Conflict And The Happy Ending

Joanna here. Having spent yesterday, Valentine's Day, exploring all the ways we can be in love. (Yeah love!) I thought I'd take today to look at the conflicts that hold our hero and heroine apart.
What kind of conflicts do we choose for our hero and heroine? How do we write them?

So I asked the Wenches.

Wench autumn brideAnne had this to say:

"Conflict" is a term often misunderstood by new writers, who think it means a lot of arguments and yelling. A better term is "the source of tension" which can be really powerful with no yelling at all. It's the central story problem that is preventing characters from reaching their goals.

For me, there are two main main sources of conflict — situational (where he wants X and she wants Y — or they both want X for different reasons) and character-based conflict. For me the latter is almost always the main one, though I'm happier if I have both kinds working together, playing off each other. Character conflict is where the hopes and dreams and deeply hidden fears drive the characters, and they have to work through them to find their happily-ever-after. Think "What does s/he want? Why can't s/he have it?"

For instance, in my book The Autumn Bride, apart from the usual misunderstandings between the hero and the heroine, there are two main sources of conflict. The first is that she's living under a false identity, but that's a relatively small conflict, fairly easily solved. A bigger conflict, especially for the hero is that he's made a promise to marry another woman,  a promise to which money was attached — part of a significant loan agreement with the woman's father. It's not just a matter of changing his mind — it's breaking his word, which is his bond. He's a man who lost everything as a youth — his future, his position and his whole sense of self was stripped from him, but his honor — his word of honor — is the one thing in his life that nobody could take from him, so to break it now is a major conflict for him.

I love that conflict in The Autumn Bride because it's a choice between love and honor. I'm a sucker for those.

In some books, the conflict can be less clear cut. There's plenty to keep them apart. What's needed is equally strong bonds to draw them together.

Jo Beverley says: Wench bookcover beverley tvnawnewsm

Conflict in a romance novel is a complex subject for all the reasons given, but it's whatever believably gets between the couple and their final happiness. It's different in every book.

My next book, The Viscount Needs a Wife, is a marriage of convenience story, and they always come with built-in stresses and problems. Sometimes the couple are enemies, but even if not, making a marriage with a stranger is a pretty tricky thing! Kitty is a widow, so marriage itself isn't odd to her, but her husband seems to suit his title — he's daunting. In addition, the behavior patterns from her eight year marriage lurk to make difficulties. As they would.

The new Lord Dauntry is already troubled, because he doesn't want a title or the responsibilities that come with it. He had a comfortable life as a bachelor in London, and occasional security work for the government to ward off boredom. He thinks a sensible wife will take his rural responsibilities off his shoulders and should be no trouble at all. Ha!

But this is the beginning. I find conflicts change and grow throughout a book, and as Kitty and Dauntry find ways to get along, new problems rise. And then, as surprising to me as to them, they discover that they share apparently impossible hopes and dreams. It's scaling those new high walls that powers the latter part of the book. The Viscount Needs a Wife will be out in April, but it can be ordered now. There's more here.


Rice_MagicintheStars600When I asked Pat how she chose the conflict for her characters, she said:

Choose a conflict? We get to choose our own conflicts?

Sorry, I just had a moment of process panic…  We all approach a book differently. I start with characters and a situation. These people pop into my head, nattering at each other, and they keep getting stronger and demanding that I listen, so I start taking notes.

I try really hard to define their characters, their motives, their goals, their flaws, all that good stuff, before I start writing. And the best way to develop conflict, for me, is to look at that list of traits and goals and see where one character opposes the other. He’s an astronomer…she’s an astrologer. How could that go wrong? He’s building telescopes and gazing at the stars…she’s drawing zodiac charts and telling him he’s going to die. Cheerful little devil, isn’t she? (That's Magic in the Stars, coming out March 29, 2016)

And somewhere thereafter, they’re off and running and I just let them go. I’m not saying I advise listening to those voices in your head, mind you. Because that’s just crazy. <G>

 

Cara has a somewhat similar approach to mapping out the conflict of a story.

She says: Scandalously yours

For me, conflict comes in two elemental forms, and I like to think of it with a Regency metaphor—the plot is like steel, and the characters are like flint, striking against the steel to set off sparks.  It’s the internal conflict of the hero and heroine that heats up the story. How they overcome doubts, fears, or whatever challenge stands in the way of achieving happiness is what makes us keep turning the pages.

 So . . . how do I going about creating these sparks?  I am a total pantser, so don’t ask. I get a story idea, I figure out basic conflicts that are torturing my main characters. For example, in Scandalously Yours, the heroine secretly writes fiery political essays pressing for social reform, but if her secret is made public, her family will be disgraced. The hero is an oh-so conventional lord who believes it’s important never to break the rules of Society. I had a perfectly good plot in mind for them, but by Chapter Two, they gave me the Evil Eye and started to rewrite everything. I was happy to hand them the pen. 

 

RogueSpy cover w-o blurbMe? My books are set in wartime. You got yer battling nations and divided loyalties. You got yer spies, lies, secrets, betrayals, misdirection, midnight flits, and the occasional gunfire, My heroes and heroines are now and then on opposite sides.

So my problem isn't so much creating the conflict to keep my people apart. There's distrust and cross-purposes scattered thick on the ground. The problem my unfortunate characters face is carving out some little niche of peace to fall in love in. My people have to learn to trust each other . . . and they aren't all that trustable.

In Rogue Spy, for instance, my hero and heroine, Pax and Cami, were children recruited as spies by the French Revolution, both trained to perform horrible deeds, both placed as covert operatives in England. They meet again as adults — ingenious, dangerous, tough adults who have to wonder if they can allow themselves to love each other.

(P.S. They do the trusting thing, but it takes a while.)

 

 

In your own reading, do you have favorite sorts of this-is-what-keeps-them-apart?
Do some sorts of conflicts just annoy you?

Some lucky commenter will win a book of mine. Their choice.

