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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Not the Ugly Cry

by Em Peters

While recently reading a romance, I came across a scene where the heroine was crying. It went something like this:

Damian swung around at the sound of a sniffle. When his gaze fell over the stunning vixen he’d been forced to share the condo with against his will, shock ripped through him. Her perfectly mussed curls hung around her face, giving her a sexy I-just-crawled-out-of-bed look that sent a pang of need straight to his heart.
His gaze ticked downward, taking in the pale oval of her face and the way her lower lip jutted enticingly. Damn, he wanted to sink his teeth into it and tug her near.
His breath caught as their gazes clashed and he realized she was crying. Two icy tracks of tears coursed down her cheeks and her blue eyes glistened like the sky in a world that had just been born…

Okay, you get the idea. The heroine is crying and the hero thinks she’s beautiful. But does this really happen outside of romantic fiction? Personally I’ve never heard my husband or any other male (inconsiderate asses!) compliment me on my ability to cry. Could it be that my tears are less beautiful than the stunning vixen’s above?

That was the “beautiful crier.” Here’s my take on the “ugly crier”:

Damian grabbed a beer from the fridge and slammed the door before spinning on the woman he loved. The sound of her sob was like a gunshot, seemingly deafening against the roar of the thirteen-year-old refrigerator and Alex Trebek’s voice on Jeopardy blaring from the television in the other room. A cigarette burned in the ashtray, fogging the room with a choking cloud.

Marcy’s face folded in on itself, her brows puckering and her mouth opening into a wide mask as she issued a snorty howl. Thick streams of black mascara dripped down her face and off her flabby jaw and she forcefully sniffed, sucking snot back into her sinuses. Her unkempt curls glued themselves to the wet mess on her face and Damian wondered what the hell she was bawling about now.

I’m sure you get my point of this exercise. In romance, we want the rainbows without the rain. The hot sex without the STDs. I personally look forward to saddling my characters with flaws, and if the heroine is an ugly crier, so be it. Is she less lovable with black streaks of mascara than with “just-got-laid” hair? Is she still sexy if she has a roll on her belly? Or an unsightly scar? For that matter, is the hero still a hunk if his hair is receding and he’s lost his job?

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.

Em Peters
Author of Moon Child
~One boy's love blooms into an epic tale of adventure, mystery, and the passion he needs to break a centuries-old pact and free the woman he loves from a life she fears~
Available from Whiskey Creek Press in October


Debby said...

Love the cover. I have never read one of your books. I am glad I visited the blog. A new author for me
debby236 at gmail dot com

Aerinah said...

Excellent points all! I personally want to read a romance where the hero is afraid he's not good enough for the heroine, and is agonizing over his bald spot, sucking in his tummy, whatever. Not to mention treating her like a princess because a) he's nice like that and b) he can't believe his fantastic luck.

I plan to write some of this myself, but I'd sure like to read it from others too! :)

Marianne Stephens said...

I like a hero to feel compassion for a woman who cries. But, I don't want whiny, sniffling heroines. A great scene where there's a meaningful cry can show both their personalities in a positive way, and entice the reader to relate to them.

wanda f said...

Your cover is gorgeous cant wait to read this one