Monday, February 15, 2010

Outside of the Box Romance

We can all think of the traditional romantic gestures. A kiss sweetly placed, a candlelight dinner, a walk on the beach, a surprise trip to Hawaii (a girl can dream right?), or the traditional gift of flowers/chocolate/jewelry.

These things are ALL wonderful and sweet, and I would take any of them any day from my hubby and be TRULY delighted!

On Friday, we talked about some gestures men can/do make that are outside of the normal scope of romance. By and large, many of you agreed that CLEANING is a huge one. It is for me too, although my hubby is home during the days so for me, it's less about romance and more about expectations. BUT... that said, when I come home and I can tell he's spent the whole day spiffing up the house, it does make my heart flutter!

Kaye made a great point in her comment... she used examples of things her characters had done that were romantic but not "normal," which totally played into my point for today's blog! Thanks, Kaye!

When we are writing romance, "out of the box" romantic elements can add not only depth to our story, but a richness to the romance as well.

Take a gift of a necklace. The reader might say, "Yeah, yeah, another necklace, whoopty do!" (Note to my husband: I personally would NEVER say whoopty do to any piece of jewelry given to me... all is appreciated!)

But let's say he gives a necklace and has engraved on it "I Love You." He gives it to her the first time he ever declares his love... now that's sweet! Or let's say it's a locket, and he puts in there a tiny token from the first place they ever kissed... oh, now that's sweet!

There are a billion other romantic things you could sneak into your novels to add to the romance. A non-traditional gift, a spur of the moment, out of character gesture.

Maybe it's Valentine's Day, and her roommate let's him in so he can make breakfast for his sweetheart, and she comes out (modestly clothed of course) and sees....



... heart shaped french toast waiting on a plate for her (this was from MY Valentine's day btw... although mine was breakfast in bed... changed the story a bit to be Christian romance appropriate!) , now THAT is sweet and romantic!

Then of course, you have to mix it up and add conflict, so heroine gets sick after eating said french toast and has to go to the hospital where they find out it was food poisoning and they think that the HERO is the culprit, but at the end find out it was actually the jealous roommate who had a crush on the hero so was trying to kill off the heroine and have the romantic hero all to herself.

Discussion: What are some unique romantic twists you've seen either in a.) a romance novel you've read or b.) your own writing?

14 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Love that french toast! :) Cute.

I can't think of any romantic twists yet... I'll keep my eye out for them.

Katie Ganshert said...

Great points, Krista! How horrible is it that I love romance, reading it, watching it, writing it, and I can't think of any right now?

How about The Notebook? Just the idea that Noah wrote Alli so many letters. That's romantic.

T. Anne said...

Aww! I love the french toast yummies! Sounds like you had a great start to your Valentines day. I'm writing a romance right now and I really want it to be sweet. I'll have to think of all the things I wished my husband did... ;)

Andrea said...

I, too was reminded of The Notebook. I still love that he wrote to her..about her. I cry when I think about it and it is a book...very touching.
Hugs, andrea

Jody Hedlund said...

Okay, I'm cracking up over the roommate adding poison to the heart-shaped french toast in order to have the guy! That's a good one, Krista! ;-)

And I love the idea of finding unique romantic moments for our novels--that's a great idea! Thanks!

patti said...

Romantic twists? Reading one in a not yet published book where a cop arrests his future flame. I like "unexpected" romances. You know, the really opposite attraction scenario. Sigh. Guess there's nothing new under the sun...

Patti

Karen Lange said...

I've never seen heart shaped french toast! Will have to give the romantic twist thing some thought.
Blessings,
Karen

Cassandra Frear said...

I'm thinking of Jane Austen's Emma. The man she loves (and who loves her) spends so much time scolding her and they spend so much time fighting, I didn't expect them to actually get together. It adds a different flavor to the love story -- even though I myself could not, would not, want to take on a relationship with that much chronic conflict in it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Heart-shaped french toast - now that's original!

I'm drawing a blank on romantic twists.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

It's the little, unexpected and unusual things that say "I love you." that I personally enjoy and love to read about. I'm bored with the usual box of chocolates, roses, etc. (though I'd love some!).

When my hubby leaves the unexpected note of love for me, I'm usually moved to tears even if it's written on a napkin or a Post-It!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

My brain is so fried. I can barely remember my name right now. :0) I like twists... especially surprises. :0)

Jessica said...

LOL Loved your last paragraph. Too funny.
I'm in trouble here. I don't have much experience with sweet romance and I just had my hero give the heroine roses...no twist there, maybe even cliche? LOL
Good post Krista! You have a sweet husband and I think you're equally sweet. :-)

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Yum, that French toast looks good. :-)

To me, the most romantic moments aren't gestures, but indications that someone loves a real person rather than just a fantasy-image of that person. These moments are always highly specific to the story and the characters involved.

But I'll still take the French toast in bed. :-)

Amy DeTrempe said...

I had my hero prepare a special meal, after learning her likes and dislikes, for the heroine. Given this story took place during the regency period it worked because most lords don't even know where the kitchen is, let along how to boil water.
Loved your twist with the poison in the breakfast.