140 thoughts on “Conflict And The Happy Ending”

  1. “”Conflict” is a term often misunderstood by new writers, who think it means a lot of arguments and yelling.”
    This is very true. You read books by some newer writers, and there’re random fights and screaming matches for no reason whatsoever! Conflict doesn’t actually have to mean people being at war for no reason.
    “Me? My books are set in wartime. You got yer battling nations and divided loyalties. You got yer spies, lies, secrets, betrayals, misdirection, midnight flits, and the occasional gunfire, My heroes and heroines are now and then on opposite sides.”
    I think that with contemporary romance/romantic suspense, that’s where writers get a bit stuck. My first love was romantic suspense, and what I liked was that you could put a romance into a warzone, and how it heightened all the emotions. However, these days there seem to be a lot of authors who want their heroines to also be gang rape victims, and orphans, and child abuse victims, and everything else. Instead of creating the conflict within the war/suspense storyline.
    They miss the subtleties when they’re trying to heap on the drama. :/

    Reply
  2. “”Conflict” is a term often misunderstood by new writers, who think it means a lot of arguments and yelling.”
    This is very true. You read books by some newer writers, and there’re random fights and screaming matches for no reason whatsoever! Conflict doesn’t actually have to mean people being at war for no reason.
    “Me? My books are set in wartime. You got yer battling nations and divided loyalties. You got yer spies, lies, secrets, betrayals, misdirection, midnight flits, and the occasional gunfire, My heroes and heroines are now and then on opposite sides.”
    I think that with contemporary romance/romantic suspense, that’s where writers get a bit stuck. My first love was romantic suspense, and what I liked was that you could put a romance into a warzone, and how it heightened all the emotions. However, these days there seem to be a lot of authors who want their heroines to also be gang rape victims, and orphans, and child abuse victims, and everything else. Instead of creating the conflict within the war/suspense storyline.
    They miss the subtleties when they’re trying to heap on the drama. :/

    Reply
  3. “”Conflict” is a term often misunderstood by new writers, who think it means a lot of arguments and yelling.”
    This is very true. You read books by some newer writers, and there’re random fights and screaming matches for no reason whatsoever! Conflict doesn’t actually have to mean people being at war for no reason.
    “Me? My books are set in wartime. You got yer battling nations and divided loyalties. You got yer spies, lies, secrets, betrayals, misdirection, midnight flits, and the occasional gunfire, My heroes and heroines are now and then on opposite sides.”
    I think that with contemporary romance/romantic suspense, that’s where writers get a bit stuck. My first love was romantic suspense, and what I liked was that you could put a romance into a warzone, and how it heightened all the emotions. However, these days there seem to be a lot of authors who want their heroines to also be gang rape victims, and orphans, and child abuse victims, and everything else. Instead of creating the conflict within the war/suspense storyline.
    They miss the subtleties when they’re trying to heap on the drama. :/

    Reply
  4. “”Conflict” is a term often misunderstood by new writers, who think it means a lot of arguments and yelling.”
    This is very true. You read books by some newer writers, and there’re random fights and screaming matches for no reason whatsoever! Conflict doesn’t actually have to mean people being at war for no reason.
    “Me? My books are set in wartime. You got yer battling nations and divided loyalties. You got yer spies, lies, secrets, betrayals, misdirection, midnight flits, and the occasional gunfire, My heroes and heroines are now and then on opposite sides.”
    I think that with contemporary romance/romantic suspense, that’s where writers get a bit stuck. My first love was romantic suspense, and what I liked was that you could put a romance into a warzone, and how it heightened all the emotions. However, these days there seem to be a lot of authors who want their heroines to also be gang rape victims, and orphans, and child abuse victims, and everything else. Instead of creating the conflict within the war/suspense storyline.
    They miss the subtleties when they’re trying to heap on the drama. :/

    Reply
  5. “”Conflict” is a term often misunderstood by new writers, who think it means a lot of arguments and yelling.”
    This is very true. You read books by some newer writers, and there’re random fights and screaming matches for no reason whatsoever! Conflict doesn’t actually have to mean people being at war for no reason.
    “Me? My books are set in wartime. You got yer battling nations and divided loyalties. You got yer spies, lies, secrets, betrayals, misdirection, midnight flits, and the occasional gunfire, My heroes and heroines are now and then on opposite sides.”
    I think that with contemporary romance/romantic suspense, that’s where writers get a bit stuck. My first love was romantic suspense, and what I liked was that you could put a romance into a warzone, and how it heightened all the emotions. However, these days there seem to be a lot of authors who want their heroines to also be gang rape victims, and orphans, and child abuse victims, and everything else. Instead of creating the conflict within the war/suspense storyline.
    They miss the subtleties when they’re trying to heap on the drama. :/

    Reply
  6. “In your own reading, do you have favorite sorts of this-is-what-keeps-them-apart?”
    I don’t think I actually have a favourite situation, however I’m a massive fan of reunion romances.
    I love that there can be something so BIG in the characters’ past that it drove them apart, and then they have to overcome it.
    I don’t go looking for particular tropes, but if I go over my “Favourites” list on Goodreads, a huge percentage of them are reunion stories.

    Reply
  7. “In your own reading, do you have favorite sorts of this-is-what-keeps-them-apart?”
    I don’t think I actually have a favourite situation, however I’m a massive fan of reunion romances.
    I love that there can be something so BIG in the characters’ past that it drove them apart, and then they have to overcome it.
    I don’t go looking for particular tropes, but if I go over my “Favourites” list on Goodreads, a huge percentage of them are reunion stories.

    Reply
  8. “In your own reading, do you have favorite sorts of this-is-what-keeps-them-apart?”
    I don’t think I actually have a favourite situation, however I’m a massive fan of reunion romances.
    I love that there can be something so BIG in the characters’ past that it drove them apart, and then they have to overcome it.
    I don’t go looking for particular tropes, but if I go over my “Favourites” list on Goodreads, a huge percentage of them are reunion stories.

    Reply
  9. “In your own reading, do you have favorite sorts of this-is-what-keeps-them-apart?”
    I don’t think I actually have a favourite situation, however I’m a massive fan of reunion romances.
    I love that there can be something so BIG in the characters’ past that it drove them apart, and then they have to overcome it.
    I don’t go looking for particular tropes, but if I go over my “Favourites” list on Goodreads, a huge percentage of them are reunion stories.

    Reply
  10. “In your own reading, do you have favorite sorts of this-is-what-keeps-them-apart?”
    I don’t think I actually have a favourite situation, however I’m a massive fan of reunion romances.
    I love that there can be something so BIG in the characters’ past that it drove them apart, and then they have to overcome it.
    I don’t go looking for particular tropes, but if I go over my “Favourites” list on Goodreads, a huge percentage of them are reunion stories.

    Reply
  11. The conflicts that annoy me are the stupid ones, like the hero who cannot trust a woman because his mother was a bitch (he reached the age of 30 without noticing that there are a lot of different people in the world?) or the heroine who immediately believes the worst of the hero because some stranger told her so. (One of the things I like about Quick/Krentz/Castle is the way her heroines, when told the hero did something dreadful, say, “Nah, he wouldn’t do something like that.”)
    One of my favorite conflicts is the marriage of convenience. So many possibilities.

    Reply
  12. The conflicts that annoy me are the stupid ones, like the hero who cannot trust a woman because his mother was a bitch (he reached the age of 30 without noticing that there are a lot of different people in the world?) or the heroine who immediately believes the worst of the hero because some stranger told her so. (One of the things I like about Quick/Krentz/Castle is the way her heroines, when told the hero did something dreadful, say, “Nah, he wouldn’t do something like that.”)
    One of my favorite conflicts is the marriage of convenience. So many possibilities.

