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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What They Did Right--Joyce DiPastena

What do Jane Austen, Stephenie Meyer, and Joyce DiPastena have in common? The ability to make romantic scenes come to life and even, especially if you're a girl, increase your heart rate a bit. And they do it by incorporating "restrained desire."

For example, in Pride and Prejudice, both Elizabeth and Darcy occasionally convey their desire for the other, and yet because of social restraints, not to mention their belief in the other's indifference, they resist. In the Twilight series, Edward resists his desire for Bella because if he didn't, he'd kill her. And in DiPastena's Loyalty's Web, Helene and Gunthar resist each other because Gunther is engaged (at the Prince's command) to Helene's sister.

Furthermore, their restraint is depicted, not just through their situations, but through tiny, catch your breath details as they associate with each other. Think of Darcy staring at Elizabeth and then looking away. Of Bella touching Edward's hand and he pulls away. Of Helene and Gunthar's constant misunderstanding of each other and acting according to that misunderstanding.

You see, restraint is the key to compelling romance, not letting it all hang out as is so often shown in today's media. And that's exactly what Joyce DiPastena has done right in Loyalty's Web. I look forward to reading her next book.


Christine Bryant said...

Wonderful Post Rhonda. I've been trying to do something similar in my book and found your advice VERY valuable. Thanks.


Rebecca Talley said...

You're right, restraint makes for a much more powerful love story.

Thanks for this post.

Anna Maria Junus said...

It adds another element of conflict doesn't it? Something we need in our stories, otherwise there isn't a story.