Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

Book Discussion & Recommendation > Let's Talk About Instalove

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message 1: by Taryn (new)

Taryn (taryngilliland) | 50 comments It's a common occurrence: you're reading a book, girl meets boy and BAM, they're in love even though they've known each other a whole two hours.

Many people, myself included, despise this phenomenon. I mean, why are these characters in love? How did this come about? I want to see it, I want to follow them on their journey as they explore their feelings, I want their interactions with each other to show me that they're into each other, not just be told, "Yeah, they love each other. See? They keep saying it every third paragraph. Who cares if they just met and have nothing in common? They're in love, dammit! WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE ME?"

I'm sure there are a million and one reasons why an author would favour 'love at first sight' or 'instalove' over a slow, built up attraction, but isn't there a better way?

I'm genuinely curious as to what other people think about this. I'm currently writing two books (one is a standalone and another is part of a trilogy) and so far I've combated the instalove problem by making the couples like each other and be attracted to each other, but they're not gushing about how in love they are and having outbursts of sickly sweet affection.

So, what do you feel the best way to combat instalove is? Obviously the answer would be to build up the relationship with plausible interactions and situations, but how much do you think is needed in say, a standalone book? A five book series? A ten book series? I'm looking forward to everyone's thoughts. :)

message 2: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Stirling | 90 comments Hmm. While I do think install equipment happens, it does have to be reinforced with behavior in order to last. I prefer to read characters that are either immediately attracted and that attraction grows into love due to mutual respect and understanding, or characters that don't like each other at first sight and develop respect, concern, attraction, and eventually love for each other over time. In a series I could see the latter working well if the first book showed dislike that matured into respect by the end, the second moved it along to concern, the third attraction and foreplay, etc. That is, of course, if you want to leave your readers hanging for five books before they get any sexy times.

message 3: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Stirling | 90 comments How did insta-love become "install equipment", autocorrect??

message 4: by Linnea (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 81 comments Ariel wrote: "Hmm. While I do think install equipment happens, it does have to be reinforced with behavior in order to last. I prefer to read characters that are either immediately attracted and that attractio..."

I'd say leaving your readers hanging for a bit before they get any sexy times is a good thing (though five books may arguably be too long). I think the insta-love/insta-lust phenomenon in part arises from authors wanting to keep a fast pace in order to get to the sexy times sooner rather than later. They try to attract both the romance audience and the erotica audience, but end up alienating the former because the romance doesn't get a chance to develop naturally. There's after all a limit to how far an author can make their readers suspend disbelief.

On the other hand, a fast pace (or at least a not-too-slow pace) will also be what keeps your readers involved and not bored. The romance genre is, perhaps more than any other genre, inherently very sensitive to pacing because it's main focus is relationships - something which the readers themselves will know from experience takes time to develop.

message 5: by Michele (new)

Michele | 128 comments I think that "insta-love" is actually "insta-crush/lust/chemistry" but it can become real love if the characters fit correctly and it's allowed to develop naturally through the story. Since events in novels are usually pretty extreme compared to real life, I can go with the love taking shape more quickly - though whether I believe it will last forever is something else.

I much prefer that to "insta-hate" which is only a mask for Twoo Wuuuv - something that is just too unbelievable to me. "He's an ass, but he's so sexy, but I hate his guts, but Oh, I just misunderstood everything" = "Nope, he's really just a jerk," bad ex-boyfriend in my world.

I actually like indifference/casual acknowledgement of hotness - the two have no real interest in each other until circumstances force them to work together and they discover little things that add up until - Whoops, mad love!!

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