Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Insta-love and Special Snowflakes

In reading a couple of different reviews of my books, the terms "insta-love" and "special snowflake" were each brought up as being potential eye-roll material. While I totally appreciate the opinions of others, I just want to take a minute to elaborate on these two ideas. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not being snarky, I am only defending the reasoning behind my work.

Insta-love: when someone who just meets you thinks that you are their soul mate and they want to spend the rest of their lives with you and have kids with you. (urbandictionary.com)
Love at first sight is certainly not a new concept and there are real life couples who have experienced this kind of connection. After first meeting my husband, I called my friends in our dorm together to tell them that there was something really different about him. I was drawn to him in a way that I couldn't explain. When first meeting someone that you eventually go on to date, there's quite often some kind of draw to them in the beginning. While it may not necessarily mean that you think they're your soul mate, you still may get that feeling of butterflies in your stomach and stars in your eyes. A lot of that is just basic attraction. I agree that it would get old if every single story involved love at first sight - I even made a point of having childhood friends fall for each other in my zombie book. Regardless, I'm not a fan of the term "insta-love" and think it generally mocks the whole concept of love at first sight. I have a feeling it was invented by someone who hasn't experienced it before.

Special snowflake: a person who thinks they are unique, different and therefore more special than everyone else. (urbandictionary.com)
Whenever a story is told, there has to be something special about the main character that makes you want to read on. You need to hear everything from a girl who discovers she has magical powers rather than from her best friend who sits by and watches it all happen. Can you imagine if Jess from Twilight had told the story rather than Bella? I guess I fail to understand why hearing the story from someone who is unique would be a bad thing. If I'm going to invest my time in reading hundreds of pages, I want it to be about something interesting, not some story that I've heard a hundred times before.

Okay, I've said my peace. What's your opinion on these terms?


C.J. Sullivan said...

*LOL* OK, I noticed on some of the reviews for Shymers some people said "special snowflake," and I kept thinking, What?? I didn't read about any snowflakes. Did I miss something?? Hahaha! I get it now.

I don't have a problem with special snowflake characters. They're the characters that deserve to have stories written about them. They're special!

The insta-love thing, I don't like that as much, but that's for personal reasons. I think if people enjoy it and have experienced it, that's great! I will read stories about love at first sight, but personally, I enjoy romances that develop over time as opposed to the immediate feeling of undying love. But again, to each his/her own.

Risurocket said...

I think both terms actually reflect your audience well, as today's YA, teen readers are not going to relate as much to "old fashioned" terminology.

I also think that the concepts, when well done, are things that make stories great.

I do have to admit that I personally like a relationship that evolves over time as well, but when you're writing for a teen, YA audience, sometimes instant gratification is what they relate to the most. It's what they crave, what they fantasize about, etc. And for what it's worth, my daughter loved Shymers. ;)

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

Those are two terms that are new to me! If I ever hear that, I'll now know what the heck they're talking about, as well as how to respond! Thanks. :) Cool clips to portray those terms.

And to let you know, I've nominated you for the Liebster Award on my post today. :) Please check it out and find a time to best represent!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I've never heard of a special snowflake, but I'm liking this phrase :)
As for Insta-Love, I hadn't heard of this expression until recently. It's definitely prevalent in YA fiction. It works depending on the story and the characters. I read for escapism. Sometimes it's lovely to know two characters are going to fall for each other pretty much straight away. There's something comforting about it.

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