So here’s where we are: we’re doing a Beauty and the Beast story, but we’re flipping it and having the Hottie (hero) and the Ugly Duckling (heroine) and we’re putting these two in a compromising situation/scandal which forces them into a marriage of convenience.
Then last week I asked y’all to decide on that external situation – that impetus of scandal that propels them into that marriage of convenience.
Here was the breakdown:
(a) she’s somewhere she’s not supposed to be and interrupts the hero’s romantic tryst (the other woman runs away) – 4 votes
(b) she hires the hero to “ruin” her so she doesn’t have to marry someone else – 4 votes
(c) someone (a 3rd party) traps them together – 6 votes
(d) he intentionally gets her alone b/c he thinks she has something/knows something – 5 votes
(e) he has a crush on her prettier, younger sister and tries to get alone, but heroine “rescues” sister – 1 vote
Since I will be the one writing this novella, I’m going to make the final decision here, but within the choices that y’all voted on. I am predisposed to like plot lines that send my characters on a quest or adventure or working together to solve a case – that’s the most fun for me. So I like the idea of him getting her intentionally alone because of some antiquity that he’s trying to find and he thinks she either has it or knows something about it. I don’t, however, think he’d schedule said meeting with the ulterior motive of getting her alone publicly in order to marry her – he’s a confirmed bachelor, after all. So for him, it’s all business. But I do like y’all’s favorite choice of having a third party intentionally getting them together and then found thus forcing that marriage of convenience. (what if it was one of their mom’s?!)
Let’s come up with some names for them. If you remember from last week, I cast the characters and you can see the pictures here.
Now, you should have a general idea of what this novella “feels” like to you. Can you see some scenes? Share your ideas. Don’t forget that at the end of the three blogs, I’ll pick three winners (at random) to win some goodies. So be sure to participate and often!
So if you remember from last week’s blog, y’all are helping me brainstorm a novella.
I asked y’all to come up with the trope and here’s how the breakdown fell:
Beauty & the Beast -or- the hottie & the ugly duckling
Marriage of convenience tied with Friends to lovers
So I’m going to say we have a Beauty and the Beast story – though I’m gonna swap it and have a Hottie and the Ugly Duckling (this doesn’t have to mean she’s physically unattractive, just hasn’t come into her own yet or maybe she’s awkward or chubby or whatever). Those two characters end up in a compromising situation/scandal which forces them into a marriage of convenience. So that’s our basic storyline.
Next step is to figure out the external stuff that’s going on. So we know that our hero (the hottie) and our heroine (the ugly duckling) somehow manage to get themselves embroiled in a scandal. (I love this, btw!) I’m going to go a step further and say that though these two might know each other, they’re not romantically involved. Instead our bookish heroine somehow stumbles into a situation which puts her right in the hero’s path. So what forces our hero and heroine’s unlikely paths to cross?
(a) she’s somewhere she’s not supposed to be and interrupts the hero’s romantic tryst (the other woman runs away)
(b) she hires the hero to “ruin” her so she doesn’t have to marry someone else
(c) someone (a 3rd party) traps them together
(d) he intentionally gets her alone b/c he thinks she has something/knows something
(e) he has a crush on her prettier, younger sister and tries to get alone, but heroine “rescues” sister
Again, you can vote for as many as you like, or suggest your own.
Okay so now I need you to make some suggestions for the following:
Fears (I’m not talking spiders, heights or tornadoes here, these are emotional fears)
What is she afraid of?
What is he afraid of?
What is about each other that makes them fall in love?
I took the liberty to “cast” our hero and heroine so I hope you like the pictures I chose.
As it so happens I’m on the schedule to blog the next three Wednesdays in a row. Lucky y’all! The lovely and talented, Shana Galen suggested I do a three-week connected blog. So I got an idea, wouldn’t it be fun if we brainstorm a story together? So for the next three weeks, I’ll give you some choices to make (and you can suggest stuff on your own) and then when we’re done I’ll have a plotted idea for a novella that I’ll write.
Stuff I already know about the story: it’ll be an historical because that’s what I do best. Y’all can vote if you want Regency or Victorian though. For the most part I like novellas where the hero and heroine have a bit of a past – doesn’t mean it has to have been a romantic past, they just need to be acquainted with one another since the format is shorter than a full-length book.
