Tropes and Clichés in Romance I'm Sick of

I've made good friends with my Kindle during my time of healing.  I love how effortless it becomes to check out new authors or find cheap books.  It also expands my horizons when it comes to genres.

I've read a fair amount of romances, lately.  And, while some were truly interesting and unique, many fell back onto the same plot devices or clichés.  I am beginning to detest the repetitiveness.  *Note:  I'm not stating these should never be done again, but should be done well and with a compelling slant.*

Love at first sight - Is one of your characters from Disney?  No?  Then it's lust, not love.  Make the characters work towards it.  It shows who they are as individuals.  The payoff for the reader is greater.

The love triangle - Ugh.  Because a heroine can't be hot enough, loved enough, or dramatic enough, unless two people want or love her.  (Notice most triangles are two men fawning over one woman.)  

Alpha males and helpless females - It doesn't matter how strong-willed, self-possessed, or skilled our female started, she's going to need the bulky arms and warm shelter of Rambo/Dirty Harry before too long.  

The witchy "other woman" - While not necessarily an ex, this secondary character wants to cause hardship to either the main couple's relationship (a mother thinking one protagonist isn't good enough), or the heroine directly (a co-worker trying to steal away a promotion). 

Cheated on - Almost exclusively to the heroine (especially if it happens at the beginning), this event makes her unable or unwilling to trust again.
I know this happens in real life, a lot, but the authors beat the same ground.  

The misunderstanding - because, of course, a character can't spend two minutes asking for clarification or hashing it out.  No!  Better to throw away the person he/she swore was the one without further evidence or communication.  

The secret baby/pregnancy - exclusively to the hero (of course).  He gets a visit from an ex (or casual fling) stating there was a child he never knew about.  Many times, this is used as a plot device to throw the current couple's relationship into chaos, but can also serve to "change" a difficult man or playboy into someone respectable.
At times, the heroine will also hide a pregnancy because of the hero's possible reaction.
But a baby always makes things better... eventually!

Well, that's it for my list, for now.  
Do you have any you'd like to add?


  1. Welcome back!

    I find the love at first sight idea particularly boring, not saying it doesn't happen, but it's just not very convincing. The rest, I am willing to give a try.

    1. Thanks. Not sure how often I'm going to be around. Summer is very hectic and I have another project I'm trying to get running.

      Love at first sight, I believe, is a myth. Say you think you're in it but, once the person speaks, he/she is a jerk! People can feel instant attraction, though.

  2. Hey, girl, you're RITE-on... except in Utopia. If I'm the sower, we plant the Seed; if I'm an artist, we RITE the symphonies heard Upstairs |IF| you accept His lead to do the orchestra.

    Wanna find-out the fax, Jak, in a wurld fulla the 'power of cowards'? Wanna wiseabove to help a 'Plethora Of Wurdz' [POW!] which are look'n for a new home in thy novelty??

    Q: But [gulp] can anyone tell me the difference between K2 plus IQ? A: Nthn. In Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HeeHee Need a few more thots, ideers, wild wurdz (whoa, Nelly! easy, girl) or ironclad iconoclasms?

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go thro in this lifelong demise, I wanna help U.S. git past the ping-pong-politics, the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to wise).

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence". Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET! any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs (in [the] end without end -Saint Augustine) when my o-so-beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3, NJB

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go gitt'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoo, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9...

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL