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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's Your Bag, Baby?

One of the things I love about romance novels is the variety of situations that we find the hero and heroine in.

No, I'm talking about the dreaded T word--tropes. In other words what device or convention the author employs to throw our hero and heroine together.

Can't fight that animal attraction!
A few of my favorites:
  • Reunions (not the kind where your great-aunt tries to hook you up with your cousin either. This may or may not be a true story...)
  • Second chances at love. (Or third and fourth...)
  • Arranged marriages (Nuthin' says love like parents picking out your spouse when you're 4 and he's 10.)
  • Marriages of Convenience--especially in a contemporary (Yes, I might just be working on one. Shhh, don't tell. It's top sekrit!)
Honestly, what trope or device the author uses to get the hero and heroine together before they make their true lahve declarations doesn't matter to me. What matters is if the author can make me root for the couple.





What's your favorite Romance Novel "Situation"?







49 comments:

  1. Marquita ~ I'm looking back at everything I've written. What do I do the most? (Which would probably tell me the which trope was my favorite.) I think it would probably have to be a "marriage of convenience". And in my case, between two people who would never seek the other out of their own volition for whatever reason.

    I love throwing those sorts of people together and seeing how the work it all out.

    And you all know that's the basis for my favorite book of all time - Lisa Kleypas' The Devin in Winter. If they didn't need something from each other - his name/her inheritance, those two would have never taken a second look at each other.

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    1. That's a great way for a writer to figure out her favorite trope, Ava! So maybe the adage shouldn't be write what you know; rather write what you love?


      And I love, love LK's TDIW. mmm, Sebastian, hee!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Gees - the third time in one day this book has been mentioned! Perhaps I should read the thing!

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  2. I'm not sure if I have a favorite. I like them all. The book I'm currently working on is a marriage of convenience story, but after that one, I'm planning "the girl next door" story. :)

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    1. It *is* hard to pick, Samantha! "The girl next door" is a great plot device and one in my opinion that is hard to do, because the hero can come across as a jerk.

      Can't wait to read what you do with it; I know it'll be great and non-jerky!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I would have to say I'm particularly fond of the "older brother's best friend" trope. That and the "reunited" one seem to be the two I gravitate to the most often in my writing...but the one I most love to read is far and away older brother's best friend. Hmmm...maybe that's why I can't WAIT for Erin Knightley's debut to come out. LOL.

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    1. There's something so forbidden about those, Catherine. It's the ultimate unrequited love or inappropriate thoughts trope. :))

      I read the excerpt Erin had up on her website and I'm dying to read it. June can't come fast enough!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Oh, I love that one too, Catherine! That is one of my favs. Why didn't that occur to me?

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    3. Me too! I looove this trope. Probably because I spent most of my teen years mooning over my best friend's brother, lol!

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    4. Hehe! Me too! Maybe because of all my older brother's soccer friends (I'm talking to you, Stuart Huddleston!)

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  4. I love "Friends to Lovers" plots. Also anything with fairy tale plots. What can I say, I'm a child of Disney. The Princess Bride works well for both of these. :)

    "As You Wish"

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    1. Beth, I really love reading about that moment when the h/h realize that friends make the best lovers (for them anyway. ;)).

      Like you I'll always be a fairy tale lover.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. I'm a sucker for The Princess Bride and anything that makes me think of it. :)

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  5. I love the whole forced together to stay alive even though they hate each other's guts sort of thing. Lol! But what I have a very hard time reading is betrayal. My stomach churns for the characters because I know sooner or later the one betrayed will find out. Eek!

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    1. Now that was one I didn't consider, Andris, and it's a great one. So full of tension and side-eyed stares of hate. hee!

      Yeah, betrayal is hard to get over, even if the h/h is doing it to help out the one they love.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Oh, I completely agree. I have a hard time with lying characters. no matter the reason. Omission I can live with, but lying - that's a hot button for me.

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  6. Your posts are always such fun, Marquita! I'm very fond of "reunion" romances where the hero and heroine have loved each other but are separated for years for some awful reason -- usually a terrible misunderstanding and evil families -- then fall in love all over again, only harder and irretrievably the second time. (I may have written one of two of these myself, actually. ;) ). I also love scenarios where they're trapped together by outside forces (um... pirates... snow storms... may have written these too, LOL). Marriages of convenience and arranged marriages are also fabulous for all sorts of shenanigans (like Miranda Neville's new book that's out today!). And I love love love fairy tales.

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    1. Ooh, Katharine, I love the reunion romance because emotions are already at a high from the get go. Makes for delicious making up. ;}

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    2. Thank you and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Pirates and snow storms? Oh my, Katharine...what will you think of next to throw your hero and heroine together?

