Thursday, April 13, 2006

Looking For Love

Looking For Love. This is one of the most common themes for novels in all areas of women's fiction. Some characters are seeking romance, while others are avoiding it, and fall into love accidentally. When thinking about storylines, I always consider whether my characters are going to be looking for love or not.

In many romance novels, the heroine is looking for love while the hero is trying to avoid commitment. There are other novels that take this relationship in the other direction, with the hero actively trying to get the reluctant heroine to marry him.

The character who is seeking love is certainly common, and I think we all feel that way at some point in our lives. But I generally find the one who falls in love despite their best intentions more interesting. And if both characters are avoiding a relationship, this can be even better. There is a greater degree of tension, and resolving that tension is critical to making the story work.

What do you think? Do you prefer your characters to be seeking love, or running away from it?


Carla Swafford said...

About twenty or thirty years ago, I believe most of the books I read had the hero or heroine looking for someone to love or to love them. But with the open society that we have now, love is not necessarily, even for women. As any psychologist would probably tell you, physical compatibility (lust) of a couple is a major factor in any lasting relationship. Then love can often bloom or continue to grow from there.

Personally, my heroes and heroines can go at it like bunny rabbits, but at the end of the story, they better realize they’re in love and can’t live without each other. So they may not be searching or running from love, but love finds them anyway.

Deborah Matthews said...

Not looking for love but always finds it. In my historicals, usually the heroine is past the marriageable age and has accepted life on the shelf. Usually the hero is a rogue, who knows he has to marry to perpetuate his line, but intends to chose a young miss he can dominate.

Of course, if they just met, fell in love, and married, there wouldn't be much of a book. But no matter what happens, they always end up together.

Paula said...

None of my characters are ever looking for love. They may want and need it desperately, but it's not on their agenda at all. Some of that has to do with the genre I write--usually my characters are too busy trying to escape danger of some sort to care about whether or not they've found their happily ever after.