"Is there a romance novel cliché or plot twist you have gotten really sick of? Then maybe you can use it to generate a story idea. Story ideas created this way have the advantage of being both fresh and yet familiar at the same time. They also give you the satisfaction of turning an annoying cliché on its head."
(Ann Marble, "Story-Starters: Ten Ways to Jump-Start Your Plot".)
I remember when the obnoxious alpha hero was popular. You know, the guy who never listened to anyone and always pushed the (sweet, virginal, mousy) heroine around, and she fell for him (heaven knows why). Those always drove me crazy (though a lot of people love them).
What if I wrote a story with a heroine who was a self-centered CEO of a major corporation, rolling in money, bossing everyone around, used to getting her own way--and she fell for a really sweet guy and had to find a way to win his love. Hey, that's not too bad. If I could find a way to motivate her so she's not beyond redemption (which was always the key to making those bossy heroes work, after all), then that could be an interesting story.
So what's your pet-peeve, your most annoying romance novel cliche? How would you turn it into something fresh, something that you'd actually enjoy writing?