Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Romance Plots

Yes, there is plot in romance. ;-)



Main Plots

This is where the romance novels fall under. The main plot of the novel is the romance storyline. So, to reiterate, the whole story is based around the love, relationship and the conflicts that occur within it. And there isn't much else to explain. So, I looked up a few different plots of romance novels and the link is found below.

The Bet - This one annoys me a little bit. Think the movie She's All That. He helps the girl, trying to make her prom queen material based on a bet and they fall for each other. After she finds out it was a bet there is a conflict but then it gets worked out.

Adversary - the love/hate types. In the story there is strong conflict between the two characters, which can make it hard to have the right balance because it still needs to be believable that they fall for each other.

Star Crossed Lovers - The Romeo & Juliet type, the fated, young lovers that are kept apart. It usually ends on a sad note and can be considered more of an anti-romance for those that follow the trope of romance always ending well.

The Best Friend (right under your nose) - This is the one where the friend has been there a long time, but it takes some type of twist (often the one friend being engaged to someone else in movies) for the one to realize they have been in love with the other the whole time.

Some good Web sites:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RomanceNovelPlots
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RomanceArc
http://prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com/2009/08/twenty-classic-romance-plots-part-two.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_16764_plot-romance-novel.html



Sub Plots

Many of the romance tropes can work in the sub-plot, only they aren't the main point of the plot. These novels can be found in any genre or subgenre, where there is a main plot (quest, adventure, coming of age, etc) and one of the twisting side stories that make the novel more substantial has a romance storyline. It can intertwine with the main plot, having an effect on the results, like falling in love and the villain uses the love interest as bait. Fantasy is one example of a genre that can include a romance story line even when the main plot isn't.

Sub plots of romance are what I strive for in a number of my own stories. Sure, the romances are fun, to focus full on the conflicts of the relationship, but to have an exciting mutant adventure and a relationship involved is just as fun (or more).

The problem of some romance lines is that there should be a reason for the subplot. An author shouldn't tack on the subplot just because they think the reader needs a romance. This is sometimes called a "token romance" and can be off-putting for some readers. Not every story needs a romance storyline in it, and knowing when to put it in and when to leave it out of the manuscript is just one of the many aspects of writing that will take practice.

Done right, in a story where the romance works well with the main plot, a romance subplot will not only get readers interested, but enhance the overall story of the novel.



Which do you prefer in reading or writing: romance as main plot or as subplot?

3 comments:

Jules said...

Subplot..more of a action, suspense type person.

I just cannot get over how informative you are, lovely, just lovely. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

KT said...

Interesting categories. If you want one that breaks those molds try Soul Mate by Ronald Lewis Weaver, I won't spoil the story, but it is not what you expect from a romance, at all, in a good way.

Dawn Embers said...

Maybe it will let me comment this time.


Jules - Why, thank you. I really appreciate your comments. It's definitely encouraging to see someone appreciate the post.


KT - Thanks for the comment. I don't often read romance, but I'll keep that one in mind.