1. Immy
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    Immy Member

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    For Fans of Romance

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Immy, Jan 5, 2012.

    Just curious - for those of you who read Romance, what is the best plot you've ever read? Or what kind of story do you prefer? A bitter-sweet ending? A happy ending?

    E.g. two people who can't be together/someone's true love dies and they flashback on their time together.
     
  2. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    I hate sad or bitter ssweet romances - I'm a complete sucker for a happy ending. I like plots where there is a seeming personality clash at first - they argue and rub each other up the wrong way, and you can just TELL that they're made for each other, but they don't realise until the end. Pride and Prejudice is still the greatest example of this type of romance, although there are many many modern versions. Yes, it's become a cliche but if done well I don't care ;)
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hm, I'm not sure I would classify the kind where the love interest dies as romance, rather like tragedy...
    I like lots of different kinds, I don't think it has to do with the plot, more like with how it's written and how the characters are developed.
    In the end they all sound clichéd when done badly, there isn't much that hasn't already been done to death. And still you sometimes
    stumble upon one you really like, because of how the author approach the problems.
    One I really liked was rather a chick-lit, where the mc had a male best friend who was clearly in love with her and she didn't see it, although
    the reader sure did. Sometimes a humoristic approach can take away the melodrama of the situation and make it better.
    I kind of dislike the kind Kallithrix mention, the one where they hate each other first. It sounds too cliché to me, really. (Could be that I've read
    too many of them...) Maybe they won't go along that well in the beginning or have other stuff that stops them from seeing each other that way,
    but to actually have them hate each other to later make them fall in love seems so lame IMO.
     
  4. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I prefer the type of romance where, instead of using pretty words, the characters can be harsh or misleading. The type where action comes across as more affectionate than words - sometimes acting in a way that completely contradicts what they're saying. With a love interest who is unpredictable and switches between hot and cold with no in-between: one moment they're acting cool and the next they're acting on rage or lust. And when someone says something sappy the other mocks them, secretly loving what they hear but they're not going to melt into a puddle on the floor right in front of them. The sort who only soften when one of them makes it clear they're not in the mood to put up with the other's bad attitude - yet they still revert back to that front occasionally just to wind them up.

    In short: a story where the love interest would be absolutely perfect if they could only keep their damn mouth shut. And even once they're together that sharp-tongue remains. :p
     
  5. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Tesoro, I didn't say they should HATE each other, just that they have a personality clash that leads to disagreements. To be honest, lots of Jane Austen's stories follow this format - Emma is another.

    Another classic romance plot line is the heroine who is disappointed in love only to discover that her true love was there all along, supporting her in the guise of a friend but secretly hoping for more. Kinda like the story you mentioned. So if the personality clash plot is cliche, so is that I'm afraid ;)

    Then again, as you say, most types of romantic storyline have been done a thousand times before. It's the execution that counts :)
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kallithrix: oh sorry, I must have misunderstood you then, I thought you meant those ones where the mcs literally hate each other (or at least the female one always does) just to end up having to admit she needs him (insert puking smiley here), and to me that is so worn out, probably because I've happened to read quite a few of them and now I avoid them like the plague.
     
  7. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    haha, that's ok. There are many romances out there that are just plain awful, but you shouldn't let it put you off a particular type of plot. It all depends on how they're written - as I said, P&P is an example of a story where the romantic protagonists don't get on to start with, but it's one of the best loved romance stories of English literature ;)

    When I was about 11 or 12 I secretly used to read all my mother's slushy romance novels she got from the library, or ones she'd bought and hid in her bedside drawer - really dreadful Mills and Boon stuff, LOL. They were from the late 80s and some of them are so, SOOOOO bad.... a common theme seemed to be overbearing and chauvinistic men who trick/blackmail/force poor defenseless office girls into marriage pacts, for no apparent reason other than because they fancy them (yes, because we all know that's what a man does when he wants to bed you!). Then after about 100 pages of said entrapped female hating his guts for holding her to ransom and ruining her life, she suddenly realises that she doesn't want her freedom even when it's offered, because she just can't live without him. She goes on to have a dozen of his babies and be a good contented little housewife.

    AAAARGH!!! I thought women's lib took place in the 60s?? How were these stories still getting published??
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D I did that too, reading my moms romance novels, and they were the same 80's romance. Or even historical romance, like Victoria Holt, haha. I have actually started to read Emma, but have yet to finish it :rolleyes: My taste in books has changes quite a lot since those days, though. Thank god. :)
     
  9. Immy
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    I completely agree with that. We've got to accept that nowadays, pretty much everything is cliche, it just depends on how you write it and portray it that makes a difference.

    I've got to say, I love stories where they don't get on at first, then they fall head over heels but I'm not too keen on the ones where the Author makes it amazingly obvious what will happen. I mean, even if the reader guesses that it's going to happen, it shouldn't be over-the-top obvious, unless it's part of the plan.

    I read The Host by Stephanie Meyer a while ago and I was actually shocked by the results. Maybe I'm just naive, but I really didn't expect Wanderer to fall in love with Ian. I liked that because Stephanie didn't make it obvious - she placed thoughts in the readers head that made the idea of them falling in love difficult and almost impossible.

    Then again, I love stories where the two characters fall in love simply, with no fuss, like in Nicholas Sparks' 'Dear John'. Of course, all the fuss came afterwards when he had to return to war and she married someone else. But it was a nice, realistic story to read. :)
     
  10. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    I prefer stories in which X's true love dies halfway through the book, but X deals with it and moves on to another, less suitable, relationship.

    Incidentally, I enjoyed Bridge to Terabinthia.
     

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