If you remember from my notes on Sarah Eden's All You Need is Love... and some other stuff presentation at LDStorymakers 2011, she names Three Things You Need in a Great Romance. Today I'll pass along my notes on how this actually applies to a famous and classic story: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
1) Emotional Connection
a) Between the characters -1st sight, intrigued but slightly turned off. Darcy watches her, getting to know Elizabeth, trying to figure out why he's so intrigued by her. Elizabeth reads THE LETTER, and realizes she's misjudged him. They both help out each other's loved ones.
b) Emotional connection to the reader -we see Elizabeth's love for her sister, her wit and resilience, her intelligence. She struggles with her difficult relations. We see her rally after emotional upheaval. The reader connects to her because she's real and we like her.
Darcy is harder because we don't get his perspective. Austen has other characters give insight into Darcy.
- Bingley likes him, and trusts him implicitly
- Georgiana's story tells us Darcy is kind and loyal
- Generosity to Lydia and Wickham
2) Need Fulfillment
a) What Elizabeth needs in a soul mate:
- Someone she can respect
- Someone who is intelligent
- Someone with money (very practical need)
- Someone who is responsible and serious because she often is not
- Someone loyal, unselfish, and good
b) What Darcy needs in a soul mate:
- Someone who lightens him up, yet takes his responsibility seriously
- Someone strong to challenge him
- Someone who loves his sister
- Someone who sees the real him
3) Uniquely Suited to Each Other
Darcy and Elizabeth are the only ones for each other because:
- Everyone's intimidated by Darcy except Elizabeth.
- No one is as smart as Elizabeth except for Darcy.
- Everyone is afraid of Lady Catherine but Elizabeth.
- No one likes Elizabeth's wild family, but Darcy still takes care of them.
What do you think? Other things that make Darcy's and Elizabeth's relationship unique in literature or life?
This discussion opened my eyes about my own characters, since my main guy is a bit Darcy-ish on some level. I hope it reaches you in the same way and helps you to define what's unique and special and necessary about the romance in your story, whether it's the entire plot line or just a blip in your epic fantasy. Enjoy writing the kissing scenes. :)
- I'm over at Operation Awesome today talking about The Lonely Hero a la Dr. Who and passing along three giveaway links you won't want to miss (free books and critiques).
- Afterglow has had a lot of seriously booklove going on recently. Skip over there to see which books are leaving our reviewers with a delicious afterglow.