I have had a fantastic response to Scarlet, my latest historical romance. People love the twist on a famous character, The Scarlet Pimpernel. They love to read the history of the time. I loved writing it, and the idea fascinated me. So it has been my quickest and most fun historical to write to date. (though I have one coming with a lady who disguises herself as a maid, might rival this one)
But I did something unique with the romance arc in this story. And it mimics what happened in Baroness Orczy’s book which is largely why I did it. But now that I have, it has taught me a few things about romance and life.
So, in the romance genre, you start with two people who have things that bring them together and things that pull them apart and the idea is that the two camps of influences struggle with and against each other throughout your book until in the end, your characters overcome all their inner and outer demons and the romance conquers all. Often this culminates in a kiss or a marriage or a proposal of some sort. (or something steamier if that’s what you read)
In a romance, the proposal or marriage comittment is what is happening on the OUTSIDE. A kiss, a proposal, a marriage are all important symbols. But what’s more important, of course, is the INNER emotional journey.
And so with Scarlet, you have two people who meet and fall in love quickly, get married right away, but THEN begins their true emotional journey as they learn to trust and rely on each other. Their romance arc, though they are already married, ends when their relationship is at a true happily ever after. Not just in word or paper, but when they have reached a place where you know they can weather whatever storms come because they have each other. This emotional resonance should be present in all romances, and is the TRUE Happily ever after we all seek. No matter if the OUTER physical manifestation is present or not. An engagement does not make a HEA (read happily ever after). Neither does a marriage. A unity of mind and heart and emotional constancy does.
Happy reading my lovely friends! Look for the emotional arc in characters while you read their love stories. Therein lies the TRUE love story.