    Reply
  13. The conflicts that annoy me are the stupid ones, like the hero who cannot trust a woman because his mother was a bitch (he reached the age of 30 without noticing that there are a lot of different people in the world?) or the heroine who immediately believes the worst of the hero because some stranger told her so. (One of the things I like about Quick/Krentz/Castle is the way her heroines, when told the hero did something dreadful, say, “Nah, he wouldn’t do something like that.”)
    One of my favorite conflicts is the marriage of convenience. So many possibilities.

    Reply
  14. The conflicts that annoy me are the stupid ones, like the hero who cannot trust a woman because his mother was a bitch (he reached the age of 30 without noticing that there are a lot of different people in the world?) or the heroine who immediately believes the worst of the hero because some stranger told her so. (One of the things I like about Quick/Krentz/Castle is the way her heroines, when told the hero did something dreadful, say, “Nah, he wouldn’t do something like that.”)
    One of my favorite conflicts is the marriage of convenience. So many possibilities.

    Reply
  15. The conflicts that annoy me are the stupid ones, like the hero who cannot trust a woman because his mother was a bitch (he reached the age of 30 without noticing that there are a lot of different people in the world?) or the heroine who immediately believes the worst of the hero because some stranger told her so. (One of the things I like about Quick/Krentz/Castle is the way her heroines, when told the hero did something dreadful, say, “Nah, he wouldn’t do something like that.”)
    One of my favorite conflicts is the marriage of convenience. So many possibilities.

    Reply
  16. I don’t know that I have a favorite type of conflict, but I am partial to stories in which the hero or heroine “grows up” — becomes aware of greater needs and grows to meet them.
    And i agree with Lillian Marek about the character who cannot see beyond some trauma of the past. I must conquer my sense of disbelief in almost any story which has that premise as a part of the conflict.

    Reply
  17. I don’t know that I have a favorite type of conflict, but I am partial to stories in which the hero or heroine “grows up” — becomes aware of greater needs and grows to meet them.
    And i agree with Lillian Marek about the character who cannot see beyond some trauma of the past. I must conquer my sense of disbelief in almost any story which has that premise as a part of the conflict.

    Reply
  18. I don’t know that I have a favorite type of conflict, but I am partial to stories in which the hero or heroine “grows up” — becomes aware of greater needs and grows to meet them.
    And i agree with Lillian Marek about the character who cannot see beyond some trauma of the past. I must conquer my sense of disbelief in almost any story which has that premise as a part of the conflict.

    Reply
  19. I don’t know that I have a favorite type of conflict, but I am partial to stories in which the hero or heroine “grows up” — becomes aware of greater needs and grows to meet them.
    And i agree with Lillian Marek about the character who cannot see beyond some trauma of the past. I must conquer my sense of disbelief in almost any story which has that premise as a part of the conflict.

    Reply
  20. I don’t know that I have a favorite type of conflict, but I am partial to stories in which the hero or heroine “grows up” — becomes aware of greater needs and grows to meet them.
    And i agree with Lillian Marek about the character who cannot see beyond some trauma of the past. I must conquer my sense of disbelief in almost any story which has that premise as a part of the conflict.

    Reply
  21. I too dislike the artificial, ginned up for the moment conflict, such as the heroine overhearing gossip at a ball and believing the hero has 63 mistresses when he only has one. I am getting tired of the silly conflicts that could be settled in a trice if the characters actually talked to each other (instead of at each other) for five minutes. Really, if hero or heroine are that dumb, what is there in them to interest me? Big boobs or broad shoulders are no substitute for intelligent company — not to me anyway — and they never were.
    I think this is why I’m more and more tired of farcical regencies — comedy is hard, and if it’s not based on real “bones”, more and more it’s just a groaner for me.
    I like the conflict to be about something meaningful – a philosophical difference; a war; deep loyalties now torn by a new idea or relationship. Stuff I can get my teeth into. Not mean girl gossip, thwarted in love grudges against All Women (hello, Damerel), that kind of thing. I want to read about the sort of things that really do influence human behavior over the age of teen time. Perhaps that’s hard to pull off now that nobody seems to want to grow up and we see 50 year olds imitating 15 year olds? 🙂

    Reply
  22. I too dislike the artificial, ginned up for the moment conflict, such as the heroine overhearing gossip at a ball and believing the hero has 63 mistresses when he only has one. I am getting tired of the silly conflicts that could be settled in a trice if the characters actually talked to each other (instead of at each other) for five minutes. Really, if hero or heroine are that dumb, what is there in them to interest me? Big boobs or broad shoulders are no substitute for intelligent company — not to me anyway — and they never were.
    I think this is why I’m more and more tired of farcical regencies — comedy is hard, and if it’s not based on real “bones”, more and more it’s just a groaner for me.
    I like the conflict to be about something meaningful – a philosophical difference; a war; deep loyalties now torn by a new idea or relationship. Stuff I can get my teeth into. Not mean girl gossip, thwarted in love grudges against All Women (hello, Damerel), that kind of thing. I want to read about the sort of things that really do influence human behavior over the age of teen time. Perhaps that’s hard to pull off now that nobody seems to want to grow up and we see 50 year olds imitating 15 year olds? 🙂

    Reply
  23. I too dislike the artificial, ginned up for the moment conflict, such as the heroine overhearing gossip at a ball and believing the hero has 63 mistresses when he only has one. I am getting tired of the silly conflicts that could be settled in a trice if the characters actually talked to each other (instead of at each other) for five minutes. Really, if hero or heroine are that dumb, what is there in them to interest me? Big boobs or broad shoulders are no substitute for intelligent company — not to me anyway — and they never were.
    I think this is why I’m more and more tired of farcical regencies — comedy is hard, and if it’s not based on real “bones”, more and more it’s just a groaner for me.
    I like the conflict to be about something meaningful – a philosophical difference; a war; deep loyalties now torn by a new idea or relationship. Stuff I can get my teeth into. Not mean girl gossip, thwarted in love grudges against All Women (hello, Damerel), that kind of thing. I want to read about the sort of things that really do influence human behavior over the age of teen time. Perhaps that’s hard to pull off now that nobody seems to want to grow up and we see 50 year olds imitating 15 year olds? 🙂

