Thread: Adult Topic!: Afra: Questionable attraction?
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Old Jun 17 2008, 06:08 AM   #2
Kath
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oop North

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Default Re: Afra: Questionable attraction?

I started a similarly themed thread over at AMCF a couple of weeks back. Personally, I think Anne chooses to walk this particular line because she knows the demographics of her major audience, and knows very well how to appeal to them. What do teenage girls like (and I'm adding to that group those of us who cling on to teenage escapism throughout our lives)? The telepathic flying pony archetype. A physically powerful creature bonded to your very mind, whose love and affection you win via being more special than your peers. On Pern, we have the dragons. In the Towerverse, it's an older telepathic man.

What Anne overlooks, and what rubs me up the wrong way about the Afra/Damia and Sascha/Tirla (and even the Sodan/Damia) relationships, is that people generally don't stop maturing at age 16. Of course, the audience she's appealing to with these relationships is usually 110% convinced that they're as grown up as they're ever going to get, so it passes them by completely - but I'd love to see some more examples of changes/increased maturity in some of these relationships, where the women in question are more than just a cardboard cut-out of their younger selves with a handful of kids running around their ankles. As it stands, the only changes Anne seems to be able (or willing) to make are increasing the shrewishness of some of her characters as they age, which may be all very well for motivating the next generation of special youngsters, but is really a pretty feeble plot device and rather a disservice to the characterisation of her aging characters.

I've kind of drifted off the point I was meaning to make though - it's all very well having these older men waiting until their love interests are 'legal', but if they had any respect for them at all they'd give them a bit more time to grow up than just that. A girl's body may be at it's prime at that age, but her personality most usually is not. Why would you want to risk stifling something that you want to love?


I'd be curious to know if Anne writes this way simply because she's a traditional romance writer at heart, or if it's done through a more cynical awareness of audience and marketing...
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