Occasionally, I lurk forums where readers discuss books just to see what readers in my target audience are looking for. Regardless of what I find there, I always write what I want to write, not what readers want writers to write (say that ten times fast). Still, it makes for an interesting read.
Today I noticed a (very old) thread where readers talked about the clichés they hated in romance. I’ve always tried to make my fiction punch through clichés like a wrecking ball through a brick wall (I try to anyway), but someone listed a cliché I have to admit is actually featured in The Thieves of Nottica.
One of the posters mentioned how they hated those cliché romances where the characters fall in love at first sight . . . and I had to ask myself . . . did I move things too fast with Rigg and Lisa? Were they a cliché “meant for each other” romance???
When Rigg and Lisa first meet in Rigg’s kitchen, Rigg is smitten and forgets where she is or what she’s doing. Lisa is attracted as well, and it’s Rigg’s initial attraction to her that makes her realize she must break free of her life as a slave. Because Rigg is the first person who sees Lisa not as a sex bot or an object but as a person. When Rigg sees Lisa, she thinks she’s pretty, yes, but she also wants to get to know her and befriend her. She’s not just out for sex. Hari also sees Lisa as a person and tries to be kind to her. Later, when Lisa is on the airship that’s supposed to take her back to Evrard, she jumps out the window and runs away. Being viewed as a person for the first time in her life made her brave enough to break her chains.
I think I leaned toward the “love at first sight” crap because I’ve really become tired of the age old Tsundere cliché. You know . . . when two people meet and hate each other but it’s so painfully obvious that they really like each other and are straining through sexual tension. . . .yeah. Kinda tired of that. I wanted Rigg and Lisa to always like each other, from day one, so that’s what I wrote.
Call me a mushy ol’ dragon.