Todays writing Wednesday is on the hopeful death of distress. The D.I.D. is your typical “Damsel in Distress” or in m/m romances the “Dude in Distress.” I hate these stories. Yes, this post will be a pet-peeve rant that I hope writers will take to heart if not into their stories.
I’m tired of reading about the weak character falling into some ridiculous trap and the stronger character having to save her or him. The worst in the genre is usually heterosexual (HET) romance. I cannot tell you how many times I have read a story that started with a strong and powerful female until she found her love partner. Once she starts falling the girl turns into this needy, pathetic thing who can’t even tie her shoes without her man’s help or approval.
I’m not going to lie, the gay romance genre is just as guilty in creating this pitiful creature. I’ve read plenty of m/m stories where the “weaker” or bottom man is strong and powerful until he meets Mr. Right and then becomes a fumbling idiot.
I get if your character is clumsy and out-of-place. I get that she or he is the smaller and therefore a weaker character to begin with. I even get if your character is human struggling through a world of vampires. But what I don’t get is the dependence of your man (or in really rare cases of your woman) to get the you out of the mess you just got yourself into. Haven’t we grown past these stories?
Reading these stories I mostly just get confused. Why does love make us weak and dumb? Aren’t partners supposed to be equals? If a character got him or herself into the situation then she or he needs to get out of it on their own. Or if anything the two main characters need to get out of the problem together. See…partnership.
So create those strong characters, preserve that strength, and keep writing!