because of the cover. When I opened it, what a disappointment to discover another billionaire trope, and the heroine struck me as weak with no moral compass.