Monday, March 30, 2009

Erica’s Blog Feed Has Changed

shoulder cat This is one of my most favorite pictures of Glenn. He’s one of those people who, the instant they get in front of a camera, tends to freeze up into a plastic smile.

But I love this one with Choo-Choo. Glenn’s coming home in about twelve days. I can’t wait.

If anyone missed it, Erica has a new blog address. And her blog feed is new, too. So if you’ve got her plugged into your reader, you’re missing her great posts!

Now on to today’s rambling:

I was just thinking how odd it is, how some people inexplicably clash. For really no reason whatsoever. Like there is someone I know who, everything I say, sort of grates on him. I like him a lot, actually, which is what makes it kind of funny. But I can totally tell I drive him nuts. I really like him, so I don’t mean to… it just is.

Sometimes it’s mutual, like my landlord’s wife. We can not talk to each other or email each other with both of us pretty much hissing immediately. I have to get my husband to talk to her husband.

I can count on one hand the people who react to me this way, but still, it just sorta is, LOL. And I think it’s some odd chemistry, you know? You can tell that it probably can’t be fixed.

Sometimes romance heroes and heroines are like that, and it always drives me crazy. That doesn’t feel real to me. If you have that sort of antagonistic chemistry, you certainly don’t have that yum-yum chemistry.

What do you think?

29 bonus scribbles:

Angie 3/30/2009 09:35:00 PM  

I think that way too many romance writers think that "conflict" means having the two main characters hissing and spitting and cussing and snarking at each other until two pages from the end. I'll admit Rosemary Rogers made a fortune off of that formula, but I never cared for it.

Then there's the similar treatment where the girl is all prickly and the guy gets his jollies poking her, laughing whenever she gets angry, and laughing harder when she gets madder. I have a hard time buying that that sort of pair can ever fall really in love. If some guy treated me like that, I'll murder him with a shovel. (It's convenient 'cause then you don't have to go hunt for a tool to bury the body.) But the girl is rarely blameless either; they're often shown as being so prickly that anyone would hate them and at least be tempted to press their buttons. And they set themselves up to look like idiots, then yowl with rage when they get laughed at.

Like one scene which was popular back when I was reading Western romances, where the girl can ride and has some pride in her skill, but has never gone out on a horse for more than a couple of hours at a time. She and the guy, for whatever reason, are on horseback all day long, and by the time they get to wherever, she's numb from the neck down, except where she's hurting. He comes over and offers to help her down, but she snaps, "I'm fine! I don't need any help from you!" or something similar, then tries to get down and (predictably) lands in a heap at his feet. If the writer is really evil, there's a mud puddle there. I have no respect for characters like that. The only saving grace for these books is that the jerkwad "hero" and touchy bitch "heroine" usually deserve one another. [eyeroll]

But yes, I agree with you; I don't like that kind of "chemistry" either. :)

Angie

Edie 3/30/2009 09:35:00 PM  

Thanks for letting me know about Erica's blog feed.

In my paranormals, my h/h have an antagonistic attraction, but in my women's fiction they don't. In my next paranormal, I won't have that antagonism. In my wip, I'm almost halfway done. Everything will turn upside-down soon, and I'll change the antagonism to yum yum. Thanks for that, too!

spyscribbler 3/30/2009 09:40:00 PM  

Angie, that's a good point. I actually liked Rosemary Rogers, LOL! But yeah, the jollies and laughing at her anger? I would never speak to him again!

Oh yes, and that's so not funny, true, about the horse! Predictable, but not funny!

spyscribbler 3/30/2009 09:41:00 PM  

Edie, you reminded me: you know when I really liked how that antagonistic thing turns yum yum?

You've Got Mail

It definitely can work quite well. They did it AWESOME in that movie. Totally awesome! And Angie reminded me of Rosemary Rogers, who I used to love.

Some days, I feel like not saying anything on my blog, because I know I'll soon be convinced of the opposite, LOL!

Robin 3/30/2009 11:16:00 PM  

I always like it when there's a little "snap" to a couple's relationship - even in real life. And I totally agree - real clashing does not lead to love. If the clashing gets too angry and bitter in a book, it feels false when it turns to love.

Adam is snoring next to me, and I think I'm going to smother him with a pillow. What clashing category does that fit into?

Erica Orloff 3/31/2009 06:37:00 AM  

Hi Spy:
Thanks! :-)

I actually seem to be one of those people that . . . you either LOVE me like mad or you HATE me like mad. There's little in-between. Not sure why . . . I have a strong personality, but I also think I give off a vibe that let's you know I hate fakes. If you are a fake, then we're not likely to get along.

I think there are some good "clash" romantic comedies. But it has to be done well and not forced.

Janna Qualman 3/31/2009 08:02:00 AM  

That IS a great photo! I'm so thrilled for you that he's coming home. :D

Bevie 3/31/2009 08:08:00 AM  

"Adam is snoring next to me, and I think I'm going to smother him with a pillow. What clashing category does that fit into?"

Love it! [haha]

Snoring is it's own category. Spouse has kept me up with it four nights out of six. It brings me to tears.

I've never liked the "hate each other all through the story until the end" bit either. What is more realistic to me is heroes and heroines who hardly notice each other at the beginning, but find themselves crossing paths more and more and learning about each other. It's learning about each other that creates love.

