We all have those trigger words – words that make us cringe – words that lift us up – you know what I mean. Words that just bring an emotion, a visual completeness to whatever we’re reading. I had a run-in with a word last night as I was reading the latest Shifter Romance to cross my Kindle. And, sadly, it wasn’t a good experience but it did make me think and perhaps be more aware of how words affect me.
Let’s be honest here – we all are aware that the majority of Shifter Romance is erotica within a paranormal setting. Shifter couples are sizzling, smoking hot and not afraid to show us exactly how they enjoy their sexual moments. And I am totally fine with that – heck, I wouldn’t be reading so many of then if I wasn’t, ya know?
Yet last night I was completely taken out of the moment by one word that was put in the wrong place… for me. It shattered my illusion of a hot, sexy couple doing one of the most natural acts that any species does. Suddenly this wasn’t a man and woman expressing their love physically. It felt crass and I stopped reading at that moment. I was completely out of their world and into a cringe moment of my own.
Please, don’t get me wrong here – there is no “fault” yet there is “reaction” that is personal to me. I’m certain that as readers we all have words that are like fingernails on a blackboard to us… they simply jar and make us shudder or take us out of the experience of the story.
So I put that book aside and will return to it in a day or so. It’s a very entertaining story and I don’t want to miss the conclusion of it – but not yet. I need to get that hero and heroine back into a loving relationship in my mind and not the situation that one word put them into in my mind. Silly? Perhaps. But it’s also an honest human reaction that I needed to express. Truthfully, I wondered if there are other readers who react to certain words enough that they are taken out of the story because of them.
There is no right or wrong to this post. It’s an opinion, a thinking out loud moment of mine. The truth is words do have power – and for each of us, that word is different.