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The other day on Twitter, reader and blogger, Magdalen asked why we’re so fond of recycling the same topics over and over again, here in good old RomanceLand.

I’m not going to actually talk about the whys and wherefores, rather I’m just going to list what I think the top ten most regurgitated topics in RomLand are:

1. The Mean Girls Debate – Trust me, even when the current batch of Mean Girls of RomLand have gone, it’s a debate that will rumble on and on, and on, and on…

2. The Reviewing Debate – This is a fairly popular one. Who should review? Who are the reviews for? How should authors act when they get a review? On and on and on…

3. Authors Behaving Badly – A personal favourite, why the hell would anybody want to stop talking about authors showing us their knickers in public? Long may it continue I say.

4. The Virgin Heroine – Lots of debate about this, but I try to avoid books where the heroine still has her hymen intact, so I usually skip those discussions.

5. The Desire For Mainstream Acceptance – Another snoozefest topic – We spend far too much time looking for respect outside the genre, why the fuck do we care so effing much? People buy more romance than literary fiction FFS.

6. Plagiarism – Hey, some authors are too idle to write their own stuff, so we’ll continue to see other Cassie Edwards type lovefests, especially seeing as the publishing houses don’t seem to give a shit as long as they’re making money off the author.

7. Piracy – Some of us get annoyed at the constant harping on about piracy, but I suspect that if those people were authors who were getting shafted royally, they’d probably take a dimmer view of the bastards who pirate books.

8. Blogging Etiquette – These take different formats, e.g. should blog owners respond to every comment? How far should a blog owner accept free speech, the bad as well as the good, blah, blah blah…

9. RWA Fuck-ups – These are fairly regular discussions. Sometimes they’re interesting, sometimes they’re not, but I tend to mostly side with anybody and everybody if they’re going against the RWA. I’m not a big fan of them you see, I find them far too old-fashioned and pointless, but then again, I’m not an author.

10. And last, but by no means least, the ever contentious subject of Rape/Forced Seduction In Romance – This is a topic that has bored me rigid for years, it used to be interesting once back in 2005, but now it hurts my teeth whenever I see a post about it. Unfortunately though, because of the popularity of hystericals, it’s a topic that will be discussed, time and time again.

OK, that’s my list of over-discussed topics in RomLand, can you guys think of any more?


  • Maili
    February 15
    8:29 am

    11. “You’re doing it wrong!” – about other bloggers, readers, reviewers, authors, publishers, editors, journalists, cover artists, advertisers, or anyone who has to do with books. This is probably the all-time favourite/most reliable fodder for bloggers. There’s no right or wrong about it, which is why it’s such an infinite topic.

    12. “Alpha heroes – nay or aye?” – definition of ‘Alpha hero’, pros and cons, and blah blah.


  • Publishers not paying on time and not the right amount


  • The need for a HEA


  • I’d also include publishers behaving badly as well as authors.


  • Racism and diversity in romance – a good topic, but unfortunately, every time it is brought up, the same kind of drama inevitably happens.

    The link gets added to some collection of links in Livejournals and Wikis dedicated to this topic, and we witness an influx of strident young people telling everyone we are doing it wrong.

    Big words ending with “ism” and “phobia” (whose meaning are lost on most people following the thread – what’s “ethno-differentialism” again?) get tossed around along with the evergreen favorites, “white privilege” and “white entitlement”. Shrill accusations and dramatic finger-pointing ensue, killing any chance of rational discourse.

    And then, when everyone has fled from the discussion wounded and bleeding, these strident activists depart in a cloud of self-righteousness, never to be seen again… until the next round of racism and diversity topic comes up. For example, where’s hardyhunter now?

    In the meantime, NOTHING is achieved other than satisfied pats in the back. People still aren’t reading those AA or multicultural or interracial books they claim we all should read. I suspect most of these strident activists don’t even read romance, they just like to show up and get melodramatic about heavy issues.


  • The print vs. ebook debate, with extremists on both sides. This comes up time and again, always with the same arguments thrown around: ebook advocates are early adopters and not representative of readers in general vs. print book enthusiasts are Luddites clinging to dead trees.


  • Edie
    February 15
    11:02 am

    The badness of negative reviews has popped up a couple of times in the short time I have been blog hopping, with a million and one variations of the “if you have nothing nice to say” spiel…
    Though does that come under mean girls?


  • I’ll take “yet another OH NOES post about” Straight Womenz writing Teh Ghey Romance and pretending to be Menz for 500 Alex.


