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Can the Same-Old, Same-Old Be Great?
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JudyZ6666



Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Posts: 192
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
There is repetition and then there is recycling. To me, if an author has a certain type of story she tells and she tells it well, that works. For example, Suzanne Brockmann told the story of the military hero coming in to save the day very well. Every one of her guys was strong, brave and true. They excelled at what they did. I loved the comradery the guys shared and how they were just so tough until it came to their ladies. I stopped reading her when she began to try new things. I wasn't interested in the new stuff, I'm interested in the same old, same old. And could she still score a DIK hit for me when she delivered a well written same old same old? Yes.

maggie b.


Right. These are variations on a theme. And, to repeat my Mary Balogh example, things like silver-eyed Dukes are also repeated themes.

The variations on a theme fill in a proven structure with unique characters (and I agree about Brockmann's early books i.e. the TDD books--I could go read them again right now <g>). The repeated themes are what brings that sense of familiarity. It does annoy me a bit if I glom on a bunch of a writer's books at once. If you're coming to a book after not reading one for a while, though, it just makes your silver-eyed Duke seem cozy and familiar.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, I think any author can find a lot of material to mine in her bag of tricks without becoming boring and having to "stretch" herself. I wouldn't want Loretta Chase to drop her intelligent, self-reliant heroines and start writing clinging vines, for example, and I would never complain that they are repetitious. On the contrary, there have been several times when I stopped reading an author because she did head off in a new direction but it was a direction I didn't much care for.

However, I recently started a new book by an old favorite author, and I kept thinking I had read it before. I checked the copyright date and no, it really was a new book. As I continued, I kept thinking, "Wait a minute, I remember this scene. It was in Book A. And this one is from Book B."

If I had never read this author before, it wouldn't be a problem. But since I had, I decided I could have reached into my bookcase for a reread and saved myself $7.99.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, I think any author can find a lot of material to mine in her bag of tricks without becoming boring and having to "stretch" herself. I wouldn't want Loretta Chase to drop her intelligent, self-reliant heroines and start writing clinging vines, for example, and I would never complain that they are repetitious. On the contrary, there have been several times when I stopped reading an author because she did head off in a new direction but it was a direction I didn't much care for.

However, I recently started a new book by an old favorite author, and I kept thinking I had read it before. I checked the copyright date and no, it really was a new book. As I continued, I kept thinking, "Wait a minute, I remember this scene. It was in Book A. And this one is from Book B."

If I had never read this author before, it wouldn't be a problem. But since I had, I decided I could have reached into my bookcase for a reread and saved myself $7.99.
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JudyZ6666



Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Posts: 192
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO wrote:

However, I recently started a new book by an old favorite author, and I kept thinking I had read it before. I checked the copyright date and no, it really was a new book. As I continued, I kept thinking, "Wait a minute, I remember this scene. It was in Book A. And this one is from Book B."


Like a sandwich menu! Smile

I am very, very careful about not buying older books that I've already read (and sometimes already have). The trend to re-release books with new covers--sometimes updated, so guess what? There IS a new copyright date--has me checking copyright pages/author pages/reviews all the time.

What's really bad is when you buy two copies of the exact same book, with the exact same cover. Yes, I did this when I was deep in the morass of two toddlers in diapers. Smile And, yes, it was a Mary Balogh book ("Heartless"). I got about 5 chapters into it before it dawned on me that I'd read it before.

Judy
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1692

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's sort of natural that books by the same authors would have some similarities. In fact, some elements are even expected. For example, I came to expect that Lisa Kleypas always produces fun and sexy books so I was really disappointed in her latest contemps. As long as there's a variety in plots and characters, I'm ok with the similar styles.

What does frustrate me with the romance genre in general (or, at least, historicals) is that even books by different author have sameness to them (especially if they're set in the Regency era). It's as if authors find out about history through other wallpaper romance books (or, at best, Jane Austen).

Sure, I love romance because of the formula, but within it, there should be enough room for a decent author produce something different. There's way too much rehashing. I'm sick and tired of man-whores who can sleep around with everything that moves and yet stay disease free. At least Mr Darcy was a decent chap and rakes didn't seem to be respected in Austen's novels.
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