Writing Wrongs

September 18, 2006

So, yesterday, Bob and Andrew came home from Target with a little something for everyone. Kyra received a packet that dissolves in pink fizzy water to reveal tiny plastic princesses. Because, you know, we need more tiny plastic princesses.

Andrew got something trading card related. And Bob bought me a Harlequin Presents. But not just any Harlequin Presents. This one is UNCUT, now with even MORE passion.

Oh, boy.

Now, Iím not the type to make fun of books. Really, Iím just glad there are so many books out there that please so many different readers with different tastes. I even have friends who write for Harlequin Presents.

But. Thereís something about a Harlequin Presents that brings out my inner sixteen year old. I giggle. I roll my eyes. I stand with one hand on my hip, snap my gum, and say, ďYou gotta be freaking kidding me.Ē

Itís a curse.

I canít even take the titles seriously. Taken for His Pleasure, Bought by the Greek Tycoon (I hope he got a good deal, two for one, maybe--wait, thatís a different genre), Mistress for the Weekend, The Italian Playboyís Virgin Mistressí Secret Baby (okay, I made that last one up, but Iím so writing it one of these days).

Then, thereís the blurb:

Billionaire Anton Santini needs discreet protection...but he's not expecting Detective Lydia Holmes! How can this staid, sober policewoman pose as his mistress?

Lydia surprises herself when, made over for her new role, she's no longer plain and frumpy. Now she's beautiful, ripe and ready for Anton to pluck her for his pleasureÖ.

Iím not quite sure what phrase I object to more. Is it ďstaid and soberĒ? Ask yourself this: do you want a police detective whoís staid and sober or reckless and frivolous? Is it ďplain and frumpyĒ? Or is it ďripe and ready for Anton to pluck for his pleasureĒ?

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.

I read the excerpt, which assures me the heroine isnít afraid of expressing her opinion, but doesnít indulge in beer-swilling and coarse language like some of her fellow police officers. Well, whereís the fun in that?

The excerpt, which is about 1,700 words long, also contains twenty six exclamation points (yes, I counted them). You know, those things the writing experts tell us to use sparingly, if at all, if we desire publication. Yet! There they are! All twenty six of them! In all their exultant glory!

And I have to admire that. Iím serious about this. If nothing else, itís a huge middle finger, a take that, to every RWA contest judge out there.

And sometimes, you really need that.

On the flipside, Andrew picked out one of his books he wants me to read. Phantom of the Auditorium, a Goosebumps book. He really loves these books, except at night, when heís trying to fall asleep. He chose this one because he knows I like Phantom of the Opera. All the Amazon reviewers give it five stars.

Iíll have to check, but if it's uncut and contains exclamation points, Iím sold.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 5:48 p.m.