"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.
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?