Saturday, February 06, 2010

Kinds of Romance

I'm a 'Character-Driven' writer myself. 

I come up with a character and get to know her and I ask myself,
"What is her story?" 


"Who does she deserve to get rewarded with after 347 pages of being brave and soul-searching and maybe getting shot at
or at least misquito-bit?"

In the most basic way, that's where the stories come from.  From that heroine.

Other folks look at plots.
And they come up with lists of plots.
Which is kinda interesting and something that I would never do myself.
Find lists of Romance plots here,  here, here, here.

The picture up top, in case you were wondering, is my very favorite photo from

But this one here is pretty Romantic too.  From Lolcats.


  1. Same here. My characters always come to me first. My plots are made by following them around my head, watching what they do, and writing it down. And then going back and cutting out the boring stuff. (I hope.)

  2. Obviously many writers start out by saying -- "I'm going to write thus-and-such plot." -- and they build their characters from that.

    I'm reminded of Mercedes Lackey who writes a series of folktale-based stories, some of which could fit comfortably on the Romance genre shelves.

    Obviously the plot structure precedes the characterization.

    I find this all very interesting. Not from a 'better or worse' viewpoint, but with the thought that there may be something I can learn from looking at this approach.

    No blinding enlightenment yet, though.

  3. Cat in sinks is my new favorite website.

  4. Jo, I've tried thinking up plots first before. Failed miserably. I just can't make myself care what happens to people I don't "know." *shrug*

    But, if you'll pardon the philosophical digression, perhaps it is really a chicken-or-egg kind of thing. Because I suppose our characters are shaped--and revealed--by the things that happen to them. Which is, of course, the plot. It's the only way we can show who they are, as opposed to telling who they are.

    Maybe character and plot are really just two sides of the same thing, the way space/time (according to the some of our great scientific minds) is really one thing?

    But thinking about it too much tends to tangle up my mind to the point where I can't write at all, so I mostly avoid it.

  5. Um, I added an extra "the" to that last comment. Whoops.

  6. @ Katiebabs --

    I find C-i-S infinitely restful. It is a comfort to know that even if I am doing the taxes or shovelling snow, in every corner of the globe, there are cats in sinks, entirely content.

    @ Linda --

    Our characters contain their stories within themselves. No doubt about that.

    I find the lists of possible Romance plots a bit puzzling. I never know where my own works would fit. I have to do more study on the shape of the plots I read.

    (jo puts on her reader hat.) There's this too -- I don't pick stories because they follow one plot or another. I'll buy anything with good writing.