Showing posts from September, 2017

The Good, the Bad... the Ex

Oh, old fling, how you serve us romance writers. Might you be the experience from which our hero learned invaluable lessons in love? The romantic foil, who steps in during the blossoming stage of the new romance to offer some romantic tension? Or might you be the story’s hero, emerging fully developed from the shero’s past, ready to admit your historic idiocy and woo her back into your manly arms? No doubt about it: the old fling is a powerful stock character for us romance authors. And like most stock characters, The Ex™ should be used sparingly. Although all of the incarnations of the ex deserve extensive discussion, it’s the last trope I wish to address. To put us in the mood, imagine this: We’re introduced to our shero (it could be our hero, but the male ex is more common), whose life is all right but, you know, inevitably bereft in a few ways. She tries not to think of the ex, whose long-ago betrayal sent her spinning out of his arms and into the cold embrace of a