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Rescue Me

"If you're holding out for universal popularity, I'm afraid you'll be in this cabin for a very long time." - Albus Dumbledore to Rubeus Hagrid.

As writers, we all want to be liked an accepted. We want people to gush over the stories we've worked so hard on. But you can't expect everyone to like everything. Case in point: I don't like Regencies. I don't understand the differences between the titles. But that's a blog for another time. There's one exception, I've been reading Julia Quinn lately and she's killing me with those Bridgertons. They're actually funny. I still don't get the title thing, but the writing more than makes up for it. More on that in a minute.

I've been thinking about the first chapter of THL for a while now. First chapters are a bigger bane to me than the middle chapters. Bigger than finding the perfect HEA. Someone (I forget who) said that it was cliche for Abel to save Romy. That whole damsel-in-distress thing. But the damsel-in-distress theme is something that kind of flows along in the book. Our capable heroine finds herself in trouble up to her neck practically from the get-go.

I was trying to think of the beginnings of my favorite novels and movies. How do the hero and heroine meet? Let's look at a couple:

Like I said before, Regency, not my fave. But I literally fell in love with Julia Quinn's An Offer From A Gentleman, a version of Cinderella. The hero rescues the heroine from a trio of men planning to use her for their own amusement. The hero met a mysterious woman at a masquerade and he's in love with her after their first kiss. Unbeknownst to him, the heroine is really the mystery woman.

Gee, a rescue scene. Not quite at the opening, but close. At least the hero thinks they're meeting for the first time.

How about Karen Marie Moning's Fae series. I need only mention the name Jericho Barrens to have oodles of women collapsed on the floor drooling. He was a little lot too alpha for me, but to each her own. How many times he did he have Mac's back? Specifically, the only one I can think of right now is how he helped her after the sex faerie thing, because she was a goner if not for his *ahem* attention. 

I recently tried to convince you all that you're Green Lanterns. So how about Green Lantern? Did he or did he not (hell, how about any superhero for that matter, Peter Parker!) save Carol from being crushed by electronic equipment? When he visits her apartment later, does she not make goo-goo eyes at him until she realizes that he's really Hal Jordan? She did. 

We're women (I'm not saying all consumers of romances are women, because I know good and well that they aren't), but the idea behind a romance is that even if the hero doesn't rescue the heroine physically, he's rescuing her emotionally (and vice versa).

So is it just me, or don't you expect the hero to save the day? Isn't that why he's the hero? I could go off on a tangent and say that it's my novel. I'm right, I've always been right and I'll always be right. But, I could be wrong. Maybe they should see each other across the room and fall madly in love right away until he discovers who she is and she believes he's the bad guy. Maybe they should have met (because their families are acquainted, after all) years ago, but been apart for a long time. Beats me, I just write what the characters tell me write.

What's your idea of the perfect way for a hero and heroine to meet?


  1. There is one word I detest--cliche.
    I hate it when people point something out to me as cliche. Who decides something is cliche? Why is cliche wrong? WHO made it wrong?

    Anyway, I love the idea of a hero rescuing the heroine--one of the main reasons why I love the Indiana Jones movies. Indy was always doing the rescuing.

    As romance writers, we all have things that "we" deem romantic. As a writer and a woman, deep inside you may feel that when a man rescues a woman that is the height of masculinity--and I agree. My husband saved me once when I fell into a lake, wearing a huge wool coat. The coat quickly absorbed water and was dragging me down--he jumped into the freezing cold water and saved me. Let me tell you--he looked so hot to me at that moment!!

    Okay, back on topic. If having your hero rescue your heroine works and fits your story, then I see no cliche in it at all. I think for an action/adventure, having the hero and heroine first meet by the hero rescuing her ass is a great first chapter.

  2. Aww, that's a romantic story, Brenda. When we were still dating, my husband and I were walking across a concrete bridge with moss growing on it. I slipped and he caught my belt loop before I fell in the water. I'm pretty sure the belt loop would tear off now, but it was so sweet of him to do that. And he's good about killing spiders for me.

    I like a man who'll step in and save the day. ;)

  3. Heros should be there for the heroine. Supporting her and loving her. Lia told me Avalon likes the heroine to solve her own problem. So instead of having my hero shoot the bad guy, I had my heroine do it. But my hero was there for support soon after. And that's when they discovered their true love for each other. I do think women like a hero but they also like a woman who isn't completely dependant on him. As far as openings and meeting each other, that's a hard one. Something has to bring them together, but does it have to be dramatic in nature? I don't know.

  4. I agree with Lia on that. The heroine should be strong enough to stand on her own and made stronger with a hero at her side. Wouldn't do to make women seem weak. ;)

  5. No such thing as weak women--only those who pretend to be. I'm not too romantic but I want to read about a hero who rescues me. I'm tired of doing all the "heavy work." :-) That's the reality.

  6. Allie~
    i think Abel has rescued Romy and she has resced him. I'm too tired to think straight tonight, but I know you should write the book the way you want it to be.


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