Friday, April 11, 2014

What are your favorites? By Cynthia Thomason

Hi. This is my first time blogging for Harlequin Heartwarming and I'm thrilled to be here. I wanted to come up with something kind of fun for my first time, and decided we all like to talk about our favorite books, movies, and TV shows. To narrow down this broad category, I'm reminded of what I've heard in several writers workshops: There are only nine (or eleven sometimes) plots for romance books. What matters is what you do with them to make the plot your own.

Today I'm going to mention three tried and true plots and an example of each. I'd love it if readers would add their own examples. Here we go:

Cinderella Plot:
We all know this one. A poor, or sheltered or shy young lady is forced to adjust to a world far different from the one she's used to. When I was a little girl I saw Tammy and the Bachelor and I still find joy in Debbie Reynold's sweet innocence as she discovers her one true love.

Good Girl, Bad Boy Plot:
Love this one because most of us like to see a bit of bad boy in all the guys we love. I almost always think of The African Queen. Katharine Hepburn was the most proper of good girls, and Humphrey Bogart definitely had the rough edges of a bad boy.

Fish out of Water Plot:
This story about a hero or heroine who doesn't fit either in time or place is usually funny and heartwarming. Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the groom (and his traditional parents) had to fit in with the bride's outrageous, energetic, and loudly loving family.

Have you come up with a favorite Cinderella, good girl/bad boy, or fish out of water story, either a book, movie or TV show? I hope you'll comment here because I love to say, "Oh, yeah, great example!" And your suggestions give me ideas!

I'll be choosing a name at random from the comments, and the winner will get a signed backlist book, Blue Ridge Hideaway. So remember to check www.cynthiathomason.net on Saturday for the name of the winner!
Cynthia

20 comments:

  1. Pretty Woman--my favorite Cinderella!

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  2. My favourite plotlines are second chance romances and those where the hero is completely wrong about the heroine and has to make it up to her somehow!

    A favourite Cinderella(ish) storyline of mine is in Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction by Jayne Fresina (historical romance). Then there's always the totally anachronistic movie Ever After (hey - I was a teenager when it came out, so I loved it!). Her dress at the ball - wow!

    The good girl/bad boy theme is great, but I’ve found that recent books with that theme have had extremely misogynistic heroes. You know the type – every woman is a ‘slut’ expect for the ‘perfect’ virginal heroine. But of course it's fine that the guy has had every woman in town… :(

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  3. I love Pretty Woman. Can't count the number of times I've seen it. Both actors were at the top of their games. And Sonya, Ever After. Just swoon. A great premise and story.
    Cynthia

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  4. I like some matchmaking stories, where the heroine has no plan to ever fall in love and get married, but her family or maybe friends keep throwing the perfect guy in her path. I'm not a big movie buff so can't think of any good examples right now.

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  5. I love Nicholas Sparks' "A Walk To Remember" movie with bad boy Landon and sweet Jamie. Sad ending, but great movie.

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  6. I really love all the Harlequin Heartwarming Books! I really enjoyed all your Heartwarming stories, Cynthia. Do you have any new ones coming out any time soon?

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    1. Leo, so glad you asked :-) May is the release date for A SOLDIER'S PROMISE and October is THIS HERO FOR HIRE. Both have a good bit of humor mixed with... well, romance. Hope you'll check them out.

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    2. GREAT! I will be looking for them. Thanks!

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  7. I love fish out of water, but also best friend to love romances (in fact, that's the next book I'm writing - and I might use some fish out of water elements).

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    1. Harry Met Sally - one of my favs. Friends to true loves.

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  8. Hi, Cynthia. Welcome! I love stories where the heroine - sometimes the hero - doesn't know what she/he is made of until the situation demands their performance. (Maybe that's a sub-style of Fish Out of Water?) Classic example would be Scarlet O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. A lot of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books deal with that premise, too.

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  9. I love the "He's Right in Front of You; Why Aren't You Looking at Him". The Harry Meets Sally or While You Were Sleeping.

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    1. Oh, While You Were Sleeping... what a great movie.

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  10. Welcome to blogging. Some of my favorite movies include "Dan in Real Life," "Quigley Down Under," and "Something Borrowed." Relationships are my main focus rather than plotting.

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  11. White Castle with the young, successful grieving widower and the white collar older woman/waitress is such a great fish out water for both of them as they struggle to figure out how to fit into each other's lives

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    1. Gotta see that one, Karen. I love movie suggestions since I've seen so many. My son is a movie critic. And this one I haven't seen.

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    2. Oh wow! I would definitely watch this one- Susan Sarandon is in it with a youn James Spader as the yuppie lawyer. So good!

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  12. You've Got Mail is kind of a good girl/bad boy story, and one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies. But I'll drop everything and watch The African Queen if it's on. What a fabulous movie!

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  13. YGM is another movie I've seen a dozen times, Alyssa. Can't resist Tom Hanks, even if he is a bad boy.

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