Categorically Part I, Wherein I Hate on Things

Sasha and I have decided to invite people to do a little novel writing experiment with us either next month or in July.  We’re going to write a category novel in a month.  Otherwise known as CatNoWriMo 😉  So I’ve been catching up my HQN Intrigues to get myself ready.

In honor of the big project, feel free to join in with us and we’ll take the Harlequin world by storm, I’m doing two blogs on my favorite and least favorite category subgenres.  I was going to start with favorites and move on to least favorites next week.  But lack of sleep has made me grumpy and scathing is all I have in me right now.  So we’ll start with negatives.  Because my weekend sucked and someone must pay.  (However, my daughter did take third in the large division poms at her cheerleading competition.  Which was like four hours in the seventh level of Hell.  H-E-L-L, Goooo hell!  Woooooo!)

Alright.  I have a least favorite category sub-genre and then a least favorite special circumstance of least favorite.  Which probably doesn’t make sense right now, but it will.

I can not stand romances with pregnant heroines.  Now let me clarify this.  This isn’t a hatred of secret baby books, or a hatred of books where the heroine GETS pregnant in the course of the book.  I hate books where the heroine starts out pregnant.  And doesn’t know the hero.  They meet while she’s pregnant.

Okay, I know this happens.  I know it does.  Because I’ve seen it.  A friend of mine met a man while she was pregnant and after she gave birth they were married.  And back in the day my best friends loved, loved, loved this trope.  But to me, this is the most absurdly unrealistic, unromantic, romance scenario ever created.  Do these writers know what people look like pregnant?  What they feel like?  I think they’re envisioning something a little bit more glamorous than I am when in a delicate condition.

Given you aren’t someone like Angelina Jolie, surrounded by an army of people who are there to make you look like a princess before you leave the house in the morning, the average pregnant woman looks like a truck in overalls.  When I’m pregnant my hair is always lank and always looks greasy and dirty no matter what I do to it.  My fingers are swollen, my face is round, my shoes are too tight and I have gas like my Uncle Louie.  I am anti interested in romance.  The idea of some man following behind me like a love-lorn calf, dodging my belches and brushing my hair, that falls out of my head like rain, off his khakis is bizarre.

Not to mention sex.  I mean, this is a romance novel. The assumption is that, unless this is an inspy or sweet, there’s going to be sex.  And the women in these books average around seven months pregnant.  Though the women on the covers look like they have a nine month pregnant belly superimposed on to their bodies, roughly where their thighs should be.  At seven months pregnant, sex is like a circus routine.  Lots of contortions and no little amount of tears.  And maybe some cotton candy.  And by eight months, forget it.  Nothing in the world is worth trying to get into the right position for sex.  And I mean nothing.  Orgasms for that much trouble aren’t worth it.  I’ll just go eat some of that cotton candy.

And now to the sub-trope of which I spoke.  I have a special hatred, deep in my heart, for the amnesiac mother to be.  HQN loves this scenario.   There’s so many pregnesiacs in the HQN world that you’d think they’d be pouring out the doors of every Babies R Us in the nation waiting for Navy Seals to swoop in and save them and their abnormally sagging uteri.

Seriously?  Do you know how many people actually have amnesia in a year?  The number is absurdly low.  And I doubt that many of them are pregnant.  But if HQN is to be believed, half of the babies being delivered this year will be to women who don’t even remember how they got pregnant.  (This is a special circumstance that may also be applied to people who drank a LITTLE too much eggnog at the company party or any circumstance involving Ruffies.)

Here’s a pointer for this ever increasing crowd of pregnesiacs.  In all likelihood, if you’re pregnant, you’re having sex.  And if you’re having sex there’s at least a 50/50 chance that you’re in a relationship.  Perhaps now is not the best time to leap head first into a new romance, guided by some instinct that tells you that you’re not married.  Like everyone has an inherent “marriage gland” that swells slightly when they’re married, giving off a vibe unmistakable even to those without memories.

