My guest today is Ginger Monette and she's sharing a post about the craft of writing. I'm really glad you're here so be sure to scroll down and leave your comments. I wouldn't want you to miss this one :)
Have you ever wondered how couples fall in love?
As a romance novelist, it's my job to weave a story that gives readers a front row seat to watch the unfolding of a beautiful love story.
But how does a couple get from “Hello my name is” (or even “I despise you”) to “You're my soulmate and I want to spend the rest of my life with you?”
Having been disappointed by numerous novels where the couple claimed to suddenly “be in love” without actually “falling in love,” I went on a quest to investigate this mysterious process of falling head over heels. What I discovered changed my writing.
I dissected some fifty romance novels and made notes. All the couples had hefty doses of attraction, but the most satisfying stories went beyond attraction to something deeper. They showed the characters passing through four phases that moved them step by step from “meh” (or downright hatred) to “wowie-zowie he's the most wonderful person in the world.” And each phase seemed to be characterized by distinct thought patterns. See if you think these phases and thought patterns ring true to real life—particularly if at first Prince Charming seemed to be more of a frog than a prince.
Acknowledgement of him:
-Acknowledges some good quality about him (talented, kind, generous, etc)
-Finds him attractive
-Hyper aware of him, or hyper critical of his shortcomings (which often signals preoccupation or a subconscious denial of admiration)
-Acknowledges an attraction, but blows it off
Appreciation of his good qualities:
-Defends his character while not necessarily liking him
-Is genuinely thankful for a good quality
-Beginning to warm towards him
-Not so judgmental towards him
-More willing to consider his opinion on a matter
-Takes his advice
-Imitates quality or action of his
-Admits her initial criticism or objections were exaggerated or biased
-Curiosity grows—willing to spend more time in his company
-Acknowledges similar values or mutual interests
-Finds she is thinking (fondly) of him more and more
-Openly acknowledges her love/warm feelings for him
-Desires to be in his company
-Thinks he is wonderful
-Thinks he is perfect match
-Misses him painfully when he is gone
-Thinks about him constantly
So how did this awareness of stages change my writing? In my novel Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, I kept these four stages and behaviours in mind as I crafted scenes. They became an outline of sorts that I wove with compelling action, mystery, suspense, and historical detail. I made sure the couple had ample opportunity to interact on a deep level, then continually gave voice to the heroine's evolving inner thoughts to show their romance was based on more than physical attraction and chemistry.
Using this approach produced not only a thrilling story, but gives readers a deep sense of satisfaction as they watch the heroine's tiny bud of acknowledgement open into appreciation, then expand with admiration, and finally blossom into full adoration.
Don't we all ultimately desire a romance built on a foundation of compatibility and emotional intimacy rather than just a pitter-pattering heart?
What do you think? Add your comments to the conversation below.
The Darcy’s Hope Saga--Downton Abbey Meets Pride & Prejudice!
Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside Jane Austen's iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. In Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, you'll watch the couple's tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences at a field hospital only miles from the Front. Then, in Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, Darcy is crushed when espionage separates him from Elizabeth and injury leaves him in a dark and silent world. But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything….
“…a stellar example of fine Austenesque literature. …an exceptionally moving story complete with a compelling plot, danger, mystery, action, introspection, vivid detail, and an emotionally wrought romance.” ~Austenesque Reviews