First step, let’s pick a trope, AKA a beloved plot line. Here are some you can choose from (or suggest your own!), you can choose up to three
(a) Marriage of convenience
(b) Compromising situation/scandal
(c) Unrequited love
(d) Friends to lovers
(e) Enemies to lovers
(f) Mistaken identity
(g) Beauty & the Beast -or- the hottie & the ugly duckling
Here’s something to get you in the mood for an historical, in case you need inspiration for your brainstorming.
Also, at the end of the three blogs, I’ll pick three winners (at random) to win some goodies. So be sure to participate and often!
So this past weekend former Quill, Emily McKay, and I presented a writing workshop in San Antonio. At the conclusion of our lecture material, we brainstormed a new book idea (not one either of us planned to write) so the participants could see the how-to in action, so to speak. But during the brainstorming, something totally cool happened and it reminded me of how marvelous it is that there are so many different writers out there so that we have so many different story options as readers.
The story we brainstormed, we pulled straight from the gossip pages – did y’all hear the rumor a few weeks ago about Prince Harry dating Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movies)? The internet lit up with this rumor and for a few blessed hours we seemed to have an awesome power couple in the making. Turns out, it was all a rumor. But we ran with that idea as our would-be plot scenario: What happens when a rumor starts that the royal “spare” is dating the actress from a beloved children’s series? Well, if the crown is currently in turmoil, then they make a bargain with both parties to continue their false relationship to busy the paparazzi to deflect from the actual problem.
So that was the story we bounced around. We got lots of scene ideas and possible conflicts and goals for the two main characters. And then someone asked, well, what if when the crown approaches him about the fake relationship, they leave it up to him to pursue her and she’s not in on the secret? At this point, I got all kinds of excited. This was my kind of conflict. Secrets, the hero as the pursuer, a feisty heroine who will NOT be happy when she discovers whats actually going on. Then we had two clear choices that made for two very different stories.
Which story would you pick? The one where both the hero and heroine are in on the secret and trying to fake it together? Or the one where only he’s in on the secret and it’s up to him to get the heroine into the relationship (fake or not!)? Why do you think you would choose that over the other option? *Also, how cute would they be as a real life couple? So cute!!!
The Lady Authors have published their second anthology, At the Billionaire’s Wedding.
A stately home in the English countryside seems the ideal place for a bad boy billionaire and his bride to tie the knot. Until the Internet fails. And the oven breaks. And paparazzi invade. And police crash the bachelorette party. And four unlikely couples discover that passion never waits for perfection, and happily ever after is just an “I do” away.
Last year, after we finished At the Duke’s Wedding, Caroline Linden, Maya Rodale, Katharine Ashe, and Miranda Neville discussed our next collaboration. “Let’s do a contemporary,” someone said. “Yes, let’s!” we all cried as one. So what, that we were four historical authors with almost no experience in writing about modern life. How hard could it be?
“I have a billionaire who needs a wedding,” Maya said. For Maya had briefly ventured into the twenty-first century with her Bad Boy Billionaire series of novellas. So we borrowed Maya’s couple, Duke and Jane, and proceeded to make their weeklong wedding celebration rife with laughs and sexy times and near disasters as four new couples found love and HEA.
As we wrote the connected stories in At the Billionaire’s Wedding, we had to meet the challenge of a whole new time period: The Present. How could we possibly write about things we knew about at first hand? It was difficult, but we are Professional Writers. We buckled down and gritted it out. It turned out there are many similarities between Regency and modern England, where we wisely decided to hold the wedding.
Historicals: Hot dukes.
Contemporaries: Hot showers.
Contemporaries: Shirts that button all the way down.
Historicals: Colin Firth in a wet shirt.
Contemporaries: Strippers dressed as servants.
Historicals: An elopement to Gretna Green in a coach and four.
Contemporaries: Two hours from the airport in an Aston Martin.
Historicals: Gorgeous gowns that require an expert maid to get into.
Contemporaries: Gorgeous gowns that require a “zip!” to get out of.
Historicals: Fantastic foreplay.
Contemporaries: Ultra pleasure condoms.
Historicals: Sex in a closed carriage.
Contemporaries: Sex in a stretch limo.
Historicals: Sex by candlelight in the Gold Saloon.
Contemporaries: Sex by floodlight in the Gold Saloon.
Historicals: No internet.
Contemporaries: Internet—wait, WTF, WHY is there no internet !?!!?
What’s your favorite similarity/difference between contemporary and historical romances? The Lady Authors will give a digital copy of At the Duke’s Wedding to one commenter. (Winner randomly chosen and announced Sunday).