Friday, May 4, 2007

"Goin' to the Chapel..."

Is that song in your head now? :)

I’m seeing some discussion on the ACFW loop today about weddings in romance fiction. Here’s the scoop on them for Heartsongs:

Right now, we are requiring that each Heartsong story have a wedding. That’s because the plan is to repackage most Heartsongs into collections that are titled with the state name they take place in and either weddings for contemporary stories or brides for historicals. (See my post from January 5th for a more detailed explanation.) So if we use brides or weddings in a title, it makes sense, of course, that the stories include these elements.

But there is some misconception out there that every Heartsong wedding has to come at the end of the book as the final scene. Not so. Sure, it’s probably easiest to just place it there, but it tends to get a bit monotonous, too. I’m always open to other suggestions! I’d love to see some new creative ways to include the nuptials. Maybe the wedding happens in chapter 4 or 6 or 8 instead of the epilogue. And I’m not married (haha, sorry!) to the idea that the wedding has to be between the hero and the heroine. Maybe secondary characters are the bride and groom. Maybe the hero and heroine first meet at a wedding. Maybe the heroine loves dogs and marries off her black lab to the handsome poodle down the street. Well, maybe not. :) But please, surprise me with some new spins on the required wedding/bride elements. With all your creative minds out there, I’m sure we can find some fresh ways to incorporate them and still leave readers sighing contentedly at the end of another sweet love story.

(The photo is from my wedding on St. Augustine Beach, Florida. We got married September 10, 2004, just a couple days after Hurricane Frances hit. That adventure is a Heartsong story I need to write!)


Drema said...

It's great to know we don't have to put weddings at the end of the novel -- I wondered about that. But personally, I think the idea of the dogs marrying is cute!

Jess said...

I love your wedding pic. Would be a great book cover. Thanks for clarifying about the wedding scenes. I was concerned about every HP ending being the same. :(

Lynette Sowell said...

That is a gorgeous picture. :)
For me, real romance comes into place after the couple gets married. It's not just the trip to the altar, it's STAYING in love... :) ~ (my dh and I just had our 12th anniv on 4/22) I'd love to see a book start out with "I do," and what? :)

The Write Life said...

I'm glad you clarified this, too, JoAnne! I thought the HP's all had to end in a wedding or the promise of a wedding. This allows for a lot more creativity and uniqueness.


lollipops said...

Thanksfor clarifying this, JoAnne!
I loved the wedding picture too. Beautiful.

Rachel Hauck said...

Love the photo!


Cara Putman said...

Ohhhh, this is so good to know. I'd love to put an epilogue in one of mine that's actually a 50 or 60 year anniversary...a snapshot of the legacy of love. And if I put the wedding earlier, that would work. me thinking here in Indiana!

Oh and I like Lynette's approach, too. All kinds of fun twists on a Heartsong romance...