Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Here's to Rough and Bumpy Love by Margo Hoornstra


The course of true love never did run smooth ~ William Shakespeare

And let’s hope it never does. Think about it. If true love did run smooth, it would provide a straight shot from boy meets girl to boy and girl live happily ever after. If that happened, where in the world would most of us romance writers be?

Manuscripts would be sooooo much shorter. And not nearly as pretty.

“Hello. How are you?”
“Fine, thanks, and you?”
“I’m good. Thanks for asking.”
“By the way, you’re kind of cute.”
“You are too.”
“I love you.”
“I feel the same way, too.”
“Marry me.”
“I’d love to.”

Okay, so maybe manuscripts would be pretty in the aesthetic sense. They sure wouldn’t be very interesting. If true love did run smooth, there’d be no angst, no suffering (both external and internal) no drama, no coming to realize moment, no growth of characters. No sacrifice for love. No tension. No attraction-revulsion; attraction-acceptance (albeit grudging); attraction-attraction.

Oh, we could probably get some conflict mileage out of evil family members (especially those of the step variety) but that’s about all.

If true love did run smooth day after day after day after day, there’d be no spurned lovers, no women scorned. None of our beloved tropes to adhere to. No constantly thwarted goals for our protagonists to strive for. Also, there’d be no need for (gasp!) the Big Black Moment.
 
All of our collective writing lives would be so much different. We probably wouldn’t even need critique partners. Yikes!

In her column here on the second of this month, fellow Rose and my personal critique partner, Jannine, talked about the joys of working in close collaboration with someone. (Yeah, I couldn’t let that one go without comment, now could I?)

From the CP perspective, the need to work together to generate success would go right out the window.  There’d be no brainstorming sessions about character motivation, or the lack thereof. No discussions about conflict - good, bad or indifferent.

Indulge me in a shout out here, please. Here's to the good times, Jannine! Thank you. Now to continue.

The course of true love never did (or does) run smooth.

Thank goodness for that. Otherwise, how very boring would our world, and our writing lives, be?

What do you think? Agree with me, disagree or neutral?

My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and my stories, please visit my website

22 comments:

Leah St. James said...

Great insights, Margo. As much as we hate those tough spots (in life and in books), they do make the good spots sweeter! If everything were easy every day, it would become the norm and we wouldn't appreciate it. Kind of like keeping a Christmas tree up year-round. It's not special anymore.

Margo Hoornstra said...

You're exactly right, Leah. Without the bad, we wouldn't recognize, and enjoy, the good. Everything in life, and books, is relative.

Barbara Edwards said...

Sounds a lot like real life only in a romance the happy ending is guaranteed. Liked your points and agree the stronger the conflict the happier the resolution.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I think that's the attraction to romance, Barbara. The guaranteed HEA. The worse it gets, the better it is, right?

Jannine Gallant said...

Should I be the devil's advocate? Nope, I can't come up with anything good to argue. Conflict is key--both internal and external. However, depending on the type of story, you may have varying degrees of each woven into the book.

Maris said...

No conflict in life (or romance)? Then there would be no victories, no challenges, no variety. No way for a person to experience ecstasy. No way to grow.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Hey, Jannine, you gave it a shot! Um, does that mean you think I'm right? Heh Heh.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I like that, Maris. No way to grow.

Susan Coryell said...

I so agree! When we plot romance, we think CONFLICT! Thanks for a spot-on post!

Melissa Keir said...

You are right Margo. Conflict is a part of human life...erm...drama! Some people love and live for it! But it all does make a wonderful story!

Diane Burton said...

I hate conflict in real life. Books are another story. (pun intended) Throwing together 2 opposites is a surefire way to get conflict. Then upping the stakes? Oh, yeah. Chase them up the tree and throw rocks at them. Having a CP who takes you to task is the good kind of conflict. :)

MJ Schiller said...

Love your sense of humor and your faux romance plot above! Even the picture is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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Margo Hoornstra said...

Appreciate you stopping by, Susan. Wherever would we be without conflict?

Margo Hoornstra said...

Drama is at the heart of life, I think, Melissa.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Diane, you are very right. Trees, rocks, it's all good. Then the CP wants MORE!

Margo Hoornstra said...

MJ - Glad you enjoyed my effort. The piece was fun to write.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Andrea. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Always welcome.

Rolynn Anderson said...

We writers are rather masochistic and maybe two-faced...in our lives we try to eliminate conflict, but we build our novels with nail-biting problems and diametric hero/heroine differences. So interesting!

Alicia Dean said...

Agree! The bumpy spots are what makes it so interesting. :) Great post!

Betsy Ashton said...

Well written, Margo. Love by itself doesn't run smoothly. The way to sustain a loving relationship is through conflict and resolution, be it in fiction or in life.

Leslie Lim said...

Thanks to the writer of this article. I appreciate your effort in making this informational blogs. I know it's not easy to do this but you have done a really great job. Congrats. I'm pretty sure your readers enjoying it a lots.


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