|Because holy damn, that's why.|
That's what I thought you were going to say. Since examples tend to work best, and I don't want to name names and earn the enmity of fellow authors, I will give you a paraphrased version that I keep seeing over and over again. It goes something like this.
Sexy female lead, getting involved in a dangerous or personally distressing situation, must seek help and join forces with sexy, alpha male lead. Will the two of them find the answer, and will their raging libidos get the best of them?
If you don't feel this is an epidemic then I urge you to go to your local bookstore and read some dust jackets. Romance, erotica, mystery, thriller, suspense, modern fantasy, classic fantasy, science fiction, it's showing up everywhere. The pacing might be slightly different, the plots might vary, but there are certain buzzwords that are showing up repeatedly. This is a plea to my fellow authors, and a warning to future ones; stop it. You're making us look stupid.
What's Wrong With Sexy?
As a concept, not a damn thing. Some genres are predicated entirely upon telling sexy stories about sexy people. The problem is the word itself. What is sexy? I guarantee you that whatever you're thinking, the next person to pick up the book and read the same sentence will not be thinking the same thing. It's lazy writing, pure and simple.
|What is it that makes someone an alpha male?|
So What Do You Suggest?
I'm glad you asked that, bolded, italic type face. My suggestion for all my fellow authors out there is when you're coming up with your dust jacket hook that you cut the fluff. Language that tells us nothing about the characters, or is misleading, sensational, or flat out lazy needs to go. Period. It's the modern day equivalent of saying "and she meets a tall, dark stranger." Even if she does (or he, let's be inclusive here), could we perhaps come up with a better reason for us to care? Do a little more showing, a lot less telling?
|What more do you want?|
Next time you're describing your plot or your characters, sit down and ask yourself how you'd feel describing real people this way. Is the most noticeable feature of a dedicated, hard-nosed police detective that she's sexy? Or is it that she takes dangerous assignments and never quits until the job is done? Is the most dominant personality trait of a business tycoon that he's mysterious? If so, you might need to dig a bit deeper because you've only scratched the surface. If there is more to them, then show us. Give us an elevator pitch that makes us skip our floor.
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