    Reply
  24. I too dislike the artificial, ginned up for the moment conflict, such as the heroine overhearing gossip at a ball and believing the hero has 63 mistresses when he only has one. I am getting tired of the silly conflicts that could be settled in a trice if the characters actually talked to each other (instead of at each other) for five minutes. Really, if hero or heroine are that dumb, what is there in them to interest me? Big boobs or broad shoulders are no substitute for intelligent company — not to me anyway — and they never were.
    I think this is why I’m more and more tired of farcical regencies — comedy is hard, and if it’s not based on real “bones”, more and more it’s just a groaner for me.
    I like the conflict to be about something meaningful – a philosophical difference; a war; deep loyalties now torn by a new idea or relationship. Stuff I can get my teeth into. Not mean girl gossip, thwarted in love grudges against All Women (hello, Damerel), that kind of thing. I want to read about the sort of things that really do influence human behavior over the age of teen time. Perhaps that’s hard to pull off now that nobody seems to want to grow up and we see 50 year olds imitating 15 year olds? 🙂

    Reply
  25. I too dislike the artificial, ginned up for the moment conflict, such as the heroine overhearing gossip at a ball and believing the hero has 63 mistresses when he only has one. I am getting tired of the silly conflicts that could be settled in a trice if the characters actually talked to each other (instead of at each other) for five minutes. Really, if hero or heroine are that dumb, what is there in them to interest me? Big boobs or broad shoulders are no substitute for intelligent company — not to me anyway — and they never were.
    I think this is why I’m more and more tired of farcical regencies — comedy is hard, and if it’s not based on real “bones”, more and more it’s just a groaner for me.
    I like the conflict to be about something meaningful – a philosophical difference; a war; deep loyalties now torn by a new idea or relationship. Stuff I can get my teeth into. Not mean girl gossip, thwarted in love grudges against All Women (hello, Damerel), that kind of thing. I want to read about the sort of things that really do influence human behavior over the age of teen time. Perhaps that’s hard to pull off now that nobody seems to want to grow up and we see 50 year olds imitating 15 year olds? 🙂

    Reply
  26. You have it. Folks try to put the emotional conflict into what happens long before the book opens. That sort of tragic backstory may be full of angst and horror, but it leaches emotion from the story we’re actually telling. All the most important stuff happened ten years ago.
    My own though is you don’t use the backstory to build sympathy for the hero or heroine. You use it to explain the protagonist’s current problem or to motivate the protagonist.
    IMO you add only as much horrific anything as is absolutely necessary. Folks want to see terrible things … they can go watch TV.

    Reply
  27. You have it. Folks try to put the emotional conflict into what happens long before the book opens. That sort of tragic backstory may be full of angst and horror, but it leaches emotion from the story we’re actually telling. All the most important stuff happened ten years ago.
    My own though is you don’t use the backstory to build sympathy for the hero or heroine. You use it to explain the protagonist’s current problem or to motivate the protagonist.
    IMO you add only as much horrific anything as is absolutely necessary. Folks want to see terrible things … they can go watch TV.

    Reply
  28. You have it. Folks try to put the emotional conflict into what happens long before the book opens. That sort of tragic backstory may be full of angst and horror, but it leaches emotion from the story we’re actually telling. All the most important stuff happened ten years ago.
    My own though is you don’t use the backstory to build sympathy for the hero or heroine. You use it to explain the protagonist’s current problem or to motivate the protagonist.
    IMO you add only as much horrific anything as is absolutely necessary. Folks want to see terrible things … they can go watch TV.

    Reply
  29. You have it. Folks try to put the emotional conflict into what happens long before the book opens. That sort of tragic backstory may be full of angst and horror, but it leaches emotion from the story we’re actually telling. All the most important stuff happened ten years ago.
    My own though is you don’t use the backstory to build sympathy for the hero or heroine. You use it to explain the protagonist’s current problem or to motivate the protagonist.
    IMO you add only as much horrific anything as is absolutely necessary. Folks want to see terrible things … they can go watch TV.

    Reply
  30. You have it. Folks try to put the emotional conflict into what happens long before the book opens. That sort of tragic backstory may be full of angst and horror, but it leaches emotion from the story we’re actually telling. All the most important stuff happened ten years ago.
    My own though is you don’t use the backstory to build sympathy for the hero or heroine. You use it to explain the protagonist’s current problem or to motivate the protagonist.
    IMO you add only as much horrific anything as is absolutely necessary. Folks want to see terrible things … they can go watch TV.

    Reply
  31. I do like the changes protagonists go through as they become fully adult. Growing up and falling in love at the same time has all kinds of sweet moments and great realizations. Makes for interesting, warm storytelling.
    Speaking in a very broad sense, overcoming trauma of the past can make a good story. Healing is a great theme for a love story.
    Now, I want the story to hold a good reason why trauma was not ALREADY dealt with. Why is the long-term problem coming to roost in this time and place? But once that little question is answered, I’ll say, “okay,” and move along.
    I also prefer folks who grit their teeth and adult their way through the old hurts and mistakes. I want to see courage and goodwill, even from those who’ve been damaged by life.
    I know that’s not realistic, but I want happy endings.

    Reply
  32. I do like the changes protagonists go through as they become fully adult. Growing up and falling in love at the same time has all kinds of sweet moments and great realizations. Makes for interesting, warm storytelling.
    Speaking in a very broad sense, overcoming trauma of the past can make a good story. Healing is a great theme for a love story.
    Now, I want the story to hold a good reason why trauma was not ALREADY dealt with. Why is the long-term problem coming to roost in this time and place? But once that little question is answered, I’ll say, “okay,” and move along.
    I also prefer folks who grit their teeth and adult their way through the old hurts and mistakes. I want to see courage and goodwill, even from those who’ve been damaged by life.
    I know that’s not realistic, but I want happy endings.

    Reply
  33. I do like the changes protagonists go through as they become fully adult. Growing up and falling in love at the same time has all kinds of sweet moments and great realizations. Makes for interesting, warm storytelling.
    Speaking in a very broad sense, overcoming trauma of the past can make a good story. Healing is a great theme for a love story.
    Now, I want the story to hold a good reason why trauma was not ALREADY dealt with. Why is the long-term problem coming to roost in this time and place? But once that little question is answered, I’ll say, “okay,” and move along.
    I also prefer folks who grit their teeth and adult their way through the old hurts and mistakes. I want to see courage and goodwill, even from those who’ve been damaged by life.
    I know that’s not realistic, but I want happy endings.

    Reply
  34. I do like the changes protagonists go through as they become fully adult. Growing up and falling in love at the same time has all kinds of sweet moments and great realizations. Makes for interesting, warm storytelling.
    Speaking in a very broad sense, overcoming trauma of the past can make a good story. Healing is a great theme for a love story.
    Now, I want the story to hold a good reason why trauma was not ALREADY dealt with. Why is the long-term problem coming to roost in this time and place? But once that little question is answered, I’ll say, “okay,” and move along.
    I also prefer folks who grit their teeth and adult their way through the old hurts and mistakes. I want to see courage and goodwill, even from those who’ve been damaged by life.
    I know that’s not realistic, but I want happy endings.

