Tuesday, July 12

Give me PLOT!

Our theme here this week...what ruins a book for you?

I've said it enough times you all ought to be able to chant it with me...STUPID HORSE STUFF.

I cannot stand rearing, screaming stallions, double riders, heroes who abuse horses out of angst... You all know the drill by now.

I don't need to go over it again! Do I???

Nope.

So, what else ruins a book for me?

No plot.

One thing that really irks me is when I hear the uneducated say "I could never write a Harlequin, there's not enough plot" I want to scream! Just try it. I have written several HQ-geared books, and trust me, there's been a plot. A big plot.

Some stories, both short and long, don't have enough plot to fill out a tin cup, so the author relies upon drawing out the conflict, saying it over and over and over. Ugh. I got it, now give me some storyline!

I love stories full of twists and turns and intrigue and mystery.

If a book plods along--boy meets girl--they fight--they make up--they live happily ever after, it equals a big yawn for me.

I want to be surprised. Not see what's coming next, like here--what's beyond the bend in this creek?

We write romance, we know there's a HEA, but I need to be engaged along the way.

28 comments:

  1. Cool blog post!!!
    I'm with you. If the plot is simply boy meets girl--they fight--have sex--and decide they love each other at the end, then that's yawns vill for me. I like twists and turns--emotional upheaval. I WANT TO CRY AND YELL AT THE CHARACTERS.

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  2. LOL Stupid Horse Stuff. Yeah--ur right:)

    Yes, def need plot and a strong enough goal that will keep us wanting to turn the pages.

    Great post!

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  3. Great post D'Ann! Love the horse stuff :) I agree with you on this. Anyone who says HQ doesn't have a plot has never tried to write one! I, too, love more suspense and action-of course in mine that includes bullets flying, lol!

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  4. Great post and in total agreement. I need a plot and some suspense as to what is going to happen.

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  5. I agree with you totally. A story that is supposed to be a romance but has no plot is just PWP (porn without plot). I am not into that!

    Thanks for the great post.

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  6. Couldn't agree more, D'Ann. What I think a lot of people forget is that you don't have to write suspense or horror to have those twists and turns. For me plot starts with character and motivation and the storyline flows from there.

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  7. I just read something on Janet Reid's Blog (agent) She liked a book w/no plot.

    I think there are people who like to step inside lives (not sayin' that's Janet :)) and just ride along in the character's life.

    Myself: big on suspense plots. Jayne Ann Krentz did a top workshop on this some time ago.

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  8. I just read something on Janet Reid's Blog (agent) She liked a book w/no plot.

    I think there are people who like to step inside lives (not sayin' that's Janet :)) and just ride along in the character's life.

    Myself: big on suspense plots. Jayne Ann Krentz did a top workshop on this some time ago.

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  9. Good post. Makes me squirm a bit, since plot is one of my very weakest points, but I know you're right.

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  10. I totally agree. Not about the horses, I know nothing about that, but the plot. I want twists and turns and surprises!

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  11. Before I started penning, I read. I'd read everything from the back of cereal boxes to my favorite authors. If I didn't like a book, I wasn't able to put my finger on why...until I started writing and studying the craft.

    By Ch. 3 I can usually tell if the book I'm reading stays next to my chair or ends up as a giveaway. Plot has everything to do with a story.

    Even children's books have a plot!

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  12. Great blog! I have to agree with everyone else. There has to be more to a story. Situations and circumstances that try to keep the hero/heroine apart and them overcoming in the end to achieve their hea. That to me makes a good read.

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  13. I agree. I feel insulted when there's only sex scenes and no real plot. I wants a good story with well-developed characters.

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  14. We could never get tired of your horse stuff... :-)

    I agree, as I think everyone else does, I need a book with a plot. It's probably the reason I never got into erotica (no offence to those who write it--I know you have to have a plot) but there usually isn't enough plot to keep me interested. I like my twists and turns and lots of sub-plots...and that's what I like to write too.

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  15. D: I agree with you on plot -- and, unfortunately, it's what I struggle with most in my own writing. And I agree with the horse stuff you mention, except for the double riders thing, which I've found can be very fun and romantic...intimate, even. Would you mind sharing a little more info on why double-riding drives you crazy? Curious me! Thanks! SR

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  16. Oh man...hang on to your hats everybody...D'Ann'll answer Sophia's question now.

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  17. Oooo! This sounds good. Have to admit, though, I'm shaking a bit in my boots!

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  18. You can have at me as well, D'Ann. In my Victorian I have the heroine riding double (only a few block through a town). Otherwise there was a hitching thing to do and a girl had been kidnapped so time was of the essence.

    Whew! Confession is good for the soul.

    I have to have plot to keep me interested. The more you can keep me from guessing what's going to happen (not always easy) the better you hook me. I am a plotter, hands down, and that's one of the main things I look for.

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  19. What a question. I have to finish a book I start, now a great book is done that day and one I don't care for can drag on for a week. The worst kind of book for me is the one where the girl likes the boy, the boy likes the girl but they spend the first 2/3 of the book reminding themselves why they can't be together then the last 1/3 they finally get toghether. After that that author throws some action into the mix and calls it good. Boring.

    The other ones I don't care for are long series, that rehash the same plot with different character names. There are some authors who are on book 20 in the series and each are different, the same characters with the same personality doing the same things but each book is truly different. While others are on book 10 and the last 5 have been the same thing.

    Oh, and one more. The book that spends 3/4 of the begining recaping what went on in the last book, then finally getting into something new only to end that book without any conclusion with what had happened.

    I think that is all the ones I don't like. LOL

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  20. I can't handle human torture or extreme abuse - especially not of children. Other than that I'm pretty open. Good post.

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  21. Sophia~
    No need to shake in your boots, or anywhere else. The reason double riding bugs me so bad is because I coached horsebowl teams for almost 16 years, and in that time, I came to learn that a horse's kidney's are right where the double rider is. Think about a weight riding on your kidneys, bouncing around, and how much that would hurt over time.
    I also find adult double riding with a saddle to be impractical. Only two children fit comfortably in a saddle. Again, if the girl sits on the guy's lap, she has to sit sideways, putting undue pressure on a horse's withers.
    I'm all about the horses.

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  22. I hope it's obvious that last poster is me. Stupid Blogger won't take my own comments.

    I can't thank everyone enough for coming by and leaving comments! You're the best!

    D'Ann

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  23. Makes sense; it's nice to learn something new. I used to ride when I was younger. We often doubled up bareback and never thought a thing about it...other than wanting to have the horse to ourselves, of course. Thanks for the explanation!

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  24. Sophia~
    Two kids bareback is whole other animal. Not a problem in the world with that. Most kids are light enough that it won't hurt a horse, and they also sit far enough ahead to not be right over kidneys.

    Thanks so much for coming to our blog!

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  25. HQ books have no plot? Lol. I tried writing HQ style and it was harder to plot and write than a single-title!
    I like twists and turns too, and absolutely hate a book that reads telegraphed, like I can see on Page 10 where this is going and how it'll take me there, because the author has laid it all out already.

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  26. I have to have a plot! No plot, no read. That's just me.

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  27. Great post, D'Ann! Unfortunately, I think plot is where I stuggle the most, but at least I admit it, right? I tend to have a lot of internal angst and conflict, but not so much externally.

    But I also hate when an author tosses in external factors that feel extraneous just to liven up the external conflict. For me, this is such a delicate balance.

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  28. Love this post. Now must master the skill myself. LOL!
    Thanks D'Ann for sharing.

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