1. lady_augusta

    lady_augusta New Member

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    Romance Getting H/h together

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by lady_augusta, Oct 1, 2019.

    hi all.

    I'm currently trying to outline my new historical (regency) romance novel. I had a perfectly serviceable plot that just didn't really speak to me at all and now I think I've got what I need, except arguably the most important part: why the characters are around each other in the first place.

    Generally in my stories (and romance in general, I know) the couple has a reason for spending time together. They're fake dating or one is a handyman and one owns a dilapidated house, or they're roommates, etc etc. But I can't come up with anything for this story.

    I have my characters pretty set: H is the illegitimate son of a Duke, and has a complicated relationship with his father that makes him want to stand on his own two feet apart from any aristocratic influence, and is wary about being involved with those higher born than he; h is the wealthy and social heiress to her father's peerage and idealizes romance and love despite the distress her own parents' estrangement has caused her.

    My plot is also set, excluding one pretty big detail: They meet in Italy, where h has lived with her father for years, and H introduces himself as his legitimate half-brother for reasons; h returns to England after years away, learns the truth about H and is angry, [...they fall in love...], they have an amorous understanding but are torn apart, h is punished and H's mother tells her she will ruin his life by being with him, so h allows H to believe she is rejecting him for his class and lets him get all mad; circumstances bring them back together and when H sees h has kept some trinket he gave her he gets her to admit she is in love with him and HEA.

    But the part where they actually fall in love is what's bothering me. Initially this was that h's fsther had a mistress and h was trying to avoid the scandal of indiscretion by enlisting H to help set the mistress (who she was friendly with) up with another man. I thought it flowed okay but I just...ehhh. Don't love it.

    I've thought about this being something that the h offers to pay a vast sun of money to the H for, which he needs to start a business or something away from his dad, but I can't figure out what she wants—well, she wants to find true love and get through her season without scandal, but I don't know how to translate that into a plot point. I have come up with enough couple-thrown-together circumstances to write twenty hallmark movies but none of them seem to fit my couple!

    Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

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    It's hard to develop emotions in such a stiff and stressed scene where you never really get to know the other person behind the upper class acting. You might need to simplify things with natural scenery where people can be themselves without their staff and forget the ranks for a while. Then add some mystery and drama with disasters, heroism, deceit, secrets, confessions, jealousy, spying... It's easier if you begin with a list of evocative words that can be puzzled together into a story, then reuse the background events that aren't affected by character arcs. Don't be afraid to change your whole outline until it's perfect, because it's much easier than rewriting the whole book until it's a broken mess with too many random characters, scenes, and things to remember.
     
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  3. John12

    John12 New Member

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    Nearly all romantic fiction is written following a tried and tested formula. Boy meets girl they get driven apart by various events, finally get back together (Love Conquers All), and walk into the sunset together.
    Its main advantage is it’s the easiest way to be accepted for publishing though not the easiest way to make it pay. The average reward is between 6000 $ -- 8000 $ which is hardly a living wage. However, if you achieve a good following the price for a novel will increase dramatically.
    The readership for romantic novels is mostly middle aged ladies who have very fixed ideas of what they expect from the genre making it difficult to depart from the set formula.
    Romantic historical books offer more in the way of different approaches but be wary, many romantic historical readers know their history and will know that Maria Antoinette never escaped the guillotine.

    As for your problem, logic and reason hardly play a part in falling in love; attraction in its many forms plays a major part. If we chose our partners in a purely logical way then many abusive relationships could be avoided.

    Hope this helps,

    John.
     
  4. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Maybe something less emotionally distracting? She would be in turmoil over her father, her mother, angry over the mistress. Too stressful I think to really have any time to flirt. Is there another problem you could bring in that might be more fun? Maybe something of her father's is stolen, and he's brought in to investigate or watch over the father's belongings.
     
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  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Only thing I have learned as of late on the genre is to avoid love triangles,
    as many readers don't seem to care for them any more.
     
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  6. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    How about using a Jane Austen trick? Have them bump into each other, in a way the reader did not see coming. It might seem impossible in a strict society, but it never is. That way, everyone's defences will be down. If you can make it a bump which involves close physical contact, even better.
     
  7. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    She's rather adventurous and scampers down cliff-side to gather eggs. As she's clambering up the final yards of turf, she spies a stallion and below the horse, in her eyeline, the nobleman having his tinkle-constitutional, fist pumped into his hip...

    'Hew, mi laydy, leth me gather handkerschief for dost wipeage urine from thoust most elegant fingers tendrils.'

    'Lo, 'tis nuthin my good lorde. Would thee like egg?'

    ...

    Oh
    ...

    'Onee momente my coky dost leake.' [WIP edit, edit]
     
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  8. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    :supersmile:
     
  9. lady_augusta

    lady_augusta New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion! I have decided to keep with the theme of scandal as a big part of her character arc is realizing that she doesn't have to be perfect/cheerful all the time to be loved, but instead looking for stolen letters of her father's which will cause this scandal. (For the record, she likes the mistress, she just doesn't like that its interfering with her social life.)
     
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  10. lady_augusta

    lady_augusta New Member

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    Thanks for your comment...I agree, I've never really seen the appeal even when they were popular. Plus then I have to come up with two love interests, which is work, and I hate work.
     
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