    Reply
  35. I do like the changes protagonists go through as they become fully adult. Growing up and falling in love at the same time has all kinds of sweet moments and great realizations. Makes for interesting, warm storytelling.
    Speaking in a very broad sense, overcoming trauma of the past can make a good story. Healing is a great theme for a love story.
    Now, I want the story to hold a good reason why trauma was not ALREADY dealt with. Why is the long-term problem coming to roost in this time and place? But once that little question is answered, I’ll say, “okay,” and move along.
    I also prefer folks who grit their teeth and adult their way through the old hurts and mistakes. I want to see courage and goodwill, even from those who’ve been damaged by life.
    I know that’s not realistic, but I want happy endings.

    Reply
  36. I agree. If we’re not doing a Comedy of Manners, the main conflicts should have some heft and solidity to them.
    When the ‘conflict’ between the protagonists could be cleared up with a well-timed “But she’s my sister, not my girlfriend” there’s a plotting weakness. We can pull in a misunderstanding trope for a minor tiff on the way to greater understanding. That trope doesn’t work so well as the mainspring of a whole plot.

    Reply
  37. I agree. If we’re not doing a Comedy of Manners, the main conflicts should have some heft and solidity to them.
    When the ‘conflict’ between the protagonists could be cleared up with a well-timed “But she’s my sister, not my girlfriend” there’s a plotting weakness. We can pull in a misunderstanding trope for a minor tiff on the way to greater understanding. That trope doesn’t work so well as the mainspring of a whole plot.

    Reply
  38. I agree. If we’re not doing a Comedy of Manners, the main conflicts should have some heft and solidity to them.
    When the ‘conflict’ between the protagonists could be cleared up with a well-timed “But she’s my sister, not my girlfriend” there’s a plotting weakness. We can pull in a misunderstanding trope for a minor tiff on the way to greater understanding. That trope doesn’t work so well as the mainspring of a whole plot.

    Reply
  39. I agree. If we’re not doing a Comedy of Manners, the main conflicts should have some heft and solidity to them.
    When the ‘conflict’ between the protagonists could be cleared up with a well-timed “But she’s my sister, not my girlfriend” there’s a plotting weakness. We can pull in a misunderstanding trope for a minor tiff on the way to greater understanding. That trope doesn’t work so well as the mainspring of a whole plot.

    Reply
  40. I agree. If we’re not doing a Comedy of Manners, the main conflicts should have some heft and solidity to them.
    When the ‘conflict’ between the protagonists could be cleared up with a well-timed “But she’s my sister, not my girlfriend” there’s a plotting weakness. We can pull in a misunderstanding trope for a minor tiff on the way to greater understanding. That trope doesn’t work so well as the mainspring of a whole plot.

    Reply
  41. I’m not a huge fan of conflicts. If I have a favorite though, it would be parental disproval because it’s the one I experienced myself 25 years ago and I’m still living with it today! My in laws felt my husband was marrying beneath him despite the fact that I put myself through law school before getting married and earn more than my husband! They even went so far as to say I was raising my daughters as “man haters” just because Power Puff girls were popular when they were little! UGH!!!

    Reply
  42. I’m not a huge fan of conflicts. If I have a favorite though, it would be parental disproval because it’s the one I experienced myself 25 years ago and I’m still living with it today! My in laws felt my husband was marrying beneath him despite the fact that I put myself through law school before getting married and earn more than my husband! They even went so far as to say I was raising my daughters as “man haters” just because Power Puff girls were popular when they were little! UGH!!!

    Reply
  43. I’m not a huge fan of conflicts. If I have a favorite though, it would be parental disproval because it’s the one I experienced myself 25 years ago and I’m still living with it today! My in laws felt my husband was marrying beneath him despite the fact that I put myself through law school before getting married and earn more than my husband! They even went so far as to say I was raising my daughters as “man haters” just because Power Puff girls were popular when they were little! UGH!!!

    Reply
  44. I’m not a huge fan of conflicts. If I have a favorite though, it would be parental disproval because it’s the one I experienced myself 25 years ago and I’m still living with it today! My in laws felt my husband was marrying beneath him despite the fact that I put myself through law school before getting married and earn more than my husband! They even went so far as to say I was raising my daughters as “man haters” just because Power Puff girls were popular when they were little! UGH!!!

    Reply
  45. I’m not a huge fan of conflicts. If I have a favorite though, it would be parental disproval because it’s the one I experienced myself 25 years ago and I’m still living with it today! My in laws felt my husband was marrying beneath him despite the fact that I put myself through law school before getting married and earn more than my husband! They even went so far as to say I was raising my daughters as “man haters” just because Power Puff girls were popular when they were little! UGH!!!

    Reply
  46. I find the weak, insecure man who is afraid of his family the worst kind of reason for keeping a couple apart. The woman continues trying to persuade him to take his life in his hands, even though she knows this ineffective man will end up yielding to his overbearing mother who will live with them after the marriage.
    After feeling exhausted reading about this relationship, along comes the right man, and the woman finally dumps the moron.
    When the woman comes to her senses, it’s the best HEA.

    Reply
  47. I find the weak, insecure man who is afraid of his family the worst kind of reason for keeping a couple apart. The woman continues trying to persuade him to take his life in his hands, even though she knows this ineffective man will end up yielding to his overbearing mother who will live with them after the marriage.
    After feeling exhausted reading about this relationship, along comes the right man, and the woman finally dumps the moron.
    When the woman comes to her senses, it’s the best HEA.

    Reply
  48. I find the weak, insecure man who is afraid of his family the worst kind of reason for keeping a couple apart. The woman continues trying to persuade him to take his life in his hands, even though she knows this ineffective man will end up yielding to his overbearing mother who will live with them after the marriage.
    After feeling exhausted reading about this relationship, along comes the right man, and the woman finally dumps the moron.
    When the woman comes to her senses, it’s the best HEA.

    Reply
  49. I find the weak, insecure man who is afraid of his family the worst kind of reason for keeping a couple apart. The woman continues trying to persuade him to take his life in his hands, even though she knows this ineffective man will end up yielding to his overbearing mother who will live with them after the marriage.
    After feeling exhausted reading about this relationship, along comes the right man, and the woman finally dumps the moron.
    When the woman comes to her senses, it’s the best HEA.

    Reply
  50. I find the weak, insecure man who is afraid of his family the worst kind of reason for keeping a couple apart. The woman continues trying to persuade him to take his life in his hands, even though she knows this ineffective man will end up yielding to his overbearing mother who will live with them after the marriage.
    After feeling exhausted reading about this relationship, along comes the right man, and the woman finally dumps the moron.
    When the woman comes to her senses, it’s the best HEA.

