Thursday, May 14, 2009

when conflict turns depressing



When does conflict in a story get to be too much? I will fully admit that this is something that will have me putting a book down really fast. If the conflict takes over the story, it makes me want to yawn. Get me back to the romance already!


One author I truly admire does have some depressing story lines. Sharon Sala. She's an excellent author of romantic suspense. I only wish I had her talent. But she can get a little too depressing at times. A few of her stories have turned me off completely actually because they were just too much to handle. Too disturbingly real, I guess. When I read I want to be swept away on a journey, but I don't want to feel like I just waded through a murky swamp. A few tears is good, but when you're cringing and crying through most of the book, that's not romance. LOL


I've gotten to the point where I'd rather have some action, like in Lora Leigh's SEAL series. Lots of hot sex and great conflict. But it's not overly depressing. I'm not throwing the book across the room.


I don't even mind a book that has very little conflict. A little tug and pull between the hero and heroine is sexy. Sometimes it's okay to leave it at that. If I read an erotic romance I want lots of erotic and lots of romance, I don't need lots of sadness in there.


I read for pleasure. I want to be sucked into another world, but that doesn't mean I want to be hit over the head with pages and pages of depressing issues. I want the characters to be somewhat stable for crying out loud! LOL


So, in your opinion when does the conflict become annoying?

17 comments:

Carol Ericson said...

I like my "conflict" light, and if it's a romantic suspense I want the conflict to be more suspense-y like race against time or a car chase or a good old-fashioned stalking. I like the pathos of characters to be in back story - so they lost their mother, they got shuttled arond foster care, they had an abusive father - that's all OK in the background, something the characters have to overcome and come to terms with. I'm with you; I don't like a lot of heavy stuff in the here and now.

Anne Rainey said...

Carol--I couldn't put into words exactly what I meant about the romantic suspense, but your words fit exactly. Yes, I like the race against time or the stalking type suspense too. That's way more entertaing to me. The heavy stuff makes me feel like I'm watching the news.

Ashley Ludwig said...

Anne,

I think you're right. In this day and age -- I want to be swept away. I want to go on a wild, rollicking adventure. I want romance. I want some tension. But, I like it better when the H/H get together early on...and resolve issues TOGETHER. Learning how to become a unit -- and then, find their happily ever after that way.

Too much sadness, grief, heartache -- that belongs in the more literary realm, in my opinion. Keep it AWAY from my beach book!

Thanks for the post!

~Ashley

Elle Parker said...

I'm not usually a fan of the deep heavy conflict, either. I tend to prefer more humorous, light reading anyway. Honestly, if the characters are good enough, and the scenario of the story is entertaining, I don't really need very much conflict at all.

Elle Parker
http://elleparkerbooks.blogspot.com/

Anne Rainey said...

Ashley--keep it away from my beach book! Right on!!!

Anne Rainey said...

Elle--That's really how I feel too. Hook me from the first page with something entertaining and I'm all yours!

Kelley Nyrae said...

It depends on my mood. Most of the time, I want light, not a lot of conflict. There are certain stories where it doesn't bother me though.

Anonymous said...

I really leave a book to gather dust if conflict is the only thing holding up the heroine and hero. One Author I've given up on, can't seem to keep the romance progressing past the initial jump start of the relationship, unless the couple are in constant crisis. If I want a big dose of turmoil and suspense, then I'll pick up one of my husband's "war" reads. I expect my fav. romance authors to deliver heavily on the romance part. Otherwise, why am I reading Romance novels?

Anne Rainey said...

Kelley--I do know what you mean. There was a lot of conflict in Feehan's latest and I didn't mind it in the least.

anon--I do know what you mean. I hate when something horrible has to happen in every chapter. ugh.

Maryann Miller said...

I guess maybe this is why I am not strictly a romance reader. I do like the heavy psychological stuff and the quirky inter-personal relationships between characters. But I agree with Anne that it should not be in the beach book -- the one you read just for the pure entertainment of it. :-)

Valerie Oakley said...

I agree with Carol, Anne et al. I want some conflict, because all hearts and flowers is boring, but I don't want to feel like I've run an emotional marathon because every other page the H/H are in danger. I really love the "stalker type" stories where the stalker's POV is just interjected every now and then with a slow build up of suspense. With one big "conflict" the suspense of the small insights into the antagonist's mind just snowballs.

Wendi Zwaduk said...

I don't mind a lot of conflict if it moves the story alone. It's when the story is nothing but arguing that turns me off. I'm not talking about sexual tension between the hero and heroine, but all out arguing where nothing is accomplished.

Maybe that's why I like the SEALS books and others where the hero and heroine aren't always lovey on each other, but hot and heavy.

Right on!

Wendi

Anne Rainey said...

Maryann--I see what you mean. There are certain authors that I like to read for the sheer 'edge of your seat' aspect. But that's not my everyday read. :)

Anne Rainey said...

Valerie--I've not seen a lot of the stalker type storylines anymore. I love those!

Anne Rainey said...

Wendi--That's why I love Lora Leigh and Nalini Singh. There IS conflict. There is quite a bit of action. But there's also...togetherness. Sexual tension. Tenderness. That's what I love. That's what I crave!

Connie Northrop said...

I agree with you Anne!

A little conflict can be good but too much or too prolonged can turn me off of a book and eventually an author.

Regina Carlysle said...

I'm soooo with you on this and blogged about something similar a few days ago. Getting beaten over the head with conflict sends my interest level straight into the toilet. A little is good but I want to see progression with the romance. If someone has been abused as a child, for example, I don't want it pounded into my head repeatedly for the rest of the book. I'm not stupid. I GET it. It's kind of like someone talking ad nauseum about a characters eye or hair color. Yeah. I know. It's blonde. Eyes blue. I don't need to hear it repeated a gazillion times.