Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Change, or not? by Patricia Forsythe


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 clich├ęs, 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.

14 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Patricia!

    I love your "fish out of water" concept.

    With the snow storm we are currently experiencing in Ontario, I wouldn't mind being a fish in a warm ocean somewhere right now! :-)

    Best wishes with your upcoming release!

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  2. Since the average person doesn't necessarily like change, I believe most readers can relate to the conflict it creates. Reading about it is much more fun than experiencing it, right? Congratulations on your February release. The title has me asking why she can't forget that husband. :)

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  3. I love the marriage of convenience story. I like the idea of two single people suddenly flung into a marriage. It's like the last frontier. LOL! I find them hard to fit into a modern setting, though... So when someone manages it, I gobble it up!

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  4. Thanks, Jill. I agree it's more fun to read about conflict than to experience it.

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  5. Ah...the ugly duckling stories! I love those. Make that ugly duckling the once bad boy from the wrong side of town and I'm totally hooked! :) I'm looking forward to your February book. What a great title!

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  6. I don't make New Year's resolutions, either. Although 13 years ago I did resolve to start Pilates and I'm still doing it. :-) Looking forward to reading The Husband She Couldn't Forget!

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  7. One of my favorite tropes, to read and to write, is Enemies to Lovers. Another is the Reunion story. Looking forward to reading your upcoming book.

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  8. Hi Patricia, I'm one of those (rare?) people who likes change. I get bored with the same old, same old. I love to try new foods, products, travel to new places, or travel to old places in a different direction. I drive my friends and family a little crazy because I'm always wanting to "mix it up" with regard to traditions, etc. I think that's why, like you, I'm a fan of the "fish out of water" story.

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  9. I don't know that I've really thought about the plot tropes I like best. I always start with characters that are doing something with their lives and I guess I make someone come in who tries to change them or their path. Since I like all of the books I read, I guess I like all plot ideas.

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  10. I agree, it's a lot more fun to experience change through characters in stories. The satisfaction comes a lot faster and with fewer hunger pangs.

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  11. I love ugly duckling and marriage of convenience stories. Like Carol, I like trying new things, but I like having the familiar to go back to. A fun post!

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  12. I love redemption stories and character-rises-to-the-occasion stories - mostly because when I'm personally halfway to rising to the occasion, I can easily talk myself into giving up and settling for the status quo.

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