Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Romance Fiction - Can this marriage be saved?

As I finish each new romance I read, and I read a book every two days, one question pops into my head. Can this marriage be saved? Sometimes I don't think the romance I've read is one where the couple will remain as a couple for long.I've been guilty of this in some of my romances and wondered what the problem was. I've come to several ideas and I'm sure those who write romances can think of others.

The first thing is that the writer becomes so involved in the plot which usually involves the outer conflicts that the romance is while not neglected, is not completely developed. I;m a plot person and love weaving all the lines and sometimes must pull myself back and ask "What's happening to the romance part of the story?

Another thing that makes me wonder if the relationship will last beyond the words "The End" comes from another problem. Often the writer is so intent on what keeps the characters apart of in looking at the conflicts, why these two characters are going to stay together is forgotten. What common interests do they have. In revising one of my current projects, I was surprised to see the number of common interests the couple has. Not all are major but often in real life it's the small things that drive people apart. My couple share a love of cooking, the same tastes in reading, movies and music.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter? Does every romance that ends in happily ever after stand a chance of lasting well beyond the end of the book? Even if the epilogue says they do.


Terri said...

Actually, unless I know the characters will be recurring characters in a series, or the book is SO good I don't want it to end, I don't particularly CARE what happens to the h/h once I've closed the book on them and their satisfying HEA.
It's rare for me to find characters in romance novels who are so multi-dimensional and finely drawn that they can hold my attention and remain in my thoughts after their epilogue.
And if an author DOES manage to write absolutely compelling characters, then the chemistry IS there and I DO see what draws them to each other, whehter or not they see eye to eye. It's not a question of whether she'd rather drink beer at a ballgame than accompany him to the philharmonic or a wine and cheese party. Opposites can and do attract. They don't have to have the same interests at all. They just need to learn how to accommodate each other from time to time, and be willing to suffer through the Ice Capades for their partner once in awhile when they'd rather be riveted by a lecture on dinosaur bones or sitting at home watching Lost.
I actually think it would be pretty boring if their interests were the same.

Janet Lane Walters said...

As a re-reader of books I want to believe the characters are eternal. So often I've read books where the hero and heroine are compelling but when they get together there is nothing but bickering and I wonder why they are slated to be together. The love-making may be hot but I often don't finish the book since the chemistry between the two shows me nothing that will keep them together. I guess since we are opposites in so many ways, what I'm saying is the HEA is not satisfying to me in these books. I don't think they should have everything in common but there should be hints that they are together for more than love-making.