Friday, September 7, 2007

10 commandments

hello friends.
you can't blame me for this. it had to be written. and you can't blame me for being the kind of person capable of creating a list like this. i'm allowed my cognitive dissonance, right? p.s. i would have loved to go to an rwa convention in the early eighties!

10 commandments
For writing a romance novel published between 1973 and 1985.
(The best!)
  1. Thou shall use the term sardonic to describe the hero no less than 14 times with extra points for using the term ominous in the same sentence. "He laughed sardonically before his face twisted into an ominous smile."
  2. Thou shalt not allow thy heroine a perforated hymen, lest thou be relegated to the "second chance at love" series.
  3. If thou insists on dabbling with darkies remember that the hero must be at least half civilized. Even so, though shall never write a hero who is Muslim, Black or East Asian (although for different reasons.)
  4. If thou wishes to exoticize East Asian cultures, an East Asian heroine is acceptable. African cultures shall be best realized by a rugged englishman (hard edged, friend and colonizer of the bushman, still knows how to fix a good cup of tea) and Muslims are allowable provided the hero or heroine has secretly confessed to know jesus in the biblical sense.
  5. Thou shall not allow the heroine any homosexual pleasures (especially sex with herself.)
  6. Thou shall not even think about homosexual tendencies for the hero.
  7. Thou shall use an endless run on sentence and refuse to see reason even when thy editor pleads with thee. Extra points if the run on sentence is describing a sexual assault. "Panic stricken now because she realized she had unwittingly offended his masculine pride by rejecting his lovemaking and he was going to use his superior physical strength to overwhelm her and take what he wanted, she hit at him again, her hands slapping sharply against the bare skin of his shoulders and against his head until suddenly he wrenched his mouth from hers and wrapping his arms around her held her tightly so that she couldn't move her arms any more; holding her, his head pressed hard against hers, until she stopped twisting and trying to escape and hung helplessly in his arms, sobbing for breath." (I did not make a single piece of that up.)
  8. Thou shall end the story with the birth of a male child remembering that any other ending shall be viewed as utter failure
  9. Thou shall develop characters with the assumption that women experience fear as a precursor to love & men experience rage as a precursor to tenderness.
  10. Thou shall utilize bizzaro pop culture expression with greatest glory going to such phrases strung together in a row to honor the 7th commandment as well. "Oh, belt up, darling, you talk like a tract!" said Cleo with an unamused laugh. "Don't, for heaven's sake, go dropping sly hints to Dom, hoping to queer my pitch. I've not made up my mind, anyway, what I'm going to do. I was simply warning you off the grass."


Rivolta said...

Penny Jordan, eat your heart out! With such a deft and thorough command of the genre, why are you not famous? If only you were about 30 in 1983.

I would only add the 11th commandment-- this era's hero must be easily imagined with exposed chest hair and glistening skin-- whether from passionate sweat or baby oil is up to you.

Stellar cover art is also helpful.

Rivolta said...

Nevermind the last link-- just go here:

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is I remember when I walked into the living room and found fruitfemme and rivolta sitting on opposite couches with 5 grocery bags full of romance novels bought at the public libraries book sale!

Rivolta said...

Scully! Shhhhhhh! Any more anecdotes like that and you'll give us away-- We're trying to be detached and ironic here!

Lynda said...

Loved these! Glad l found your was the one after mine! Will carry on visiting you.