So I decided that ethics and convictions are overrated and I just want to be fucking rich. Like Scrooge McDuck rolling in piles of gold rich. I can’t do this writing honest satire and social critique. I need some self-masturbatory material where everyone but myself thinks I’m beautiful and I fall in love with some ridiculously handsome guy with a giant penis–something the young, shallow, housewives of America will spend 29.99 on.
Let’s start out with a weak-minded and weak-willed female protagonist. Everyone but herself thinks she is beautiful. She has no real character flaws except that she is a klutz and dresses in oversized clothes from the LL Bean catalogue. Oh, and she MUST be a virgin–because the man of your dreams doesn’t want your hoo-hah tainted by another man’s pee-pee. This female character must lack any sort of depth that might make her a semi-interesting person. Even without a real personality, men swoon over her and think she’s the bee’s-knees!
Now we need a male protagonist. He has to be really really good looking, and as the author, I have to remind you on every page how good looking he is. In addition to being extremely good looking, he has to be a total controlling and abusive asshole. He watches you while you sleep and/or tells you how to eat. He slashes your tires so you can’t go out with your friends . He’s a real charmer. But he’s so good looking! And rich! And has a huge penis!
I’m going to need another male character to half-heartedly compete for your love. This is where I insert the male friend who thinks you’re beautiful too (just like everybody else) into my story. He is usually some sort of non-threatening minority like Native-American , Latino and/or Wolf. His only role in this story is to get beat up by your beloved asshole for trying to get in your pants. Remember, you can’t defend yourself from unwanted advances because you are a weak woman who needs a brooding man to rescue you whenever you’re in trouble. How romantic!
Now that I have my formulaic characters, I need a gimmick. Think vampires or BDSM sex. You can’t sell a Harlequin novel in the 2010’s these days without a hook like sharks, tornados, shark-tornados, zombies, dragons, or rich rednecks. I’m still trying to narrow a gimmick down. Add in some purple prose and a thin-plot (Something like vampires that sparkle in the sun instead of die–How else can you explain a vampire who goes to high school? Night school is for losers!) and I think I have the next NY Times best-seller on my hands.
Most of all, I need to set the women’s movement back by about 50 years.