Content Warning

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Because my stories have bite, they can contain content that isn't suitable for work or children. Not a lot of truly graphic sex or violence, but there are some questionable or heated posts.

F-bombs are not uncommon, so watch your footing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The anatomy of romance books

Technically, my complaint would go to any book that has an interaction with people.  Since it mostly happens in romance books, that's why I'm titling my article thus.

A couple are being all passionate, and he sweeps her against his broad chest, and kisses her fiercely.  Problem; he's six foot two, she's five foot four.

I just don't understand how a tiny little thing could be pressed tight against her lover and have her mouth devoured.  Granted, I haven't been five for four since about the sixth grade, and don't remember it very much.  He'd have to pick her up, wouldn't he?  I stand next to people eight inches taller than me, and I can't envision it.

Nor can I envision him tucking her under his chin without having to really crick his neck.  She just wouldn't be that tall compared to him.  She'd come mid chest, if that.

Which means it sometimes throws me out of the story when these events happen.  I am suddenly asking myself how it's possible, instead of joying the passionate moment.  I stop, and mentally reconstruct the scene, trying to piece the couple together.

Because it bothers me, I'm now putting extra effort into making sure how my characters are aligned.  Not that I have a lot of couples that aren't close to the same height.  But it's something to keep in mind.

What are other little things that bother you that you now look for?


  1. Totally doesn't bother me. My dad is 6'1 and my mom is 5'4? 5'3? and I swear they cuddle like that and it just works. :)

  2. See your point, and that is something I pay attention to in my own writing. Not that folks of different heights can't make out, but that the mechanics of it bear considering. Excellent example of such--A CIVIL CAMPAIGN by Lois McMaster Bujold.

  3. I think about that stuff all the time when I'm reading! I guess scenes which are really powerful for me kind of overpower my lack of suspension of disbelief, but it's still a stumbling block. While we might enjoy the stereotypical romance body types, they can also become cliches that weigh the story down. I'm glad to know authors are working to avoid this!

  4. I used to wonder about that, but then I met my boyfriend, and he's 6ft 3 or 4! I'm 5 ft 6 and now I think those are the perfect heights for passionate kissing;)

  5. All right, Aimee and Miss H, how do you/your parents have the passionate kisses? Are you swept up off your feet, or does he have to crick his neck down? I'm curious now, and think it would make me a better writer if I got examples.

    Zahir, I haven't read that book, but I remember Bujold being pretty good with the descriptions.

    Romance, down with cliches! ;)

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