  • The debate about how much explicit sexual content a book is allowed to have and still be deemed a romance as opposed to erotica or porn.

    Can a book featuring a homosexual relationship or a three-way relationship be considered a romance? And so on and so forth. I can’t bring myself to read these threads any more as they inevitably annoy me and I don’t want to engage with bigots.


  • I was going to add alpha heroes and the print v. ebook thing, which for me is absolutely mind numbing, but other’s beat me to them.

    It seems when we’re new to blogging we think we have something new to bring to these discussions, not realizing that it’s a been there done that for those who have been around awhile. Of course, the more militant and hysterical of us don’t ever seem ever realize this.


  • #4 could be expanded — not just the Virgin Heroine but all the PC bullshit about how heroines should be Fearless about their sexuality, should have shagged the entire team and not have Issues about this, and so forth. In fact, heroines really shouldn’t have any Issues about anything; they should be Strong, Invincible, Implausible, and Boring as Hell.

    This topic particularly annoys me when it discusses maybe one book as an example, defends all Harlequins on the grounds that Harlequin heroines are actually a nice mix of female types (what happened to the monolithic goal of all heroines being Strong, Invincible, and having Fearless Fucks?), and subtly insults the women (because we are mostly women)(plus Teddy Pig of course) discussing the topic. (Somedays I don’t even pretend to understand feminism.)

    Thanks, Karen — this was fun!


  • Heh. I think you about covered all the re-hashed topics, Karen, and pretty sure we’re all “guilty” of at least one or two of the things on this list. I think #2 is to bloggers as #7 is to authors. And I agree with Edie on tying in #1 too on this sometimes.
    Oh! Actually, I have another one to add. The genre debate – all encompassing. Which one is better, which one is “hot” or which one is “dying” … and then when books are mislabeled.


  • But #10 is such a good way to get rid of #4.


  • Discussing the term “bodice ripper” over and over and why it can’t just die. It can’t die because we keep bringing it up!

    More discussions on virgin heroes would be nice for a change.


  • Wallpaper historicals. (nuff said)

    Likability/believability of the:
    1.Kick-ass Heroines
    2.TSTL heroine
    3.Knows-what-she-wants-sexually-experienced-and-not-afraid-to-flaunt-it heroine.

    Language Use. The graphic c*ck, p*ssy, vs the lillac tinted ‘male hardness’ and ‘feminine core’. All the drenched, dripping, weeping, twitching, popping, clenching, creaming, that some peeps like/love, others overlook and yet others find a total turn off.


  • For me, it’s discussions about which topics are the most recycled. If people want to stop talking about certain topics, there’s an easy fix: stop talking about them. This includes bitching about other people talking about them.

    ps. Shit! Trapped by my own logic!


  • cs
    February 15
    7:22 pm

    RRRJessica: You took the words right outta my mouth. Personally nothing is too recycled for me, mainly because everyone always spins different opinions (or drama) on the matter, it always seems new.


  • valentine
    February 15
    8:51 pm

    It’s wierd how people get so worked up over the heroines. She must be relatable, you must be able to identify with her, blah blah blah. Personally, I prefer a heroine who is extremely well developed and nothing like me. I’m reading about a character, not some self-insert here nonsense.


  • 😆 ah, Jessica!


  • handyhunter
    February 16
    12:08 am

    For example, where’s hardyhunter now?

    I’m assuming you mean me. I’m here, where I’ve been for a while.

    I wish people would talk about race/racism/diversity more, in a low(er) key fashion, like reviewers mentioning if there are race issues in a book or when it’s done well; I wish these things could be discussed without meltdowns or denial that -isms exist or claims we shouldn’t talk about this because nothing changes. If wishes were horses…

    I read a lot of romance novels, but I tend to stay out of romance discussions (except for the one DA post, apparently). Although my interest in romance books also goes up and down, usually depending on when favourite authors have books coming out or what I feel like reading. I am currently more into comics, which has its own share of issues, and YA books. Since you asked. 😉


  • But romance is suppose to have a HEA!!!!!!



  • Largely agree with what everyone has already mentioned.

    Sadly, for me, the mind-numbing print vs. ebook thing, with a merry band of extremists on both sides of the coin, has now cropped up in my professional life. So far I’ve been sitting on my hands – but ooooh, it’s been hard!


  • But #10 is such a good way to get rid of #4.

    It took me a minute…LMAO!


  • #5 ZZZzzzzz


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