Saturday, June 16, 2007
Plotting the romance
I've added a new page to my website, Plotting the Romance. I talk about what things you need to think about when you're planning a romance, because the focus of a romance, and therefore the main plot, should always be the development of the relationship between the hero and heroine.
On a related note, we watched another couple of episodes of Robin Hood last night (because I can only revise for so long), and I've noticed a bit of a problem, from this romance writer's perspective, anyway.
After Marian reluctantly accepts Sir Guy's marriage proposal, he goes to kiss her and she turns her head away. Nevertheless, later Guy tells Robin he "stirs" Marian.
This could be wishful thinking on the part of Guy. I get that the writers could want to show that he really doesn't have a clue about Marian's feelings because he's too selfish and self-centered. He wants her; ergo, she must want him.
And yet I think they could be making more out of this triangle, and deepening Marian's conflict and character, by having Marian really attracted to Guy. They've shown us Guy isn't completely evil (he doesn't agree with everything the Crazy Sheriff does -- there is hope he could be a better man), he's sexy (what with him being played by the intense Richard Armitage in black), and he listens to her advice (in other words, he doesn't dismiss her as "only" a woman). He's also talked about protecting her, although that's a bit of a two-edged sword, since Marian wants to be independent. Still, it's better than Robin heading off on Crusade, which is obviously a sore point with Marian.
So I would have let Guy kiss Marian, and Marian discover...it's not bad. In fact, there's something to be said for Guy in that department. Maybe marriage to him would have some unexpected pluses...except that he also has serious flaws that he may or may not be willing or able to overcome. But then -- and this is something I'm finding they're doing very well in this show, and more than I expected -- Robin's got some serious flaws, too, at least from Marian's perspective. She believes he wants and needs glory and adoration; that's why he left her for the Crusades and why he's being so blatant in his help for the poor now. And he does enjoy the attention of women. He's selfish and self-centered, too, although in a different way.
However, this also shows that the menfolk aren't the only self-centered characters. Marian seems to constantly judge Robin's actions by how they affect her. Robin left her for the Crusades (he also left his estate and his friends, but she doesn't seem to mention that); Robin's not behaving as she thinks he should; therefore, he's being vain. I was thinking last night that somebody needs to point that out to her -- maybe Guy? Wouldn't that throw a spanner in the works, especially if she realizes he's got a point, as disturbing as that is?
There's more to come, of course, so I live in hope that this triangle will get more complicated. Either way, I'm still loving it! And certain that all over the world, little girls are thinking about how they'd like the story to go and someday, we'll have a whole new gang of romance authors inspired by this show.
Two other things of a romantic note that might prove inspirational: when Alan and Will both revealed their feelings for Djaq. It wasn't a complete surprise, but I thought it was great and can hardly wait to see how that develops.
Also Much and Eve -- loved it!
Now back to deepening the characters in my own story....