Probably you should just wait until you get your memories back before you go mad with the man lust.  I’m just saying.

What are your least favorite category categories?




Filed under AJ, challenges, goals, Humor, rambling, writing

11 responses to “Categorically Part I, Wherein I Hate on Things

  1. ROFLMAO! You ought to write comedy. I have never laughed so hard. I agree there isn’t anything very romantic about the amount of gas my body produced during pregnancy. 🙂

  2. pregnesiacs! Love it!

  3. Kat

    OMG!!! I’m so with you on the pregnant heroine. Hate it, hate it. If, like you said, she is pregnant when she meets the hero. Another one I’m not too thrilled with are single mom books. Look, I know it happens, but often the kid is there for cutesy or heartstring factor reasons and it doesn’t work because instead of writing the kid naturally, the author makes it too much of whatever it is the kid is supposed to be: angsty, smart, adorable.

    Also, the innocent little wide-eyed lamb heroine. You don’t really see much of those these days, they were more of a trope of the late 70’s and 80’s.

  4. I think it seems as if they tried to hard when that story is in. Sometimes it works, but not very often.

    I’m trying to think of a specific trope that annoys me, but nothing’s coming to mind immediately. Of course, when I do figure it out, it will wake me up in the middle of the night. Perhaps when that happens, I will text myself to remember to come back here and tell you.

  5. talesfromthecrit

    Amanda, I actually do write comedy. See Cat and Mouse at Freya’s Bower. You might like it. 🙂 Leigh, that’s a good idea lol. Or you could just write it on a piece of paper that you’ll forget about until some later date and then you’ll wonder why you have something bizarre written on a lose piece of paper in your nightstand.


  6. talesfromthecrit

    Joy, I stole it from Harlequin themselves. They literally have a book called Pregnesia. Kat, I freaking hate children in books. I decided to concentrate on one hatred for the purposes of this blog, but kids in books are nails on a chalkboard irritating. And it’s as though the writer has never seen a child before. They’re all sickeningly sweet or stupidly Dennis the Menace like. And they never act age appropriate. They’re either nigh on functionally retarded for a child that age based on their behavior or ridiculously precocious and full of gagging advice for their hapless parent.


  7. Sasha

    I ❤ you! Oh the CatNoWriMo is going to be a blast. I laughed so much with this. Sagging uteri? Pregnesiacs? I'm still laughing.

    I confess, I like the kid ones and I used to get a kick out of the baby on the way ones when I was younger and didn't think it through. I'm still a sucker for the I-Just-Had/Inherited-A-Baby-But-The-Real-Dad's-Not-A-Prize. I actually have one plotted on my hard drive.

  8. Very funny! I just read a fiction in the m/m genre where the only thing that kept me going was the main characters. It annoyed the crap out of me how everyone in their little home town was gooey over the mens’ affair or so homophobic that they were trying to kill them. I still liked those guys by the end, though, so I’m glad they survived. 🙂

  9. Jeanette Murray

    I hate the “Prince of Madeup Country and The Nanny (or something similar).”

    …how many made up princes are there? Cause according to a quarterly review of Harlequin releases, there’s an entire separate universe full of hot, single princes just waiting for the first available uterus to walk on by for impregnation.

  10. I have NEVER read a Harlequin! Yikes. But I decided I need to get The Billionaire’s Contract Engagement (I may have spaced out on the title) by Maya Banks (I have the author right). I notice that many of their titles have millionaire, billionaire, tycoon, or secret baby. So I can’t help but wonder whether there’s a category for tycoon- baby-amnesiacs? I’m foreseeing a whole new trope! Think about it.

    I can live with pregnant heroines (my WIP has one, but the baby belongs to the hero and she’s the daughter of gods, so she’ll never bloat or toot and the book will be over before she needs maternity pants) and I can live with kids. What I hate more than too cutesy or clever is when the kid is in Chapter 1 and the Epilogue, but nowhere in between.

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