Our topic this month, He's Just Not That Into You, got me thinking, but not about the movie. Since I've never seen it, I had to think of something else. I let the words of the title roll around in my brain until they could make a connection of some kind. Here's what I came up with: He's Just Not That Into You made me think of a woman scorned (like Sharon Stone in Fatal Attraction) and also the whole idea of Exes.
Both these themes can make juicy fodder in romance novels, but I've never used either in my stories. I wonder why. They both provide excellent built-in conflict. The woman scorned could be either the heroine or an antagonist. If she's the heroine, she could have been dumped by the hero or another man. How would that make her feel and behave? If she is the antagonist, does she come after the man who dumped her (the hero) or his new love interest (the heroine)?
An ex-lover or spouse can be either a villain, a comfortable old friend, or something in between. Having a past with someone can add elements of jealousy, regret, or outright fury.
Since I have no personal experience writing characters like this, I'm going to take a little poll. Please chime in and share your ideas.
1. Have you written a story that included a woman scorned? Who was she?
2. Do any of your favorite books include this theme? How did the author use it?
3. Do you like to write about ex-lovers or ex-spouses? Do you like to read about them?
4. What do you think is the most effective use of an ex from a character standpoint?
I've clearly been missing the boat. I need to add a character like this to my WIP. Hmm. I wonder who it will be.