Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dog 1, Bunny Slippers 0

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. ~ Francis Bacon

My feet were cold yesterday, and my other slippers had long since been discarded (they were plumb wore out), so I decided to see if Dakota had gotten past her bunny slipper fixation.

She hadn't.

I could NOT get her to stop trying to attack them. She'd finally stop after much "NO!"-ing on my part and shoving her away, but after a bit she'd slither across the floor and attack again.

I decided to put them away, freezing feet or not. My mistake was thinking I could walk up the stairs in them.

At least she had the grace to look ashamed.


So... I've been contemplating some recent reviews I've gotten, for "One Love For Liv", "Don't Fence Me In" and "Now That We've Found You".

All the reviews commented in a negative (as in "I don't really think it could have happened") way about people falling in love in a matter of weeks to the point where they wanted to get married.

I thought, Okay. I'm good with that, really, because IRL I wouldn't believe it either. I'm always horrified when a couple gets wildly serious that quickly. I had a friend who "fell in love" with her (now ex-) husband when they talked for three hours on the phone, before their first date. They were engaged in a couple of weeks. They were divorced in just over a year.

BUT... I write fiction. Odds are you're not going to see the things happen IRL that you see happen in fiction. That's why it's called FICTION.

Recently, I've been reading a LOT -- books for the LASR April Book-a-Day Giveaway. And, without exception, EVERY SINGLE ONE of the couples in these books falls in love quickly. The book I read yesterday only took place over a matter of four or five days!! These are books being published by big NY Print Presses (and not just HQ in case you wondered).


So...clearly my characters falling in love over a matter of a few weeks isn't that far out of the norm.

So, I'm curious. In FICTION (not real life folks), is it really that hard for you to believe people can fall in "forever" love in a short time?

Sound off here.... *G*


You Are 15% Fake

Fake doesn't even come close to describing you.

You're totally natural, and proud of who you really are!

Yeah... I dye my hair sometimes -- I'm going GRAY, y'all!! I admit it...


Sarita Leone said...

Ooh, I just read your Dear Author letter! Congrats! Big, big congrats! :)

*Doing a little dance here for you!*

And the falling in love fast thing? I never believed in love at first sight...until I met my husband. I kid you not. We were married within months and it's been--well, let's not go there. Let's just say it's been a long time since the day we met, and all the years have been happy ones.

So falling love fast? Not unbelievable in my book. I don't think it happens a lot, but I do believe it happens. How could I not? :)

Judy Thomas said...

I believe it can happen...and I never have a problem with it in fiction.

Unless one of them is a jerk.

And.. I'm 47% fake.. it's the whole leaving the house without my makeup thing ;-)

You realize that beauty is sometimes an illusion, and you're okay with that.
And even though you're a little fake, the real you still shines through.

groovyoldlady said...

I'm even less fake than you (13%). HAH! Probably because I gave up the dying years ago.

I guess one reason I DO have trouble with the "love at first sight" or falling in love quickly is that my view of real love is quite different from what is portrayed in most romantic fiction. Sizzle is nice, but sizzle isn't love. Love is coming to a place of full trust in and commitment to another person. Those are complexities that are difficult to realize in a week or two.

HOWEVER, I DO find it realistic if those two weeks are the START of a lasting romance...

That said, you'll have to forgive me. Though I am not typically an analytical person, I do tend to analyze and pick apart stories, movies, and plays. I always seem to hone in on the "unrealistic" portion and feel the need to point it out. Sometimes I need to be reminded that those details (at least, most of the time) are skimmed right over by most audiences if the rest of the writing is compelling.

Thanks for reminding me. :-)

Dru said...

In fiction, yes it's believable to me. In real life, it can happen.

BTW, how is Dakota doing these days?

You Are 8% Fake

Fake doesn't even come close to describing you.

You're totally natural, and proud of who you really are!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I think a big part of this isn’t *you* at all, it’s the genre. Hey, I like a HEA, but you know, I don’t need to see it in every single story. Don’t need a wedding, a white picket fence, or what have you (and for some characters/books, that wouldn’t be the right HEA).

Part of it is not necessary the span of time in the story, but how much story time a couple gets. In short stories, that isn’t much. Even Liv is a fairly short book. I think this is where those “rules” about the couple meeting in the first chapter, almost always being together on the page comes from. Because if they don’t have a lot of page time together, it’s harder to convince the reader that their falling in love.

But then, I’m the sort of reader who’s okay with: “these two have a chance” at the end of the story, a hopeful ending, not necessarily the HEA. And actually, I think that’s often more poignant than the author trying to shoehorn in some sort of lifetime commitment in the last five pages (again, not you, the genre in general).

But I know there are readers who insist on that HEA, so what’s a writer to do? (Except go write YA, which doesn’t require the HEA, LOL.)


P.S. Sorry to hog your comments section. This thing is a blog post of its own.

Amy Addison said...

LOL on the Bunny Slippers.

Yes, characters can fall in love in a matter of days in fiction. I like it better that way....then I don't have to read all the "summaries" of what went on for the last three weeks while their relationship wasn't making any significant progress.

Is this where I admit I told my now-husband ON OUR FIRST DATE that he was going to marry me? Because I did. It just took him 6 months to get around to doing it. We've been married almost 17 years and counting...

Amy Addison said...

Oh, and I'm 23% fake...

The real you is something you embrace and don't mind enhancing.
You know that a few beauty secrets aren't a big deal, as long as you look good.

anne said...

