It took me a while to come up with a topic to write about for this hop because, well, quite frankly, romance is about as broad a topic as one can get. All thing romantic could have its own library in my opinion. There are hundreds of aspects of the romance. Completely unlike what the so-called “experts” declare to be the six or so key elements in our formula. So, we are a little bit patterned.Let’s see…Guy meets girl, or guy meets guy, or guys meet girl, or wolf meets girl, or vampire meets guy…
Where were we?
Oh yes, our pattern. (Sorry forgot I was talking about the formula for a second and was going on to the way things should be and are evolving to—Ooops!) As you can see the first pattern of romance is established via the perfectly normal relationship according to societal standards…(okay—can you see my smirk from clear over there?) So, seems we’ve disrupted that part of the “pattern” a bit…Next!
They fall in love, there is a grievous “thing” that keeps them apart for several chapters, the “thing is resolved,” they have the most explosive, best feeling sex ever (even if they are both virgins and have nothing to compare it to), oh, and then happily-ever-after, blah, blah, blah…Formula complete.
Well, I don’t know about y’all, but I grew way tired of that little pigeon hole, box mold, formula a long time ago. Give me something to chew on for a while. Not…See Dick.
See Dick fall in love with Jane.See Jane swoon.
See Dick and Jane get married.
See Jane wears white even though at that cocktail party that night they slipped into a closet and it was “implied” they were doing something other than kissing.See Jane give birth seven and a half months later.
See Dick get frustrated some years down the road and divorce poor Jane.Okay that last bit is how I see life. Realistically. Problem ridden. The silver lining needs silver polish and the rainbow is missing a color or two at times and the pot of gold happens to be a cardboard cut-out. J
My secret is out. I am indeed the Queen of Conflict.That’s one of the problems I have with formulaic romance. The lack of serious conflictual material. I love conflict and think it makes the story. It allows your characters to overcome something other than the decision as to what to wear to that big cotillion over to the country club. It gives them depth and gives them room to grow—editors call it character development. And, they like it deep. (hehe)
However, I’ve learned to rein this conflicting skill in to a fine art. The conflict must be something realistic that can be overcome or it’s off the board for me. I live in a real world with real people all around me with plenty of real life issues to draw from. There is no excuse for me not to have a beautiful storyline chock full of conflict, heroism, tears, joy, and resolve to write a romance novel which my readers can believe in and be inspired from. If my characters can do it, well, then they need to believe they can too and anything is possible in their lives.
They can find true love, even if that love comes home from Iraq not completely the person they left as. They can overcome the heartache of loss and move on to find love again. They can face their inner demons and become the people they know they can be.My characters have substance.
But do they make anyone swoon?I hope so.
What is swoon worthy anyway? Well, just because I make it so real doesn’t mean my heroes and heroines don’t know how to be romantic and display loving gestures fit for any Lady of any court befitted upon them by any Knight. (I love historical, but only well written, factual, down and dirty historical where things aren’t always sunshine and daffodils—who’d have guessed that, right?)So, what have some of my characters done that I feel is worth a good swoon…
In Bound by Trust, Gage fixes Madi’s roof. (before you throw tomatoes at me, let me explain) Madi is a war widow, and come to find out her husband wasn’t the hero she believed him to be before he went off to war. She’s left destitute and alone trying to fix up her grandma’s old place and it just happens Gage is a Marine living across the dirt road. In order to earn her trust, he must prove himself—thus the caveman gesture—but the reality (here’s realistic conflict) is Madi’s broke and her roof leaks like a sieve and she makes her living teaching piano (not possible with a soggy piano). The most romantic thing the man could do was fix her roof. Not to mention he looked damned good up there sweating…it did lead to resolve. J
In Three for Keeps (and I did take a couple of hits for this in reviews, but chose to overlook those thoughts because I knew what I intended and followed through on it), there is a point where Zoey is being a total irresponsible brat. When her three men catch up with her (yes, three—see above where we’ve broken the traditional m/f mold J) Jack proceeds to strip a switch off a nearby bush and beat her butt with it. It was out of total love (although reviewers were a bit appalled). He was scared for her life and well, Zoey needed her ass busted. Remember McClintock (God love John Wayne)? He stood by idly as the hero took a fireplace shovel to his daughter’s ass. Yes, waaaayy back then in a real life movie they showed in a theater. Gaasspp!! And we get drilled for these things in this day and age. Who knew? Anywho, the point is—Jack gave Zoey the romantic gesture she needed via a good old fashioned ass spanking and things got better—again resolve. And there was lots of it after that believe me!
So, the moral of the story is…
One man’s seven course dinner is another man’s roof job, or, one man’s moonlight walk is another man’s switch to his heroine’s ass.
Romantic gestures are all in perception of them. Swooning is optional. JThanks for coming by and listening to me for a few minutes.
Oh…the prize…of course!
How do Godiva chocolates strike ya? Is that swoon worthy? I'll be gifting the winner a Godiva Chocolates sampler of some sort. J Simply leave me some comment love below along with a valid email addy so I can contact the winner when the time comes….talk to me about what you think is a romantic gesture…Click the icon to keep hopping!