What am I talking about? Well, books of course, but what goes on in them.
Recently people have discussed just how much reality belongs in books. For example, characters using the restroom. Or heroines on their period. Whatever. I’m going to take it further though (thus the extreme) – to things like basic necessities.
A perfect example is being thirsty. People often exclaim that they are “dying of thirst.” Rarely is it true. At least, for us. Sadly, it’s all to common around the world.
I tried to think about it. Romantic suspense isn’t my genre of choice, but I’ve read a significant amount of it. I tried to think of situations where characters have been stranded, or had to exercise their survival skills. You know, those ex-Marines and SEALs who have to crash into the jungle and rescue the scientist, or humanitarian heroine. I thought about Amy J. Fetzer, Shannon McKenna (you have to admit her characters get themselves into some crazy scrapes), and so on.
Then, I went to historical romance. Every so often the characters go to a remote estate and are either snowed, or stormed in. Or, the more “exotic” ones, where they’re traveling to Egypt or India. Lots of desert time there. I tried to remember if As You Desire by Connie Brockway had a sandstorm. (Did it?!) Incidentally, if you’ve never read that book, you must. Must.
The only book I can think of is a young adult novel – On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt. This is one of my favorite books ever. The heroine is a young girl who follows someone she thinks is a thief, but turns out to be an earl. Their boat is wrecked on the open sea… and well, you have to read it.
The point of this is, though, that we rarely consider things that are crucial to life and survival. Things that one would imagine would be more prominent in romantic suspense novels. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I just kicked off my (third!) annual Social Media for Social Good charity fundraiser. I spent about a year researching a reputable, international charity. I ended up choosing charity:water. I love that 100% of the public donations they receive go directly to projects on the ground.
I love that it makes us think about something as basic as water. I can’t imagine not having easy access to clean water. I’ve been guilty of being a water snob even, preferring bottled or filtered water. It breaks my heart to be reminded there are people who have to walk for hours every day, then wait even longer in line to get water… that likely isn’t even clean. They’re laboring so much to get something that may make them sick, or even kill them.
Kinda explains why such things aren’t in romance novels, yeah? But, it’s something to be considered.
I know there’s a lot going on right now. And gosh – Make a Difference Day was October 27, which is why I had planned on it for my SMSG12 kick off… I know there are other needs and some closer at home too, but I’m asking people to help out in any way they can.
Please consider making a donation, any amount helps. Or, at least leaving a comment on the post. The great thing is, SMSG is always a comment drive too. So people who can’t afford to, or simply don’t wish to donate can contribute to charity just leaving a comment. We have people pledging donations based on the amount of comments. This is to increase involvement, and awareness.
I’d also like to mention there are a few challenges. If 50 bloggers (or reader!) donate, I’m going to increase my donation amount. Author Jax Cassidy has offered to double her donation amount if 50 “of her friends” [to be interpreted however any of us wish to] donate. So I’m asking – would you consider donating? Any amount, $10, $5, even $1 would count, and help us meet those goals. It’s tax deductible too!
But to tie it back to books and something more light hearted… just how much of [actual] reality do you want to see in your books? I admit, in RS, when the hero has been beaten half to death, and yet he’s running around, or wanting to sex up the heroine with bruised ribs, I remain skeptical. That bothers me. Does the lack of bathroom time bother me? Not so much. Survival issues? Sure – those should be mentioned.
So my answer is mixed. How about you? And then – have you read any books where the characters are stranded and need water?
And I’d like to thank you all in advance for supporting this cause. I love seeing how the romance community – and all our friends and family – come together with such generosity. Any and all donations are appreciated, and remember – even a comment on this blog post: http://www.tartsweet.com/2012/10/27/water-changes-everything/ counts! (It’s crucial to comment on that specific blog post, because that’s what keeps track for the pledges. Thank you!) <3
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