I enjoyed your blog today. Your dog is adorable and sweet. My mix behaves in the same way. he is a real baby and loves to cuddle up with stuffed animals and enjoy chewing and grabbing slippers etc. I think that falling in love and having it last could be a Coup de Foudre as they say. These are like being hit by lightning and apparently the relationships last long and beautifully.

Melissa said...

All of my books have them fall in love and end with a proposal. Sometimes after weeks, days or months. Without that proposal, it's just not satisfying to me. I want that HEA in the books I read, too. That's why I stopped reading Chick lit.

As for real life, I've known many couples who fell in love and got married quickly. My parents only had two dates. Distance kept them apart, but they wrote letters. They've been married 46 years. My sister only knew her husband a month. And the first time I saw my hubby, I told a coworker that was the man I was going to marry.

So I believe it not only can happen, but it does happen. So I need no suspension of disbelief.

diane said...

What a great blog. I am crazy about Dakota. I have an adorable Maltese, named Guido. As for the falling in love, there are so many theories but I believe that fate can intervene and your soulmate can appear and your future is sealed. That happened to me and we will be marrying in May.

pearl said...

Too many people do not listen to their heart. The tug at your heartstrings is a swift indicator which determines your future, but I would still tread lightly. Mine took place many years ago and strengthened over time. Thanks for this enjoyable post about love and sweethearts. The canine type as well.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Dakota is way too cute, bunny slippers and all!

The genre thing makes those criticisms inappropriate, I think. Also, I DO believe in falling in love quickly - or slowly. It all depends on the couple and the timing. One of my longtime boyfriends and I were best friends for two years before acknowledging something else was there. In the case of my DH, I knew after our first date that he was the man I would marry. I had no. doubt.

Tori Lennox said...

I enjoy whirlwind romances. Not that I've ever had one myself, mind you, but still. Those reviewers are just way too picky.

You Are 6% Fake

Fake doesn't even come close to describing you.
You're totally natural, and proud of who you really are!

anno said...

I am 23% fake, thus the fakest (fakiest?) of all your readers. Don't hate me because I can't leave the house without my contact lenses or mascara.

I love your dog, though -- simply adorable -- and your whirlwind romances ... aren't they supposed to be about the magic?

Brandy said...

Awww, Dakota looks so cute with the bunny slippers, how can you deny her? *G*
I absolutely believe in "whirlwind" romances. I knew from the moment I looked into my now husbands eyes we were going to marry. That was over 17 years ago, 15 years of being married. So, I have NO problem reading of a couple who do the same.

As for your quiz I am 18% Fake. It's the contacts. I can't see without them! *G*

Ceri said...

I'm 31% fake. I can live with that.

Okay, I'm guilty. The hero in my latest manuscript falls in love with the heroine after a week though he doesn't admit it to her because he's too shocked to believe it himself. I'm totally okay with characters falling in love that quickly in a book as long as it's believable.

As far as real life goes, my DH told a friend, before he and I started dating (we'd known each other for about a year though) that he wished he were married to me. I thought "yeah, right". Well, we've been married for over 12 years now.

alissa said...

Your photos of Dakota are absolutely precious. He is a love. Falling in love can be instantaneous and there is no other feeling like it. The heart and soul knows it immediately. I met my one and only like that and we belong together forever.

Allie Boniface said...

Sorry, but I'm in the minority on this one. Yes, you're writing fiction, but contemporary, which means "based in real life, present day." It's not a fantasy world. It's not an alternate reality. We read contemporary romance in part because we bring to it a certain knowledge and expectations set based on our own lives. I won't *necessarily* turn off to a story if the H/H fall in love after only a week or two...but too often, I will because in most cases, there's no justifiable reason for it. "Love" to me is based on knowing a person, the whole person, all the flaws and weaknesses, and wanting that person all the same. That stuff doesn't come out in 2 weeks. "Lust" is a whole different story. People fall in lust all the time. But in too many romances I see that being mistaken for long-lasting, forever love when a guy who's just met a woman says "Whoa. She could be the one for me." Based on what? Her bra size? The way she laughs at your jokes? No way. Not believable, and no, I cannot suspend my disbelief unless the character development is AMAZING.

ellie said...

In this day and age and at my age most of us would like to believe that there does exist someone special with whom we eventually would belong. It does require maturity, understanding and judgment. In other words being impulsive should be avoided. So many are in a rush to find the ultimate and perfect partner. Use your head as well as your heart and heed the warnings.

Chris M. said...

I am 47% fake... see Judy, it must be a southern thing! Sue me, I like to look nice and I love being girly. I AM surrounded by males in my house... I need some girly.

I have to say that I felt a major pull to my DH when I met him. While not a matter of days or a few weeks, we did know within three months that we were getting married and I haven't once regretted it. So, I think that if it seems like they truly are learning things about each other than the time period is negligible. But, if they're going strictly on lust... that fades and you are left with day to day life and your love has to go so far beyond that.

LOL, Marianne, the last I heard of the Dakota/Bunny scuffle yesterday... Dakota was only up by 1... I still get the giggles picturing it. Sorry.

Dena said...

Hi M, How frustrating, I believe in Fiction it's possible and 90% of the books I read the couples fall for each other quickly. I find in real life it happens once in a blue moon but it happened a lot more in past generations. Alot of my older relatives and friends fell for each other fast and are still together.

Our dog when she was a puppy tore apart and ate everything! Thank goodness she's over that and just mangles her own toys now.

I'm 11% fake.