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!
Robyn was supposed to blog today, but her internet is still out from the floods in her area earlier this week. I told her I’d do it for her because even though there was historic flooding in Houston, where I live, last night and today, I was lucky not to have been affected.
I know some of you are living in areas right now that are under water restrictions or in the grip of a drought. I sincerely wish we could give you some of our rain because we have way too much. I’ve pretty much exhausted all of my rainy day activities for kids. Princess Galen insisted on reading every single beginning reader/BOB book to me today. All I can say is that Biscuit has a lot of friends–kittens, frogs, ducks, and hens.
I managed to pull her away from all the cats on mats to go for a short bike ride. That seemed safer than braving the streets, some of which still had high water even late into the afternoon. A lot of people were out bike riding, and it was fun to wave to families biking together as we passed. That’s not something you usually see at 2 on a Tuesday afternoon. Sometimes maybe we all need a rain day to make us stay home from work and school and spend some time together reading or bike riding.
I’m not making light of those who lost their lives or their homes in the flooding. I certainly didn’t want a storm or flooding, but I am thankful for the extra time with my family.
And now I am really ready for everyone to go back to work and school!
Have you ever been through a flood or hurricane or natural disaster?
I came across some recent stats regarding romance readers and I found some of them interesting. Any of these surprise you?
* 84% of romance book buyers are women, but 16% of our readers are male!
* 83% of romance readers have been reading it for more than 5 years.
* Majority of our readers live in the south (hello Bible belt!)
* When asked, they reported these as the top 10 favorite romance tropes: (1) friends to lovers; (2) soul mate/fate; (3) second chance at love; (4) secret romance; (5) first love; (6) strong hero/heroine; (7) reunited lovers; (8) love triangle; (9) sexy billionaire/millionaire; (10) sassy heroine
* When asked about the determining factor for which book to buy, they ranked: (1) The story; (2) The author; (3) Price; (4) Review; (5) Part of a series; (6) Back cover copy; (7) Cover art; (8) Recommendations on a social media site; (9) Deal/bundle/bargain/special offer; (10) An endorsement by another leading author
* In listing the top 10 ways readers find new romance authors, from book samples only made it to #5.
* Reading stats are nearly identical between print & ebooks.
- Print: romantic suspense (53%); contemporary romance (41%); historical romance (34%); erotic romance (33%); New Adult (26%); paranormal romance (19%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (17%).
- E-book: romantic suspense (48%); contemporary romance (44%); erotic romance (42%); historical romance (33%); paranormal romance (30%); New Adult (26%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (14%).
**stats found at RWA’s website.