Many years ago I read a Harlequin romance novel. It was wonderful! The heroine was lovely and the guy she fell in love with and then lost and then ended up with at the end of the book was handsome and worth the wait.
I couldn’t get another Harlequin fast enough, and read it in record time. This one was okay. The heroine was also lovely and the guy she fell in love with and then lost and then ended up with at the end of the book was also handsome and almost worth the wait.
I got a third Harlequin and read it, and never read another. The third story wasn’t bad. It included another lovely heroine and another handsome guy who eventually got together at the end of the book. But I realized the three stories were the same. Different names, different locations, different occupations for the main characters, different hang ups, health issues, or whatever, yes, but the story was the same.
Fast forward quite few years and I went to an afternoon workshop for writing romances. I learned there that some authors used a set formula for writing romances—that’s why all the books were the same.
Now don’t get me wrong, romance writing is big business and some writers are very successful and write fun books. And they probably aren’t all the same any longer. There is even an Association just for romance writers, see: http://www.rwa.org/
Fast forward to the 1990’s, I came across other romance novels that I enjoyed. I loved the Madeleine Brent books and was only slightly disappointed when I learned that MB was a pen name for Peter O’Donnell (1920-2010). The nine romances “she” wrote have similar formats, but I loved them anyway. They were old in the 90’s and older still now, but if you want a fun read check them out at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2566.Madeleine_Brent
Fast forward to now, how is your romance novel coming?
Need more inspiration?
I really enjoyed Lisa Mangum’s latest book, After Hello. (Lisa is coming to WIFYR this June. Yay! Watch for her author interview and book trailer coming soon to the WIFYR blog.)
And if you want a good old romantic movie, try An Affair to Remember
or Rebecca, which is almost like the old Harlequin novels from long ago –so fun in small doses—and this one is directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkraCshPB4w (At least check out from 1.30-3.30.)
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you spend it with your sweetheart!