It’s 2018 and lesbian fiction has come a long way from how it first was. No longer are heroines filled with angst about their sexuality, nor are they married to a man, only to “turn” gay as soon as an out-of-the-closet lesbian makes an appearance.
Yet, there are still quite a few things that make me want to pull my hair out and throw the book into a flaming pile of week-old garbage. So below, I’ve listed 10 of my personal pet peeves in lesbian fiction.
When the first few pages of a book clearly states the story will be in 1st person or 3rd person limited, but then it switches point of view, I find myself disconnected from the story.
Please don’t put me into one character’s mind just to yank me out and be put into another.
It’s okay when the viewpoint is from multiple views, but it takes me out of the novel when I’ve been seeing the story from one character’s perspective for ten chapters, then by chapter 11, I’m supposed to get into the head of a different character.
Whether it’s between lovers or friends, it’s frustrating when characters have bad communication skills solely for the purpose of drama.
This usually happens between the heroine and the love interest.
If one person isn’t so confident in her feelings and has a reason to keep them hidden, sure. If they want to be together but something’s keeping them apart, that’s fine as well.
But if one or both of them are being secretive about their feelings for no reason – as in there’s no reason for them to hold back – I’m going to look for another book.
Cast Full Of Hotties
This one confuses me and let me explain.
By having a cast full of hotties, I don’t mean I find it annoying how hot everyone is. When reading a book, I’m going to imagine decent looking people anyway.
What I mean is when every character sees every other character as attractive.
I find it really annoying when the heroine thinks of her best friend as “hot but not as much” as the love interest. And when the best friend thinks the heroine is sexy, but they’re only friends so she means it in a platonic way.
Then a new character appears, and she’s described as smoking gorgeous, but she’s only a minor character.
No Character Description
Some readers don’t want any character description so they have the freedom to imagine whoever they want. Others like a lot of description so they know exactly how a character looks. I’m more in the middle.
I like to be told important details of a character’s appearance. That way, I can distinguish one from the other and remember how they look when they make another appearance.
That being said, I can’t stand it when I’m five chapters into the story and still haven’t been given a description of the heroine, or when a minor character is introduced and there’s no sentence or two about what they look like.
Would I rather have love at first sight or some chemistry that builds up overtime?
The latter. I would definitely rather have the latter.
Nothing ruins a book for me more than when two characters meet, and by the end of chapter two, they are ready to marry each other.
Huh? How does that work?
Let me get to know them. Let me see them flirt. Let me read about the obstacles they go through, the hardships they overcome together, and the moments they come to terms with their feelings.
Let me define what type of love triangle I’m referring to.
If one person finds herself in love with two people, but she’s holding onto both of them because she just can’t make a decision who to choose, I’m going to quietly close the book, get on the internet, and search for a new story to read.
I can’t stand love triangles like this. One person will always end up getting hurt and the person who can’t decide will always look like a selfish asshole.
Sex Doesn’t Match The Tone
Another pet peeve of mine is when a sex scene has a completely different tone from the story or the people involved act out of character.
Is the story a YA fantasy? That means the characters’ sex scene will be detailed like erotica, right? No.
Reading a contemporary romance about a heroine who has trouble expressing her feelings? During sex, she’ll scream about what she wants to do all night long, right? Hell no.
A sex scene should be like any other scene, but there’s sex involved. It shouldn’t feel like it was taken from a different genre, nor should the characters act differently.
This one always makes me laugh.
No matter the genre, no matter how serious the scene, if someone starts yelling, “I’m coming! Oh, baby, yes, I’m coming!” I will be on the floor, holding my stomach, laughing until I cry.
When character decides to be very vocal about when they’re about to climax, and it’s not for comical purposes, you can bet I’m going to have a hard time seeing the character the same way afterwards.
Just have the orgasm. Don’t announce it.
Lesbian In Distress
This is the equivalent to the damsel in distress. The only difference is she’s gay.
I already hated the damsel in distress, so when it’s a lesbian in distress, that doesn’t make me hate it less. I don’t mind the heroine hitting an obstacle and needing help. I don’t mind when she’s at her lowest and requires a little push to get back on her feet.
But it becomes a pet peeve when she’s been doing great for the entire story, and at the last minute, ends up curling in the fetal position, waiting for the love interest to come save her.
If they save each other now and then, it makes sense. But if it comes out of the blue, I’m not going to think it’s romantic.
All About Being Gay
I love a story about a heroine who just happens to be a lesbian. I love it when she falls in love with another woman throughout the story.
But it becomes a problem for me when the story is solely about her sexuality. Even contemporary romances involve things like family, friendship, struggles and conflict outside of the heroine’s relationship.
Stories that are only about the heroine and her lesbian life doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I need more to happen aside from her love life.
And there you have it, 10 of my personal pet peeves in lesbian fiction.
Do you agree or disagree with any of my pet peeves? What are some of your pet peeves in lesbian fiction? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear from you.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you.
Regards, BK Scotther