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Tuesday, May 2, 2006

What's in a plot?

Plots you can't help but love...

After re-reading one of my all time favourites, Paradise by Judith McNaught, I started thinking about all the reasons I love this book very much. Sure, I love love LOVE Matt Farrell and I even like Meredith's character and see her as a worthy match for Matt. Basically, I love everything about it, from the first to the last page. Moreover, I love the fact that it has that underlying, "the one that got away" plot.

It's no secret between the ladies here at Sanctuary that I have a soft spot for plots that involve "the one that got away." I'm not sure why I'm so obsessed with them, I just am.

I love reading about how the hero and heroine meet at some point in their life, make a fierce impression, then lose contact for one reason or another. And then after some time, be that weeks, months or years, to have fate step in and allow them a chance to meet again, with that same attraction burning deep. Like in Paradise..or Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts..or even The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

I love how regardless of their rocky parting, or the numerous misunderstandings that led to the separation, or even the uncontrollable circumstances, that once the hero and heroine are in each other's company once more, they can't help but be sucked into the desire they have always had for each other. That no amount of time can shake their feelings that had been building up over time, or stop them from their pursuit even though the logical side of their brain is screaming for them to get away before they get hurt once more.

And the thing I love even more, is the knowledge while reading that either the hero or heroine view their counterpart, as "the one that got away." The one that could have been, "the one" that they could have shared the rest of their life with, the one that could have been the perfect imperfect person for them. The one that the hero/heroine can't help but compare every person to, the one that the hero/heroine thinks about from time to time, the one that had left a forever-imprinted mark in their lives and heart..one that they will always carry.

Those are the type of books that will have me sighing in contentment, almost right from the beginning. The type of books that I'll put on my keeper shelf, the heroes I'll gush over for weeks and sometimes, the relationships that make me feel the most satisfied after finishing the book. To know that the hero and heroine were able to not just find each other once, but twice and finally make it work. To finally make their way back to each other no matter what obstacle was thrown in their path, to settle the "what if" questions, and claim their mate as their own, for good.

Oh yeah, I definitely have a soft spot for it and nine times out of ten, I'll read the book just because of it.

And plots you seem to be over..

Now on the other hand, I really hate reading plots where the heroine has amnesia. Okay, okay, I don't hate-hate it..but I'd rather not read it, saving me from gritting my teeth in frustration when the heroine conveniently remembers who she is which then escalates into some major drama.

What I don't like is the idea that it's okay for the heroine to not know who she is, who her family is and what her life was like prior to the incident which brought on the case of amnesia, and then bam..between one chapter and the next, she's suddenly well aware of who she is and that she has either duped or been duped by the hero. And on top of that, for it to occur at such an important time.

For example, in Until You by Judith McNaught. Now I'll be the first to say how much I love JM's writing and books, honestly I do..but having Sheridan Bromleigh have a case of amnesia and then suddenly "regain" her memory the minute she saw a familiar face? Maybe sometimes it really works that way or for some people, but for me, it just didn't sit well. I just thought it was convenient. A little too convenient for my liking.

So now I'm curious..what plots do you prefer to read about? Are you gaga over the "one that got away" type plots as I am? Or do you enjoy reading amnesia plots? What plots do you love, and what plots are you sick and tired of reading? Or are you not at all fussed, as long as the plot is good and solid, with great characters and a fabulous ending?

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