    Reply
  51. Sue, I’ve recently read two fantasy novels by two different authors (Robin Hobb and Sharon Shinn) where they took quite an unlikable, spoiled bitchy brat of a heroine, put her through a heap of difficulties and that bitchy selfish streak turned into strength and determination — and by the end of the book (well, much earlier, actually) I’d come to love a character I’d initially despised.

    Reply
  52. Sue, I’ve recently read two fantasy novels by two different authors (Robin Hobb and Sharon Shinn) where they took quite an unlikable, spoiled bitchy brat of a heroine, put her through a heap of difficulties and that bitchy selfish streak turned into strength and determination — and by the end of the book (well, much earlier, actually) I’d come to love a character I’d initially despised.

    Reply
  53. Sue, I’ve recently read two fantasy novels by two different authors (Robin Hobb and Sharon Shinn) where they took quite an unlikable, spoiled bitchy brat of a heroine, put her through a heap of difficulties and that bitchy selfish streak turned into strength and determination — and by the end of the book (well, much earlier, actually) I’d come to love a character I’d initially despised.

    Reply
  54. Sue, I’ve recently read two fantasy novels by two different authors (Robin Hobb and Sharon Shinn) where they took quite an unlikable, spoiled bitchy brat of a heroine, put her through a heap of difficulties and that bitchy selfish streak turned into strength and determination — and by the end of the book (well, much earlier, actually) I’d come to love a character I’d initially despised.

    Reply
  55. Sue, I’ve recently read two fantasy novels by two different authors (Robin Hobb and Sharon Shinn) where they took quite an unlikable, spoiled bitchy brat of a heroine, put her through a heap of difficulties and that bitchy selfish streak turned into strength and determination — and by the end of the book (well, much earlier, actually) I’d come to love a character I’d initially despised.

    Reply
  56. Like Sue above, I don’t really have a favorite type of conflict. I do admit that I am not a fan of what I call Adventure Romance. That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen. Not a thing wrong with them – they just don’t interest me a lot.
    I think in the end, what is important is how the author handles the conflict. I have read books where the H/h are totally unlikable, but by the end of book, after they have gone through traumas they grow into likable characters. Then again, I’ve read some where they were still just as unlikable.

    Reply
  57. Like Sue above, I don’t really have a favorite type of conflict. I do admit that I am not a fan of what I call Adventure Romance. That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen. Not a thing wrong with them – they just don’t interest me a lot.
    I think in the end, what is important is how the author handles the conflict. I have read books where the H/h are totally unlikable, but by the end of book, after they have gone through traumas they grow into likable characters. Then again, I’ve read some where they were still just as unlikable.

    Reply
  58. Like Sue above, I don’t really have a favorite type of conflict. I do admit that I am not a fan of what I call Adventure Romance. That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen. Not a thing wrong with them – they just don’t interest me a lot.
    I think in the end, what is important is how the author handles the conflict. I have read books where the H/h are totally unlikable, but by the end of book, after they have gone through traumas they grow into likable characters. Then again, I’ve read some where they were still just as unlikable.

    Reply
  59. Like Sue above, I don’t really have a favorite type of conflict. I do admit that I am not a fan of what I call Adventure Romance. That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen. Not a thing wrong with them – they just don’t interest me a lot.
    I think in the end, what is important is how the author handles the conflict. I have read books where the H/h are totally unlikable, but by the end of book, after they have gone through traumas they grow into likable characters. Then again, I’ve read some where they were still just as unlikable.

    Reply
  60. Like Sue above, I don’t really have a favorite type of conflict. I do admit that I am not a fan of what I call Adventure Romance. That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen. Not a thing wrong with them – they just don’t interest me a lot.
    I think in the end, what is important is how the author handles the conflict. I have read books where the H/h are totally unlikable, but by the end of book, after they have gone through traumas they grow into likable characters. Then again, I’ve read some where they were still just as unlikable.

    Reply
  61. I like stories where the hero is scarred or has some sort of defect and thinks no one would ever consider him as husband material. Not the greatest conflict I know but I like the way these stories get resolved. One thing I can’t stand is where the hero of the piece is totally overbearing and bossy and the heroine admires him even though he treats her like dirt. What red blooded woman would put up with that!!

    Reply
  62. I like stories where the hero is scarred or has some sort of defect and thinks no one would ever consider him as husband material. Not the greatest conflict I know but I like the way these stories get resolved. One thing I can’t stand is where the hero of the piece is totally overbearing and bossy and the heroine admires him even though he treats her like dirt. What red blooded woman would put up with that!!

    Reply
  63. I like stories where the hero is scarred or has some sort of defect and thinks no one would ever consider him as husband material. Not the greatest conflict I know but I like the way these stories get resolved. One thing I can’t stand is where the hero of the piece is totally overbearing and bossy and the heroine admires him even though he treats her like dirt. What red blooded woman would put up with that!!

    Reply
  64. I like stories where the hero is scarred or has some sort of defect and thinks no one would ever consider him as husband material. Not the greatest conflict I know but I like the way these stories get resolved. One thing I can’t stand is where the hero of the piece is totally overbearing and bossy and the heroine admires him even though he treats her like dirt. What red blooded woman would put up with that!!

    Reply
  65. I like stories where the hero is scarred or has some sort of defect and thinks no one would ever consider him as husband material. Not the greatest conflict I know but I like the way these stories get resolved. One thing I can’t stand is where the hero of the piece is totally overbearing and bossy and the heroine admires him even though he treats her like dirt. What red blooded woman would put up with that!!

    Reply
  66. I never got why Venetia, a pretty clear-sighted young woman, would value a self-pitying drama queen like Damerel. The more I learned about him, the less I respected him. This is another Heyer I now reread for the subsidiary characters – Sir Lambert, the Bible-quoting nurse, and Aubrey. Heyer did well in turning the Byronic hero with his Tragic Past upside down in Damerel and showing his weak, self-indulgent side — but she didn’t convince me that a strong, good man lay beneath all that. Not completely. Whereas Alan Rickman’s (God rest his soul) Colonel Brandon did; his bad youthful experiences made him thoughtful and aware, not petulant and airheaded.
    I realize I’m in the minority about Damerel here, but I know this is one blog where one can speak the truth and get a reasoned response rather than a nasty huff 😉

