I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, February 27, 2012

R-O-M-A-N-C-E

by Jenness Walker

Is anyone else having a hard time believing February is almost over already? I’m still struggling to write ‘2012!’ The good news is that, even though the month of love is nearly gone, romance will never go away. :-)


In fact, did you know there are a million different types of romantic plots? Well, maybe not quite that many. But there are at least twelve. Or twenty-five. Or…I guess it just depends on how you want to break it down…and how many books you’ve read.

You know I love me some lists. But instead of making up my own, I’m linking to two places where they’ve done the leg work. Check them out on Absolute Write and Inkalicious and see what you think. Are there any plots you would add to theirs?

The first type that comes to my mind could probably fit under one of the others, but I like it as a standalone: Romance with allegorical elements. Think of Redeeming Love—it doesn’t mirror only the story of Hosea and Gomer, but, of course, the greatest love story of all, as Heidi touched on in her post last week. Do you think that has something to do with why that book is—from my understanding—the best-selling Christian romance of all time? I think it definitely plays a part.

For readers: What types of romances do you wish there were more of? Which ones are you still a sucker for, even if you’ve already read dozens with the same basic plot? Are there any that you're tired of at the moment? 

I don’t know if I have a favorite. I’m drawn to Cinderella stories. Who isn’t? Disguises—doesn’t matter whether it’s a princess dressed as a regular chick or a girl dressed as a drummer in the Civil War. Protectors. Marriages of convenience—historical or contemporary, doesn’t matter. Best friends—hey, I married mine! Opposites—lots of chance for some good heated conflict there. Love/Hate. And—

So much for not making my own list. I guess I just like a good romance!

For writers: What categories do your favorite novels and movies fall under? What about your own stories? Just for fun, pick a type you haven’t yet worked into a plot. Now go do some brainstorming!

15 comments:

  1. I never get tired of romances where the male and female start out at each other's throats. I love the sassy dialogue!

    I would say the one kind of romance I really don't care for is the "damsel in constant need of saving and perfect hero who never fails" plot. Or the "we can't have a relationship because I'm a Christian and you're not and oh, wait, I just got saved, let's get hitched!" plot. Thankfully, I don't think there's tons of those around. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree with Melissa! I want a strong hero AND a strong heroine.

    I love the best friends plot too, but I'm probably partial because it happened to me. :P

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a sucker for royalty plots. Love the princesses and princes. I also love military romance plots--something about that uniform... I also love best friends plots, and that's what I'm writing now.

    I like strong heroes and heroines who are willing to be vulnerable and make the grand gesture for the ones they love. Sacrificial love is what it's all about!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love plots with quirky characters--not the same old she's perfect and he's perfect and wow, they meet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nicely done, Jenness. I agree w/ Teri--those characters are unforgettable and end up sticking with us. I also am one of the minority who hasn't read Redeeming Love yet--must correct that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love Cinderella stories and Beauty and the Beast...
    Love this post, Jenness! Miss you here at DT!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What I want in a romance has changed over the years. I like a strong hero and heroine too -- but I like a hero who can be vulnerable too. And I always like a rescue element too -- and it doesn't always have to be the guy rescuing the gal.
    And, yes, I like marriages of convenience ... dunno why -- maybe it's the whole falling in love despite all odds journey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know this goes against the whole necessary-tension element, but I just love a "nice guy, nice gal" story. Deep stories behind them, conflict-rich stories despite the general 'good-guy-ness' of it all, but I'm a sucker when the two genuinely good people end up together. Think.... Little Dorrit, The Inheritance, Sense and Sensibility, Oak Leaves... *love*.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Melissa, I'm with you on both counts. Such potential for snappy dialogue there. I do have to admit, though, that growing up, I tended to have over-the-top tough, independent, no-rescuing-necessary women. Hopefully I'm a bit more balanced now. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lindsay--I know, right? There's something special about the best friend thing. I tend to cast my vote for the sweet and steady but sometimes-overlooked friend in stories with love triangles. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lisa, I'm pretty sure most girls are suckers for royalty stories! What is it about them, anyway? I was so glad LIS decided to publish a royalty series. I need to pick them up.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Teri and Dee--quirky is good. I agree. :-) And it's a good thing to keep in mind--how can we make our characters stand out from the million romance heroes and heroines out there?

    Dee--yes. You must read it at least once in your lifetime. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Pat, I wish I could be there! What's your favorite Cinderella-y story? :-)

    Beth, I hear you on the marriage of convenience thing, although I have yet to figure out why, exactly, I tend to pick them up. :-) Speaking of which, I think it might be time to reread The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amanda--it depends on the story, but yeah, those can be fun, too. Especially with a bit of humor in there somewhere, like Erynn Mangum's Miss Match and the rest of the series. Haven't seen The Inheritance yet, but keep hearing it's good. So I've been missing out? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yup, that's my absolutely favorite too. In fact, that book helped me through a hard time in my life, so when I read the book, I totally got it. "Oh, Jesus loves me!"

    Thanks Jenness :)

    ReplyDelete