Reply To: Student: HiDee Ekstrom Homework Thread

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Linnea Sinclair

Dana frowned at the man on the ground. What was wrong with him? He’d fallen to the ground just as she’d raised the flashlight to hit him. Was he really out, or just faking it? Chewing her lip, she clicked the beam on low and pointed it at him. Black cowboy boots? Not exactly quiet footwear for a burglar. The black jeans were no surprise. They blended in well with the dark night. But the way they fit his long legs and showed off his butt— “He’s a burglar, not a boyfriend prospect,” she muttered. It really had been too long since she’d had a date, if she found her burglars’ butt attractive. Not that it prevented her from looking. She kept her light moving. Above the snug-fitting jeans was a black t-shirt, worn under a black leather jacket. Dark hair curled over the upturned collar. She glanced quickly up and down his backside and sighed. Not a bad package viewed from behind. But who was he, and why was he here?

HiDee, your writing is lovely but this is in the wrong place. I’ve just spent a few minutes trying to find the blog post by my agent, Kristin Nelson, who does FAB blogs on every aspect of the craft of writing. One of her huge pet peeves is the use, in romance, of the female MC who “wakes up to find an armed intruder in her bedroom” and rather than reaching for a lamp to throw at him, admires his six-pack abs and the manly cleft in his chin.

You kinda sorta done exactly what my agent advises DO NOT DO.

Okay, I found someone else quoting her here:

“In romance, I can’t stand this scenario: A woman is awakened to find a strange man in her bedroom – and then automatically finds him attractive. I’m sorry, but if I awoke to a strange man in my bedroom, I’d be reaching for a weapon, not admiring the view.”
– Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Why this fails is that the reader loses respect for the MC. It borders on the TSTL character–Too Stupid To Live–in which the heroine, spending a night in a haunted house for some illogical reason, comes out of her bedroom at 1AM to investigate strange sounds in the basement of the haunted house, and she’s clad only in her sheer nighty (so we can better admire her full breasts and shapely thighs) and does NOT put on shoes and does NOT grab a flashlight and does NOT grab any kind of weapon… IE: She deserves to be eaten by the monster in the basement.

I fully get you want to highlight the attraction. Save that lovely writing for a few pages deeper in. You do have lovely writing. Linnea is not picking on you. Honest. 🙂

//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//


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