Eric Mayer 3/31/2009 09:11:00 AM  

Not very romantic but I always had that immediately "cats and dogs" feeling from employers and potential employers! :0

Charles Gramlich 3/31/2009 09:25:00 AM  

I know. It's always just so bizarre when that kind of thing happens. Hard to understand or explain.

Melanie Avila 3/31/2009 09:53:00 AM  

The only people I have those types of relationships with clearly have problems. ;)

I've had several friends in my life that within half an hour of meeting them, we immediately fall into a brother-sister role: bickering and just flat-out being mean, but it's done in a very loving way. Strange how that works.

StarvingWriteNow 3/31/2009 12:12:00 PM  

you know, I think that's part of the reason I stopped reading romances. All that nitpicky bitchy--then they're suddenly in love on p. 243. Give me a break.

Barrie 3/31/2009 04:04:00 PM  

The antagonist h/h who eventually get it together can work in books and movies. But....it's never worked for me in real life.

lainey bancroft 3/31/2009 08:38:00 PM  

OMG! Choo-Choo kitty looks just like my Pipper kitty! (Happy homecoming to you and DH.)

Like you, mostly I get along with people. Hey, I'm Canadian, eh? But I have had a few episodes of people just emoting dislike (my mother in law for one. sigh. To her mind I have a daughter and...that OTHER one. Which is why I haven't spoken to the bitch in 16 years--that other one is 16.5.

Um, sorry. Strayed a little off topic there. Yes, it is strange how some people just grate--even stranger when they grate online. Oddly enough I have encountered people in cyber space I just KNOW I have no desire to meet EVER. And I'm sure they probably feel the same about me.

Now, to be on topic (yeah, took me long enough) The 'you bitch'...'you asshole'...oh but wait, yer so damn hawt and sexy...is not a device I enjoy in romance, nor have I or do I ever intend to use it.

There are so many diverse conflicts, both internal and external,that can be explored that I think falling back on personal abrasiveness is lame.

(must go check my Erica links...thanks)

G 4/01/2009 06:31:00 AM  

I work with some people who I've instantly clashed with from minute one.

I also have close friends in which we bicker like siblings. (all in good semi-clean fun).

As for the topic at hand, that is something I'm trying to do better. In my first novel, all four main characters clashed so badly with each other at times, it was a wonder on what actually made them fall in love.

Right now, I think I'm doig a better job at not making my characters experience lethal doses of toxic waste when they're together.

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:13:00 AM  

Hah! Robin, I think that would be the comedy category. :-) LOL! A little snap is fun to watch, it's true. LOL!

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:17:00 AM  

Erica, well, I love you like mad, LOL! I have trouble with fakes, too. I once had this student's parent who always spoke in a fake voice and never once said something real, not in 7 or 8 years. Unsettling, for sure.

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:18:00 AM  

Thanks, Janna! I love that picture. :-)

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:19:00 AM  

Bevie, you're so right. Wow, what a great point. And isn't that what is so flattering, during that phase? That someone is that interested in you to want to learn about you?

Glenn used to snore. He randomly stopped. It was sort of odd. He used to have sleep apnea, too. He snored badly. I don't know how he stopped it.

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:20:00 AM  

Eric, I get that, LOL! A lot of days I think about going back, but I do worry about that, especially after being spoiled for fifteen years, LOL!

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:21:00 AM  

Isn't it, Charles? It just is so random.

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:36:00 AM  

Hah, Melanie! Isn't that the truth?

That must be you; that's never happened to me. I can see it as you, though. Your wit is part of your charm. :-)

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:36:00 AM  

WriteNow, I stopped reading romances, too. I don't know why. I haven't been able to figure out why!

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:37:00 AM  

Barrie, you're absolutely right! In real life, I've never seen it "fixed."

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:40:00 AM  

Lainey, I think I'm getting old, which is part of the problem. The stuff I know and take for granted is just so much stuff, I don't know how to present it to parents, LOL. I forget it's not obvious, so it's happening more often these days.

You're right, it is a tired technique. You know, since it annoys me, now I want to go check and see if I do it, LOL!

spyscribbler 4/01/2009 08:41:00 AM  

Hah! I love that, G: "lethal doses of toxic waste." Isn't it funny how some people are just toxic to some, but great friends to others?

Gosh, we humans are an odd sort!

Michelle 4/01/2009 08:43:00 AM  

Spy, I agree with you. I've never liked an h/h relationship that is in a constant state of fight or flight. My characters may have goals that clash, but they always get on with each other personally. I wouldn't waste the time of day on someone I actively didn't like, so why should my heroine?

Melanie Avila 4/01/2009 12:33:00 PM  

Spy, it's amazing the connection I make with people sometimes. Something just clicks and it's like we're long-lost friends.

For example - when I met my roommate at the time's brother, he shook my hand hello and there was something in the way he gripped my hand, then a look between us, and we promptly began swing dancing! My roommate thought we were CRAZY but we're both dancers and we somehow recognized that in each other. :)

Barbara Martin 4/12/2009 12:12:00 PM  

If the connection is bad right off, it's because you and they had a fight or disagreement in one of your past lives.