Friday, June 3, 2011

Story Analysis Time: Pride, Prejudice, and Romance (my notes from Sarah Eden)

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).


  1. I missed this class, so I'm glad you shared! Romance is one aspect of writing I need to improve on.

  2. This is a very intelligent post. Very smart, and I love your notes on P&P. Well, obviously, I think most people love this relationship because it IS real. I love that they didn't even like each other at first. How human is that? They were completely wrong for each other. Which is something that has happened in my life over and over. I find that the people that in my eyes are really wrong for me are more like me than I think. Or bring a good balance in my life. And on the other side of the spectrum, people that I thought I had a ton in common with end up be pretty obnoxious and self-centered. Well, not always. But it happens. =)


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