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    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Kiss My Cliche!

    KISS MY CLICHE! is the title of the workshop Eloisa James and I will be doing at RWA National next week. (It's on Friday July 29th from 3:15-4:15 in case any of you are going to be there.) We're going to talk about all of the "rules" given to beginning authors and how to successfully break those rules so you don't end up with a bland, homogenized manuscript indistinguishable from a thouand other bland, homogenized manuscripts.

    Some of those rules include:

    1) A hero should be a lord, a knight, a fireman or a banker but never--under any circumstances--an artist, a singer, a dancer or a SPORTS FIGURE
    2) A heroine can be a banker, a lady, a firewoman or a florist, but never, under any circumstances, should she be clueless (or TSTL--too stupid to live) and a book should never be built around a BIG MIS (Big Misunderstanding)
    3) It's best to avoid strippers, because your hero or heroine should really have more ambitious plans than that
    4) Your hero needs to be manly. No crying, for heaven's sake! There's no crying in romance!!!
    5) Stay away from evil stepmothers
    6) Don't make your villain lecherous
    7) NEVER switch point of view within a chapter because those POV sluts are wall-bangers.
    8) Stay away from purple prose. Write like Hemingway if you must.
    9) You should make your hero and heroines orphans. Too many characters only muddy the waters.
    10) Stay away from blatant cliches like amnesia and twins because those certainly don't sell.
    11) Unless you're writing inspirationals, you really should keep any religious stuff out of there. Why on earth would a historical character have any faith?

    As you can see, by using this list, we've just successfully eliminated some of the most successful romances ever written!