Most love stories have a basic formula. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. And then they live happily ever after. Why? Because it works.
I think the late Kate Duffy, romance editorial guru, said it best: "These two crazy kids are going to work it out. Even if she's a human and he's a demon, those two kids are meant to be together."
No matter how many times I see this formula, it gets me. If the two characters are dynamic and likable, and I enjoy their adventure together, I eat it right up.
I spent the weekend organizing my book collection, and along the way, skimmed through some of my favorites. A lifelong fan of love stories, I thought it might be fun to take a close look at my 10 favorite literary couples.
As I count down my top 10, I will look at:
• The hero and heroine (their good and bad qualities);
• The meet cute;
• Major obstacle(s);
• Words that melt my heart;
• The scene that steals the show;
• And the overall effect.
I hope through this project, I will learn more about what works and doesn't work for me in main characters to tell a compelling story. I can apply it in my own writing adventures and use it as motivation.
At the very least, it will be fun spending some time with old friends while I review their stories.
UPDATE — Here's the complete list:
10. Jo March and Professor Baher of Lousia May Alcott's Little Women
9. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series
8. Annie Laurence and Max Darling of Carolyn G. Hart's "Death on Demand" series
7. Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley of Jane Austen's Emma
6. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
5. Anne Elliot and Capt. Wentworth of Jane Austen's Persuasion
4. Becky Bloomwood and Luke Brandon of Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic" series
3. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe of the L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" series
2. Elizabeth Bennett/ Bridget Jones and Mr. Darcy/ Mark Darcy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and the Bridget Jones series
1. Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" series