Monday, November 14, 2011

Only in Novels Ten

Ten Things Women Do Only in Novels

Are Purseless: Women in novels rarely carry purses. In real life, that's like being a medic without a carry-in. I'm not particularly in love with purses -- I own exactly one -- but I feel unarmed if I go anywhere without it. There are exceptions, of course; my daughter flatly refuses to carry one (something I secretly admire, actually.)

Confront an Intruder: I am amazed at how often women in novels will get out of bed in the middle of the night to investigate the glass-breaking sound out in the living room. Alone, unarmed, drowsy and dressed in my pajamas? I'm going to do the sensible thing and call 911 on the cordless as I climb out through a window and run away.

Dash on Makeup: I don't wear makeup anymore, but back when I did it took at least ten minutes, not the five seconds it takes in novels, to apply. Now there are so many different products I think you need a degree in chemistry to figure out how to use them. Also, women in novels all seem to be makeup experts who always get it on perfectly the first try. I envy this greatly, as I have never gotten it on right the first try.

Eat Indiscriminantly: Calories remain completely uncounted in novel world. Or maybe the food has no calories, or all the women there have incredible metabolisms which allow them to eat anything they want and never gain an ounce. Which is why I want to go live in Novel World. Now, please?

Flaunt Their Scars: No matter what physical or emotional trauma was involved, novel women like to show off their scars. They often dress specifically to reveal them, and have no problem discussing -- with total strangers -- how they got them. This is certainly a healthy attitude, but not a realistic one. Those of us who have noticeable scars usually dress to cover them up so we don't upset other people or have to talk about them.

Have No Allergies: Women in novels are disgustingly healthy in general, and almost always allergic to nothing. I marvel at this, especially during the Spring when most of my female friends are mainlining Claritin just so they can walk outside to get the mail. My mom is so allergic to mangoes simply touching one makes her break out in a rash. I'm the same with ficus trees. It doesn't seem fair.

Never Use Mobiles: Another reason I'd like to go live on Fiction Planet; none of the women who inhabit it are on their cell phones 24/7. In my world I can't escape the mobile phone addicted females; they're everywhere. And the texting while driving. God. Don't even get me started on that.

Wear Any Old Thing to Go Out: Outside the chicklit genre women in novels appear supremely unconcerned with how they dress. They're almost like guys in how little they think about their clothes. Not so in real life; just find yourself an average lady and watch what happens when she has to get dressed to leave the house. Nations have risen and fallen in less time. While you're at it, bring popcorn, a drink and a comfortable lawn chair for the makeup and hair phase of getting ready to go out.

What have you noticed that women do only in novels? Add your observations in comments.

19 comments:

  1. They seem to manage that time of the month (if they have one) with barely a twinge, or just a paling of the cheek. Sort of makes those who celebrate those days by rotating their heads 360 degrees and spewing pea soup feel like extremists.

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  2. They have perfect teeth and their breath is fresh from the time they wake up and kiss the partner. No bad breath here, peeps!

    In the same vein, they rarely go to the bathroom for relief - self-diagnosis while staring in the mirror, yes, but taking a... hmm, a little tmi there.

    Or break wind. Not even when they sleep and the lover is staring up at the ceiling having an angst moment.

    And yes, I've had a female character let rip...

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  3. They always seem to have perfect eyesight. no glasses, no contacts, no partner pulling off glasses at the start of happy time and then asking why she stopped.

    Because none of them need the stoopid things.

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  4. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but in my novels they carry purses, agonize over what to wear, and are self-conscious about their weight and flaws. That doesn't make for a very fun read, so maybe that's why I'm not published yet :p

    Actually, the opposite of the "eat indiscriminately" bothers me. Whenever women in novels go on a diet, they magically drop twenty pounds in a week and can fit with room to spare into the bridesmaid's dress that used to be three sizes too small. Also, when they have romps with handsome strangers, they never worry about STDs or birth control. These aren't just funny little observations; they can be harmful to impressionable teen/twenty-something readers who don't know how dangerous crash diets and unprotected sex can be.

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  5. I've wondered about the same things. In my WiP I have the woman telling the parrot she has to go to the bathroom. I never realized I could be a little forward there. LOL. Once again, maybe it is time to make the women more real for our daughters, granddaughters and etc.

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  6. ROFL! How true. Even a hermit like me hides scars and takes at least 15 minutes to decide what to wear before I'm forced to leave the house.

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  7. Thumbs up on this one. I used to carry a tiny purse with only my ID and money. NOW I can't leave w/o a huge purse and my life in it. I could survive a full week on what I have in my purse. lol

    Yea, put some more realistic in ... I don't wear makeup either, but when I did, it would take 15-30 minutes to apply it... and my sisters used to stand in front of a mirror for hours, preparing their face and hair.

