Fail. Fail Again.

I failed.

I folded.

I settled.

And it was baaaad.

Read a novella. Said it was Steampunk. Had airships. And a pirate. (And the romance I did not want. I had decided that I was screwed. Would have to tolerate romance for the plot as it’s everywhere.)

It was not really Steampunk. The airship was nodded to, and the romance, the writing, and the conflicts were abysmal. I have never used that word before. Abysmal. Those letters do not look right. But I googled, and it is. Much like the bad romance. Its letters didn’t fit, but it somehow spelled romance, and had way too many five star reviews.

Why? Why? Seriously, you call me kitten or doll and I’ll scratch your eyes out. Surest way to piss me off. Not saying I do not like endearment terms, but if they are as condescending as the above, do not attempt!

Theme of this one that has so set me off: Mouse of a woman (referred to as a girl. That’s insulting) vs bear of a man. (MAN. Not synchronistic boy). With an ‘indecipherable desire to protect her’. Ug. Stop. And a tortured past. Please. Stop. Started flipping through more Amazon books to find something to wash this out of my brain, and found it again: man with an indescribable need to protect. How does that transcribe into love? Why does the genre do that? It’s the Twilight conundrum: I could crush you with my bare hands, but I’m so tortured, cause I have a fiendish possessive need to ‘protect’ you.  And she swoons. And sex starts flying. What does that say about our psychology?

Ug! No, really, I’d scream out loud if it wouldn’t wake the monsters. I want some psychology classes! What does this mean!? Why do these clichés and repeated themes exist?

S-t….do we still have some latent hunter-gatherer crap going on in our brains?

We must. I’m rethinking every book I’ve read with romance in it. And, granted, they’re all paranormal in some way, but it’s the same.

Maybe I’m reading too far into this. But….all the males have been in some sort of warrior position. Hmm. Hunter-gatherer.

I am so adamant against calling RMOS a romance. It’s NOT. Maybe a love story. Cause that sounds better. And that part’s already come and gone by the start of the book. Therefore, NOT a romance. Crap, what if I unconsciously inserted this hunter-gatherer strangeness into my book?

I delved. He does go off with the intent to be a savior, which backfires in such opposing directions that it rips her apart…..and then He does it again, and it nearly destroys her.  So she gets a safeguard, and finds her footing without Him. Safeguard isn’t human.  If safeguard’s intent is nameless protection, it doesn’t end in ripped bodices. And no, not because there are none in the book. Argument is void.

Phew.

I already know I’m failing at the Bechdel Test with ‘Steam‘, my WIP. [Bechdel test states a) the work of fiction must feature at least two women who b) talk to each other about something other than a man and c) the two women must be named.] Yet, for balance, for gender equality, to prove a point, and because he appeared and I wasn’t about to ignore him, Steam required a strong male lead (and I love him. I do.). But there will be no love story, no romance between them. I evaluated his motives, and no, there’s no ‘indescribable need to protect her’.  He’s doing some things in secret, but his motives are based on ethics and morals. (I did take a philosophy class. That was amazing). I know. Ethics and morals sounds really prim, prude, and boring. But it’s not. I assure you.

Thorn had the best non-romance romance I’ve read. I started to fight against it: Wait, this isn’t how it normally happens. That’s not right. Wait, no , I love this. Oh, and my favorite, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And Sookie Stackhouse (books) ended with the best plot ever.  And sex and cliched romance are rampant in the latter series.

What clichés are you tired of?

Do you have any Steampunk-ish novel to recommend? I have no idea what I’m looking for.

 

 

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