How Not to Write A Romance Novel: Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie
Please see below for a list of things in books I have recently learned I hate, thanks to Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie:
Women who settle for jobs for which they are over-qualified, under-paid, and under-appreciated. I do not want to read a book about an intrepid secretary who ultimately finds job satisfaction in filing even though she is smart and capable of so much more. This is too often reality and has no place in the fantasy world of romance novels.
Characters who quote movies excessively.
Conflict between love interests which shows up in the form of yelling fights in which the woman ultimately backs down because she knows she can always get the man to change his mind later.
When men change their minds only because they've been nagged into it, and the nagging woman feels triumphant that she won.
Women who get makeovers that suddenly reveal their beauty ("Why, Miss Jones, you're beautiful!") and only then become attractive to men. So much more appealing in a romance novel is a woman who everyone (except for her one-true-love/soul mate/what have you) thinks is plain.
Women who make stupid decisions without their motivations being fully explained.
When one-night stands with coworkers result in absolutely no awkwardness at work the next morning.
If you're writing a novel and are considering using any of the above, don't. You'll thank me in the long run.
In addition, don't read (or listen to) Fast Women. Though I would say I like Jennifer Crusie, this is not the best example of her stuff.