    ;-) Cyn

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  8. Back when I was writing romances, my women characters carried purses, always worried about birth control, used little makeup (because I don't at all and haven't a clue as to how to apply it) and in the category of TMI, the guy would often go into the bathroom after sex to "clean up" (i.e., get rid of the condom). No purses in my YA book, but then it's hundreds of years in the future and maybe by then we are mercifully released from the necessity to carry one.

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  9. they never potty in novels.LOL. you are so right. they also have no trouble kissing each other first thing in the morning. I always have a moment when that happens in a romance thinking well that cant be romantic.LOL

    reese

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  10. t-shirt and pants. whichever shoes are closest to the front door -- unless they require socks, then I might hunt up a different pair or agonize for a moment or two over whether it's a sock day. (I live in Florida so tend toward fewer layers when possible.) No makeup, but I have, over the years, gone from no purse to small purse, to something nearly tote sized in order to carry cloth diapers. Now that the children are older, I keep trying to move back down to smaller bags, but then I find myself grumpy at not being able to just toss the quick shopping trip into my bag and go. (Not shoplifting, but I always forget the reusable bags.)

    So I'm never surprised by quick dressers, and non-makeup people. My friend who dresses for coordination (not matchy-matchy) does take quite some time getting dressed, so I'm also not surprised by that. She also wears makeup, changes her nail polish multiple times in a week (mine stays until the nails are grown out or it is all chipped off), and dresses to hide her scars. If people ask about my scars, I talk about them, and whether or not they're hidden depends on whether it's shorts or pants weather. (Most people don't ask -- even facial scars are less noticeable than self-conscious people think. --The only one I can remember explaining is the one across my wrist. Gorilla ball in a poverty stricken neighborhood where metal scraps in the play area was not unusual.)

    I guess I read with the idea that there are people of all types out there, no matter their gender.

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  11. The women all have dogs...cutesy little pooches in purses and huge, slobbering saint bernards. But in no book have I ever read about the woman scooping dog poo or barf. There are a couple of stories where a farting dog has played a part, but only has this ever been shown in a funny way. Uh...nuh uh.

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  12. ...have BO; trip and fall flat; have their fly open; try to go in the out door and can't figure out why the door won't open; in general, be a clutz.

    I've read lots of stories in which the main character female is supposed to have body weight issues, but even so, the character is still lucious and curvacious and beautiful.

    Seriously. I want to read about an introverted, ugly woman with a bad temper.

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  13. Christina Ostendorf1:02 AM

    Where are their personal to-do lists mental or otherwise? Don't they pay bills, separate their recycling? Stop by the store for groceries occasionally? Do they ever eat in their home unless they're making dinner for their romantic interest? Brush or floss their teeth? Pluck their eyebrows? Clean the sink afterwards?

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  14. No shaving of the legs, drives me nuts! Also the kissing first thing and the food thing, and the birth control issue. :)

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  15. My protag in my WIP is always on her cell phone. Of course, the phone is AI and a plot device, but she has one!

    And while she doesn't have glasses, one of the sides of the love triangle does and he does take them off!

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  16. Anonymous9:11 PM

    I hate Alexandra Keller. Worst character in that whole series, comes across like you're writing/trying too hard to make her 'oh so cool' and likable.

    Rest of the series, spot on, loved it. Looking forward to one where Alex is either rendered mute forever or dies.

    Cheers!

    Jen Yoder

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  17. Anonymous wrote: I hate Alexandra Keller.

    Oh dear. Good thing she's not in every novel, then.

    Worst character in that whole series, comes across like you're writing/trying too hard to make her 'oh so cool' and likable.

    What an interesting opinion. Personally I've always viewed Alex's character as a highly unlikable nerdy scientist type, but maybe I need my glasses checked.

    Rest of the series, spot on, loved it. Looking forward to one where Alex is either rendered mute forever or dies.

    Alas, I finished that particular series three years ago, so I can't rip out Alex's tongue or bump her off for you. But thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts.

    Cheers!

    Alex says back at you, sweetheart.

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  18. Their hair only takes a few stroks of a brush or running a comb through it to be perfect.

    Ha!

    Hahahahahahahaa! sez all the real world women who have bad hair days, bed-head & tangles in the morning, roots to touch up, flat iron or hot roller their hair daily, or shove it into some fancy ponytail with a pretty clip, split ends to worry about, or oiliness if they don't shampoo daily, or some drug-store at home dye-job.highlights catastrophe they need to fix pronto.

    Ha!

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  19. Facial Hair, need I say more?

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