Since I don't keep New Year's resolutions, I no longer make them. Formerly, my resolutions involved grandiose plans about weight loss, more exercise, etc. -- the usual things, or clichés, so many people come up with. Recently, I read that eighty percent of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the middle of February, and people go back to their old habits. I wonder how many of those people will try again next year. I’m convinced that this all stems from discontent with ourselves. I wonder what would happen if we all decided not to try to change, to be content with ourselves and our lives? I suspect we might be happier, but maybe a little bored.
I’ve found that many authors I know don’t like change in their personal lives, but they love putting their characters through all kinds of upheavals. When starting a new book, many authors begin with plot idea, others begin with characters, or even a setting, but all books begin with change. Characters who have busily been going about their daily lives are suddenly thrust into a new situation. How they deal with it is what makes the story. If they didn't change, their story would go nowhere.
Personally, one of my favorite kinds of romance is the ‘Fish Out Of Water’ story in which one or both main characters find themselves in a situation that’s outside their skill set, which forces change upon them – a single person suddenly having to take care of a baby, or someone inheriting a hotel or a ranch they have to run. These situations can be fraught with danger and hilarity. I also love the Ugly Duckling story where an ungainly person comes into their own and makes themselves into the hero of their own life.
How about you? What kinds of changes do you like to see characters make? What are your favorite kinds of romances?
Patricia Forsythe is the author of many romances, both traditionally and electronically published. Her most recent Harlequin Heartwarming is At Odds Wit the Midwife (November 2016). The Husband She Can’t Forget will be released in February 2017, and His Twin Baby Surprise in May 2017.