    Reply
  67. I never got why Venetia, a pretty clear-sighted young woman, would value a self-pitying drama queen like Damerel. The more I learned about him, the less I respected him. This is another Heyer I now reread for the subsidiary characters – Sir Lambert, the Bible-quoting nurse, and Aubrey. Heyer did well in turning the Byronic hero with his Tragic Past upside down in Damerel and showing his weak, self-indulgent side — but she didn’t convince me that a strong, good man lay beneath all that. Not completely. Whereas Alan Rickman’s (God rest his soul) Colonel Brandon did; his bad youthful experiences made him thoughtful and aware, not petulant and airheaded.
    I realize I’m in the minority about Damerel here, but I know this is one blog where one can speak the truth and get a reasoned response rather than a nasty huff 😉

    Reply
  68. I never got why Venetia, a pretty clear-sighted young woman, would value a self-pitying drama queen like Damerel. The more I learned about him, the less I respected him. This is another Heyer I now reread for the subsidiary characters – Sir Lambert, the Bible-quoting nurse, and Aubrey. Heyer did well in turning the Byronic hero with his Tragic Past upside down in Damerel and showing his weak, self-indulgent side — but she didn’t convince me that a strong, good man lay beneath all that. Not completely. Whereas Alan Rickman’s (God rest his soul) Colonel Brandon did; his bad youthful experiences made him thoughtful and aware, not petulant and airheaded.
    I realize I’m in the minority about Damerel here, but I know this is one blog where one can speak the truth and get a reasoned response rather than a nasty huff 😉

    Reply
  69. I never got why Venetia, a pretty clear-sighted young woman, would value a self-pitying drama queen like Damerel. The more I learned about him, the less I respected him. This is another Heyer I now reread for the subsidiary characters – Sir Lambert, the Bible-quoting nurse, and Aubrey. Heyer did well in turning the Byronic hero with his Tragic Past upside down in Damerel and showing his weak, self-indulgent side — but she didn’t convince me that a strong, good man lay beneath all that. Not completely. Whereas Alan Rickman’s (God rest his soul) Colonel Brandon did; his bad youthful experiences made him thoughtful and aware, not petulant and airheaded.
    I realize I’m in the minority about Damerel here, but I know this is one blog where one can speak the truth and get a reasoned response rather than a nasty huff 😉

    Reply
  70. I never got why Venetia, a pretty clear-sighted young woman, would value a self-pitying drama queen like Damerel. The more I learned about him, the less I respected him. This is another Heyer I now reread for the subsidiary characters – Sir Lambert, the Bible-quoting nurse, and Aubrey. Heyer did well in turning the Byronic hero with his Tragic Past upside down in Damerel and showing his weak, self-indulgent side — but she didn’t convince me that a strong, good man lay beneath all that. Not completely. Whereas Alan Rickman’s (God rest his soul) Colonel Brandon did; his bad youthful experiences made him thoughtful and aware, not petulant and airheaded.
    I realize I’m in the minority about Damerel here, but I know this is one blog where one can speak the truth and get a reasoned response rather than a nasty huff 😉

    Reply
  71. Lordy. I’ve seen similar attitudes in my experience, but none in which ostensibly intelligent people did not alter their opinion of the despised one as years wore on and accomplishment and good character were shown. But some views are cultural as much as individual, and it must have felt like running into a stone wall. Your husband must be a great guy to be worth all that. You are one of the lucky ones 🙂

    Reply
  72. Lordy. I’ve seen similar attitudes in my experience, but none in which ostensibly intelligent people did not alter their opinion of the despised one as years wore on and accomplishment and good character were shown. But some views are cultural as much as individual, and it must have felt like running into a stone wall. Your husband must be a great guy to be worth all that. You are one of the lucky ones 🙂

    Reply
  73. Lordy. I’ve seen similar attitudes in my experience, but none in which ostensibly intelligent people did not alter their opinion of the despised one as years wore on and accomplishment and good character were shown. But some views are cultural as much as individual, and it must have felt like running into a stone wall. Your husband must be a great guy to be worth all that. You are one of the lucky ones 🙂

    Reply
  74. Lordy. I’ve seen similar attitudes in my experience, but none in which ostensibly intelligent people did not alter their opinion of the despised one as years wore on and accomplishment and good character were shown. But some views are cultural as much as individual, and it must have felt like running into a stone wall. Your husband must be a great guy to be worth all that. You are one of the lucky ones 🙂

    Reply
  75. Lordy. I’ve seen similar attitudes in my experience, but none in which ostensibly intelligent people did not alter their opinion of the despised one as years wore on and accomplishment and good character were shown. But some views are cultural as much as individual, and it must have felt like running into a stone wall. Your husband must be a great guy to be worth all that. You are one of the lucky ones 🙂

    Reply
  76. We always bring so much of ourselves to the books we read. Do we look for ourselves in the heroine? Do we look for our beloveds in the hero?
    I know I get impatient with heroines who wring their hands and suffer instead of going out and solving the problem.
    For what it’s worth, I LOVED the Power Puff girls. Such darlings!

    Reply
  77. We always bring so much of ourselves to the books we read. Do we look for ourselves in the heroine? Do we look for our beloveds in the hero?
    I know I get impatient with heroines who wring their hands and suffer instead of going out and solving the problem.
    For what it’s worth, I LOVED the Power Puff girls. Such darlings!

    Reply
  78. We always bring so much of ourselves to the books we read. Do we look for ourselves in the heroine? Do we look for our beloveds in the hero?
    I know I get impatient with heroines who wring their hands and suffer instead of going out and solving the problem.
    For what it’s worth, I LOVED the Power Puff girls. Such darlings!

    Reply
  79. We always bring so much of ourselves to the books we read. Do we look for ourselves in the heroine? Do we look for our beloveds in the hero?
    I know I get impatient with heroines who wring their hands and suffer instead of going out and solving the problem.
    For what it’s worth, I LOVED the Power Puff girls. Such darlings!

    Reply
  80. We always bring so much of ourselves to the books we read. Do we look for ourselves in the heroine? Do we look for our beloveds in the hero?
    I know I get impatient with heroines who wring their hands and suffer instead of going out and solving the problem.
    For what it’s worth, I LOVED the Power Puff girls. Such darlings!

    Reply
  81. >>>>That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen.<<<< (joanna whimpers.) No spies? I will say that the adventure has to be secondary to the hero and heroine falling in love. That we have to be more interested in what's going on inside the protagonists than the gunfire. *g*

    Reply
  82. >>>>That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen.<<<< (joanna whimpers.) No spies? I will say that the adventure has to be secondary to the hero and heroine falling in love. That we have to be more interested in what's going on inside the protagonists than the gunfire. *g*

    Reply
  83. >>>>That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen.<<<< (joanna whimpers.) No spies? I will say that the adventure has to be secondary to the hero and heroine falling in love. That we have to be more interested in what's going on inside the protagonists than the gunfire. *g*

    Reply
  84. >>>>That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen.<<<< (joanna whimpers.) No spies? I will say that the adventure has to be secondary to the hero and heroine falling in love. That we have to be more interested in what's going on inside the protagonists than the gunfire. *g*

    Reply
  85. >>>>That is anything involving pirates, spies, kidnapping or highwaymen.<<<< (joanna whimpers.) No spies? I will say that the adventure has to be secondary to the hero and heroine falling in love. That we have to be more interested in what's going on inside the protagonists than the gunfire. *g*

    Reply
  86. There are just beautiful love stories with scarred or damaged heroes. It’s a powerful, healing sort of love we find in these books.
    So many dimensions of love here. The heroine being able to see the hidden value of the hero. The hero being able to accept his own self worth.

