Jackie has me hooked on the Subcare (Submission Care) forum at eharlequin.com which is how I came up with my latest idea: the waiting times list. So I combed the archives of 2009 and develop a list from what is posted there, mainly to satisfy my own curiosity (did I mention I’m not so patient?) and for anyone else who’s interested because let’s face it, if you’re anything like me you post the query and would like to have the letter begging you for your full manuscript the next day, physical impossibilities aside. This way we have the option of getting all nice and worked up after a respectable waiting period just in time to get the reply back if we like ;-). You can find the waiting times I have so far under my followers on the left.
So as I developed my lil list (feel free to leave updates for it if you find it helpful) I discovered the concept of too much conflict. It fascinates me, I mean you hear about NOT ENOUGH CONFLICT rejections but have you heard of the TOO MUCH CONFLICT rejection? This led to me harassing the lovely Donna Alward who kindly took pity on me and did a series of blogs on the topic: Exciting news and some words on CONFLICT (part 1), Conflict Part 2 – When is it too much?, & Conflict 3 – Bits and Bobs.
I’m building her a temple of worship as we speak.
Did you know that the general consensus is that there are seven major storylines for all literature? This has also been extended to thirty six and reduced to three (and one) but seven is what the majority has settled on. Fascinating though this is only one of these is relevant to romance writing but it did spark my urge to list the classic romance plot lines. Of course one of these on its own does not a romance story make. We twist them and combine them until viola! You have your best seller!
These are the ones I’ve come up with so far, please let me know if you think any are missing.
- Accidental Pregnancy: forces hero/heroine to face their fears.
- Amnesia: hero or heroine has lost their memory temporarily or permanently.
- Beauty and the Beast: hero or heroine is physically marred.
- Betrayal: Heroine has intentionally hurt the hero or made a mistake in the past that has hurt the hero or vice versa.
- Business competitors: hero and heroine compete for high business stakes only one can win.
- Cinderella: rags to riches story.
- Class: a class difference sets a couple apart.
- Family feud: e.g. Romeo and Juliet.
- Friends to Lovers: a hero and heroine’s friendship becomes more.
- Kidnapping: hero kidnaps heroine or heroine kidnaps hero.
- Marriage of convenience: arranged/forced marriage.
- Masquerade: hero, heroine or both pretend to be someone else.
- Mistaken Identity: hero or heroine isn’t who he/she appears to be.
- Opposites attract: good girl/bad boy or bad girl/good boy.
- Secret Baby: heroine falls pregnant but doesn’t tell hero about it.
- Secret: hero or heroine keeps a dark secret.
- Stranded: hero and heroine are forced together.
- Twins: hero or heroine has “evil” twin, hero or heroine masquerade as twin etc.