      I agree with Andris, high emotions at the forefront instead of developing over time bring mucho drama to any story.

      Miranda's book sounds like lots of fun, must put on my TBR list.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    3. I love the reunion romances too. Especially if one has to work hard to win the other over again. :)

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    4. Exactly. I remember reading one of those and the hero groveled the entire time. It was great, because he'd been a real jerk while the heroine was sweet but not in a eyeroll-ey way.

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  7. I like reunion stories, too, especially in shorter books-- I think it makes them more believable. I'm writing one now that's a reunion AND marriage of convenience. Oh so much fun. :)

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    1. Yes! I think these really work in novellas, Sonja. It makes me feel like I'm not missing out on anything.

      Good luck with combining those two tropes! You can do it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I love second chance at love stories. They totally screwed up the first chance but now they are older, wiser and realized what they have lost.

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    1. Oh me, too, Julie!! Sometimes they keep screwing up even after the second chance. Forgiveness is a really big trope or is it a secondary theme?

      There's a lot I would accept a character forgiving but cheating is a hard line for me. Of course someone will write something with that very plot and I'll love it. :}

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Marquita! Great post! Mine tend to be a little darker I guess, I seem to have a revenge theme going on here...hmmm...maybe I should get some help lol. My next story will be a second chances theme. It should be fun and I'm looking forward to writing something a little different.

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    1. Suzie, I love a great revenge story! I love it even more when the person bent on revenge finds out that his/her intended victim is innocent. Or when the Revenge peep realizes he/she lurves his/her victim afterwards.

      Good luck with your second chance theme!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I love second chances, too. Most of my stories end up being "second chance" stories, LOL!

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    1. Second chances are really all about forgiveness, Lily. Or at least I think they are. But the trick is also being able to "forget" what tore you apart in the first place. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. This is a hard one! Like Ava, DIW is my all-time favorite book, so convenience is definitely high on my list.

    When thinking of my own books, though, my favorite is the girl next door/friends to lovers plot. It was the funnest to write, and probably the funnest for readers too. But who knows. The most popular one involves betrayal. Eek!

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    1. Honestly, who doesn't love DIW, Jerrica?! Oooh, betrayal!

      Did fun equal easier to write or get into your characters' heads?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. That's a good question…I have no idea. lol. I guess a little of both. It was easier to get into their heads, and therefore easier to write. The fact that they knew each other so well meant that dialog was fun too -- a lot of razzing one another :)

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  12. I love all romance ends that lead to a happy end. I love the marriage of convince and they actually realize they love each other. I love the girl next door romance and they realize that she has always been there. You name it, I love it.

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    1. Isn't that what we all love about romances, Melody--the happily ever after?!

      I've learned that any convention in the hand of the right author can work for me. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. I hear ya, Melody! So long as I get my happily ever after, I'm good to go!

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  13. I really enjoy the Friends to Lovers scenario. I've done that several times. It's especially useful for a shorter word count.

    Also, have been mulling the fact that I've never done a marriage of convenience--could be fun!

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    1. You should do that next, Deb! I'm sure your fans would love it!!! I've never written a friends to lover. One day I'll have to try it. :)


      Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. It was really hard to pick my favorite trope so I guess that means I like them all! Betrayal is the hardest one for me but as long as the book is well-written, has humor along with some heat, and of course has a happy ending, I'm all for it. :)

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    1. So an author has to work really hard to get you to *not* root for the hero and heroine to achieve their HEA!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I really like them all but my favorites are hate each other but have to depend on each other to survive and the one where the couple thought they were divorced and werent,lol supprise. Another wonderful and funny bog!!
    Mom

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    1. I LOVE that your mom commented! Mommies are the best. :D

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    2. I think you and Andris have a lot in common, Mom. ;) And I like the whoops we're still married plot device. It reminds me of Sweet Home Alabama. :))

      Mommies are the best, Olivia!!

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    3. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Marquita's Mom! So nice to 'see' you again!

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    4. Maybe one month she can come up for Lady Scribes, Deb! There are so many of her favorites that have already read there. :)

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    5. You are so sweet Deb and it was such a pleasure to meet you.
      Marquita's mom

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  16. I like them all, really. I have a hard time picking, because they have all been done so well by so many authors! I do think second chance/reunion *might* be my favorite. Or the one where they each think the other is completely wrong for them, but it turns out they are actually totally the right person. :)

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    1. I think it's great we have to many to choose from, from so many talented authors, Olivia. All we have to do is ask and someone who's a fan of the romance genre will have a name or two to pick from. How lucky are we?!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. I so totally agree - it all depends how well the author has written the story to make me connect with the H/H. I've read books with similar tropes where I loved one & hated the other due to the writing.

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    1. Exactly, Linda. It all comes down the writing!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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