    Reply
  87. There are just beautiful love stories with scarred or damaged heroes. It’s a powerful, healing sort of love we find in these books.
    So many dimensions of love here. The heroine being able to see the hidden value of the hero. The hero being able to accept his own self worth.

    Reply
  88. There are just beautiful love stories with scarred or damaged heroes. It’s a powerful, healing sort of love we find in these books.
    So many dimensions of love here. The heroine being able to see the hidden value of the hero. The hero being able to accept his own self worth.

    Reply
  89. There are just beautiful love stories with scarred or damaged heroes. It’s a powerful, healing sort of love we find in these books.
    So many dimensions of love here. The heroine being able to see the hidden value of the hero. The hero being able to accept his own self worth.

    Reply
  90. There are just beautiful love stories with scarred or damaged heroes. It’s a powerful, healing sort of love we find in these books.
    So many dimensions of love here. The heroine being able to see the hidden value of the hero. The hero being able to accept his own self worth.

    Reply
  91. They were connected books, Joanna. The Hobb one with the spoiled bitchy heroine was called Ship of Destiny, the character was a girl called Malta, but it’s the third book in a series and might be difficult to pick up at that point. The Sharon Shinn heroine was also a middle-of-a series book — the Angel series that starts with Archangel. The book with the spoiled brat heroine was called Miriam.

    Reply
  92. They were connected books, Joanna. The Hobb one with the spoiled bitchy heroine was called Ship of Destiny, the character was a girl called Malta, but it’s the third book in a series and might be difficult to pick up at that point. The Sharon Shinn heroine was also a middle-of-a series book — the Angel series that starts with Archangel. The book with the spoiled brat heroine was called Miriam.

    Reply
  93. They were connected books, Joanna. The Hobb one with the spoiled bitchy heroine was called Ship of Destiny, the character was a girl called Malta, but it’s the third book in a series and might be difficult to pick up at that point. The Sharon Shinn heroine was also a middle-of-a series book — the Angel series that starts with Archangel. The book with the spoiled brat heroine was called Miriam.

    Reply
  94. They were connected books, Joanna. The Hobb one with the spoiled bitchy heroine was called Ship of Destiny, the character was a girl called Malta, but it’s the third book in a series and might be difficult to pick up at that point. The Sharon Shinn heroine was also a middle-of-a series book — the Angel series that starts with Archangel. The book with the spoiled brat heroine was called Miriam.

    Reply
  95. They were connected books, Joanna. The Hobb one with the spoiled bitchy heroine was called Ship of Destiny, the character was a girl called Malta, but it’s the third book in a series and might be difficult to pick up at that point. The Sharon Shinn heroine was also a middle-of-a series book — the Angel series that starts with Archangel. The book with the spoiled brat heroine was called Miriam.

    Reply
  96. Janice, the reason I love Damerel and think he’s a real hero lies in the way he responds to Aubrey’s accident — he knows exactly how to treat that prideful, intelligent, high-strung and spoiled young man, he handles Nurse with aplomb, he is completely honorable in the way he treats Venetia, when everyone expects him to be rakish. He’s only really pathetic when he sends Venetia off and gets drunk. But he sends her off for her own sake, because he thinks if she is connected with him, people will say like mother like daughter — bad apples, and like attracting like.
    It’s not self-pity, I think, as much as self-disgust at what he has done with his life, and he’s determined that this wonderful girl will not be mired by his grubby past. Which is, I think, heroic.

    Reply
  97. Janice, the reason I love Damerel and think he’s a real hero lies in the way he responds to Aubrey’s accident — he knows exactly how to treat that prideful, intelligent, high-strung and spoiled young man, he handles Nurse with aplomb, he is completely honorable in the way he treats Venetia, when everyone expects him to be rakish. He’s only really pathetic when he sends Venetia off and gets drunk. But he sends her off for her own sake, because he thinks if she is connected with him, people will say like mother like daughter — bad apples, and like attracting like.
    It’s not self-pity, I think, as much as self-disgust at what he has done with his life, and he’s determined that this wonderful girl will not be mired by his grubby past. Which is, I think, heroic.

    Reply
  98. Janice, the reason I love Damerel and think he’s a real hero lies in the way he responds to Aubrey’s accident — he knows exactly how to treat that prideful, intelligent, high-strung and spoiled young man, he handles Nurse with aplomb, he is completely honorable in the way he treats Venetia, when everyone expects him to be rakish. He’s only really pathetic when he sends Venetia off and gets drunk. But he sends her off for her own sake, because he thinks if she is connected with him, people will say like mother like daughter — bad apples, and like attracting like.
    It’s not self-pity, I think, as much as self-disgust at what he has done with his life, and he’s determined that this wonderful girl will not be mired by his grubby past. Which is, I think, heroic.

    Reply
  99. Janice, the reason I love Damerel and think he’s a real hero lies in the way he responds to Aubrey’s accident — he knows exactly how to treat that prideful, intelligent, high-strung and spoiled young man, he handles Nurse with aplomb, he is completely honorable in the way he treats Venetia, when everyone expects him to be rakish. He’s only really pathetic when he sends Venetia off and gets drunk. But he sends her off for her own sake, because he thinks if she is connected with him, people will say like mother like daughter — bad apples, and like attracting like.
    It’s not self-pity, I think, as much as self-disgust at what he has done with his life, and he’s determined that this wonderful girl will not be mired by his grubby past. Which is, I think, heroic.

    Reply
  100. Janice, the reason I love Damerel and think he’s a real hero lies in the way he responds to Aubrey’s accident — he knows exactly how to treat that prideful, intelligent, high-strung and spoiled young man, he handles Nurse with aplomb, he is completely honorable in the way he treats Venetia, when everyone expects him to be rakish. He’s only really pathetic when he sends Venetia off and gets drunk. But he sends her off for her own sake, because he thinks if she is connected with him, people will say like mother like daughter — bad apples, and like attracting like.
    It’s not self-pity, I think, as much as self-disgust at what he has done with his life, and he’s determined that this wonderful girl will not be mired by his grubby past. Which is, I think, heroic.

    Reply

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