Tropes and storytelling

CarolineToday, I’m pleased to welcome Caroline Warfield to my blog, to post about tropes and storytelling, and to tell us a little about her latest release. And read to the bottom for news about her giveaway!

Jude has written eloquently about the classic tropes, archetypes, and storylines that underlie storytelling in general and romance novels in particular.  It made me pause a bit to consider which ones influence my own writing.

Both of my published books and my work in progress are have English characters and are set in the Late Georgian/Regency era. It might be easiest to begin with what I don’t write.   I avoid very young virginal heroines.  I avoid the “marriage mart.” I have little interest in the reformed rake.  I have also avoided impoverished orphans, inheritance issues and compulsive gamblers, at least so far. While some of my characters have titles, none of them could be defined in terms of power and its uses and abuses, as is often the case. Each of the books, however, uses a classic story line.

romeDangerous Works could be called a spunky bluestocking story, except Georgiana’s pain as a frustrated scholar runs deep and her dedication is fierce.  The classic story is that of the hero (or in this case heroine) who is repeatedly foiled but keeps trying. She pushes forward for years in the face of family resistance, a system that excludes her from so much as a decent library, and the academic snobbery of Cambridge. Ultimately, with the help and love of Andrew, the hero, she succeeds.

Rome - Caroline's postAnother classic storyline is the one in which actions in the past by the hero or heroine eventually catch up with them, and they must pay their debt.  In Dangerous Secrets a terrible mistake haunts the hero, Jamie from the very beginning.  He runs as long as he can. His love for Nora actually makes him run harder, but it catches up with him in the end and he has to resolve it.  This story does have some common story elements: a wastrel father, a stern vicar, a widow recovering from a bad marriage, a wise older woman friend, and an evil count.

In my work in progress, Dangerous Weakness, the hero, Glenaire, is forced to journey in search of Lily who is pregnant with his child.  It is certainly a hero in search of treasure story. However, the oh-so-perfect marquess is thrust into one alien situation after another, peeling off layers of London refinement. He has to fight his way back to normal life, and, of course, redefine what he wants that life to be.

There are no new stories in any genre. My job as an author is to create flesh and blood, imperfect characters that come to exemplify the traits of true heroes and succeed in completing the challenges presented to them by the storyline. I hope my readers find that I’ve succeeded.

About Dangerous Secrets

Dangerous secretsWhen a little brown wren of an Englishwoman bursts into Jamie Heyworth’s private hell and asks for help he mistakes her for the black crow of death.  Why not? He fled to Rome and sits in despair with nothing left to sell and no reason to get up in the morning. Behind him lie disgrace, shame, and secrets he is desperate to keep even from powerful friends in London.

Nora Haley comes to Rome at the bidding of her dying brother who has an unexpected legacy. Never in her sunniest dreams did Nora expect Robert to leave her a treasure, a tiny blue-eyed niece with curly hair and warm hugs. Nora will do anything to keep her, even hire a shabby, drunken major as an interpreter.

Jamie can’t let Nora know the secrets he has hidden from everyone, even his closest friends. Nora can’t trust any man who drinks. She had enough of that in her marriage. Either one, however, will dare anything for the little imp that keeps them together, even enter a sham marriage to protect her. Will love—and the truth—bind them both together?

Available on Amazon





About Caroline Warfield

Caroline Warfield has at various times been an army brat, a librarian, a poet, a raiser of children, a nun, a bird watcher, a network services manager, a conference speaker, a tech writer, a genealogist, and, of course, a romantic. She is always a traveler, a would-be adventurer, and a writer of historical romance, enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the act of gardening).

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