Universal themes in writing romance

I've been thinking about themes a lot. The are everywhere and certainly in every book that we read, but somehow, sometimes, authors miss that this is an integral part of their books. First, let me explain what I mean when I say universal themes. These are the words to identify what are the natural progression of a character throughout the story. These are the lessons learned, either during the pages or the influences that create the character we are introduced to on page one. I think that there is a misconception between the idea of theme and form. There are those that criticize romance stating that the writing is formulaic. They believe that all storys follow some unseen guideline leadings us to the exact same spot as everyone else. But theme suggests that while we all hope for the happy ending that perhaps our journeys are what separate us and make us individual.

If you've ever seen a Disney movie then you've seen a universal theme. Cinderella is transformation, beauty and the beast is about judgements based on looks. But there are so many more than I could possibly list here... among them... redemption, beauty, truth, perseverance, loss, rejection, hope... clearly these are the things that we base our own lives upon and so they strike a clear resonance in the hearts of readers when they are put between the pages of our writing. It gives us the background for the characters we write by forming their thoughts, opinions and attitude and it gives us something to strive for... something to look forward to... our happy ending, our redemption, our hope. If we as writers can infuse that kind of theme into our stories then the readers can identify with the characters, laugh, love and hurt with them. And isn't this what we truly want.


Or as it is otherwise known at my house... trying to recreate your life's work after your computer crashes and you haven't backed it up lately.

You would think I'd learn. This certainly isn't the first time I've had this little disappearing number happen on me. But I truly think that it comes from being an optimist. I charge bravely in believing that the worst can't possibly happen to me... again. And of course, it does. This time it took a week to get it back and a couple hundred dollars. Also a scolding by several who said... just leave the computer alone and write, will you!

There is a sort of fall cleaning about it. They were able to save my documents, but in order to get them back I had to go through them first. I also had to add my favorites again which meant weeding through the blog addresses that don't work or those who haven't updated in quite some time. And then, there is the demise of my email address book...
This is by the far the worst loss so far. I had so many contact addresses in it and information that I am at a staggering stilting halt because it's gone.

Lesson for today... back up your stuff. All of it. Even the little stuff. End of lesson.

Becoming Jane... becoming a fan

Short of winning Powerball and the 300 million... I've got to take my entertainment from a much more realistic manner. That being said, I just got back from seeing Becoming Jane with my daughter.

For those of you who have been living on another planet or have been on vacation (like I was) and have not heard about this movie... then shame on you. For anyone who sighs at the name Mr. Darcy or relishes the banter, wit and intelligence of Ms. Austin's books, then this is a must see.

Never mind that that the movie is filled with the same spectacular scenery and locations that stir the heart and soul, there is a absolute endearing quality to all the relationships within the movie. It is through this insight that we see the inspirations of her heart and can truly know the motivations that pushed her to write.

We as writers know our own motivations, they are the nightmares, the daydreams, the mindless chatter and the single significant conversations that have us reaching for the computer or a pen and paper. We can learn so much from just observations and our most import insights come from the day to day interactions around us.

Oh yeah... a cute Scottish guy doesn't hurt either.
James McAvoy is clearly the only man I've ever seen represented in any movie of this genre and period that can carry off that hairstyle and make it clearly sexy. And the eyes don't hurt either. (If you are my daughter and you are reading this then you can take your hands from your eyes and just remember that mom isn't dead yet!)

I cried, laughed and at times my breath caught within me. What a wonderful ride.

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