I love Twitter! In fact I love social media in general. Someone on a blog somewhere…sorry I can’t remember which one it’s been a couple of months back…compared social media and all the links to great articles and blog posts and useful information passed through social media to standing in a stream catching the useful tidbits that float by carried by the currents. I do find that a very apt description. I log onto Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest usually just to see what’s going on. Most of the time there will be goodies floating in the current…a useful blog post on characterization…or book recommendations…links to free books…whatever.
Today’s topic Dealbreakers comes from a Twitter link posted by @BDSMblogs – The link links to Literary Wenches a blog owned by someone in a poly-amorous relationship. The focus of the Dealbreakers post at Literary Wenches is what would be dealbreakers in this real person’s real-life poly-amorous relationships.
However, it bears thinking about in a literary sense too. As writers and readers we all have our own internal dealbreakers lists of character traits and character actions that are dealbreakers for us.
In traditional (non-menage) romance the hero or heroine being sexually involved with someone other than their love interest would be a dealbreaker for a lot of readers and is a place that a lot of authors will not go or will go only with a good set-up.
In BDSM romance the use of safewords is an absolute must for some readers. For others safewords aren’t of much importance but there are other dealbreakers…a dom sharing his sub for example…might be a hard limit or a dealbreaker for some characters and/or some readers while it might be something anticipated by another character or reader.
When it comes to menage romances the traditional one man and one woman romance goes out the window in favor of romantic and sexual relationships between more characters…often two heroes and a heroine…sometimes more than two heroes and a heroine. Sometimes a combination of multiple heroines and heroes.
When we erase the dealbreaker zones common in traditional romance it leaves a lot of uncharted territory as to what the new dealbreaker zones are in new genres of romance that as a genre overstep the dealbreaker zones.
I think we all have dealbreaker zones in our real lives and in what we will accept from our fictional characters.
I have pretty broad dealbreaker zones…though as in real life…I like my characters to treat each other with fairness. This comes up for me a lot when I read BDSM romance or domestic discipline novels. If a hero is going to punish a heroine he better have a good, solid, fair reason for doing it. Otherwise my fair meter clicks into overdrive and I am immediately thinking he deserves a taste of his own medicine and I hope he gets it. For me fairness is a dealbreaker. Heroes and heroines need to be fair to each other…or they need to acknowledge that they are not being fair and are indeed playing…which can be fun.
Safewords for me are not a big deal. I believe anytime someone says no it should be interpreted as no. Period. The only time this is not the case is if the characters have talked about it before and have arrived at other safewords or have elected to play without safewords. A hero not stopping at no or not stopping at a safeword is a big dealbreaker for me.
In the post at Literary Wenches dishonesty and covering up are discussed…and those would be dealbreakers for me too…both in fiction and in real life.
What about you? What are some of your dealbreakers in romantic fiction. What actions, words, or traits can you just not tolerate in your fictional heroes or heroines? What acts are forgivable? Which ones are totally unforgivable?
Can you think of any occasions when you’ve forgiven a character who did something on your dealbreaker list?
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