So here's why I'm blogging today. If you didn't know already, I am a writer of science-fiction young adult novels. But I got bludgeoned by the muse yesterday and I suddenly came up with an idea for an adult contemporary erotic romance. It's about a nurse and a doctor falling in love. I find myself madly outlining the details of the story on my iPhone. It's so much more than just a simple love story, but the fact that my mind is betraying me and spiraling towards different genres makes me want to analyze what's going on.
So I started thinking. What has influenced the romance in my writing? In all honestly, it's been movies and books. But more so movies because it invokes more of the senses. Here is a list of movies that have HEAVILY influenced the romantic elements in my writing. (WARNING: IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANY OF THESE MOVIES, SPOILERS MIGHT ABOUND)
1.) ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991)
The romance wasn't the central focus of the story. But the development of their love plays on a well-known trope: redemption of the bad boy. In this version, Robin used to be spoiled rich boy who treated everyone badly. But then he got sent to the Crusades, and he returned a completely different man. He terrorized Maid Marian when they were children. But she was in for a shock when she realized how much he changed. And she can't help but fall madly in love when she sees that he has dedicated his life to helping the poor. He's a courageous, selfless man who helped take a band of misfits and their poor families and turn them into a flourishing society strong enough to fight for their rights. And who can resist an athletic, handsome man with expertise in sword-fighting and archery?
2.) HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2004)
Now this was a unique children's fantasy story. The movie is based on the amazing novel by Dianna Wynne Jones. The love that blossoms between Howl and Sophie is beautiful and deeply emotional. Howl is a fallen wizard whose inner darkness has caused him to lose his heart and turn into a monster. Sophie goes on a journey that turns into a quest to redeem Howl's soul in order to win the love of her life. This movie was so powerful and beautiful. It really shaped my writing and and influenced the way I write romance.
3.) EVER AFTER (1998)
This was my favorite Cinderella retelling. As a matter of fact, my first novel, UNIVERSE, is based loosely on this movie. I adored the way they fell in love. Danielle was an intelligent, strong woman who captured the prince's interest. It didn't matter how many beautiful females were throwing themselves at him. He only had eyes for the woman who could quote lines from UTOPIA by heart. *swoon*
4.) BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992)
First thought that comes to mind when you think of Dracula: scary, blood-thirsty monster. Although that is true, I beg you for a moment to really think about the story. At the heart of Dracula's descent into evil is the loss of his love. That was the defining event that caused him to forsake God and condemn himself to an eternally cursed life. But flash forward a few hundred years, and the love he had lost is reincarnated in a beautiful, prim English lady named Mina. The story ends with Mina remembering the love she had for Dracula, and in her final act of love, kills him in order to set his soul free and allow him to finally obtain God's forgiveness and go to heaven. It really brings up important questions as to how far someone would go for the one they love, and if their sacrifices properly reflect the implications and depth of the relationship. Because we cannot deny that loss, redemption, and salvation are a part of true love.
5.) DANGEROUS BEAUTY (1998)
I freakin' LOVED this movie. I watched it so many times, I wore the DVD out. But seriously though, what a beautiful story. A mother who was a former courtesan suddenly thrusts her daughter into that life when the family runs into financial distress. As a result, Veronica becomes one of the most sought-after courtesans in Venice, but at what cost? She was in love with a man who was above her station, but his family did not approve of her. They thwart social conventions and fight for their love during a time of plague and turmoil in 16th century Venice. This was based on a true story. Once again, I draw inspiration from this love story when I write my own.
6.) THE HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF or L'HUSSARD SUR LE TOIT (1995)
People could argue that this isn't a love story. It is actually a historical drama that takes place in the 1800s. It's about an Italian resistance fighter who is fleeing from the Austrians. Meanwhile, a deadly cholera plague is sweeping through the French countryside, taking out entire villages. The young Italian hunk, Angelo, runs into a rich woman, Pauline, who is married to a much older French nobleman. Not once do these two kiss or touch each other in a romantic way. But their chemistry is ELECTRIC. You can tell by the look in his eyes how he feels about her, but he is an honorable soldier, and he NEVER betrays his feelings or takes advantage of Pauline. He treats her like a lady, with the utmost respect, and he protects her with a fierceness that made me swoon. And the ending of the movie is so beautiful, it actually made me cry. It is full of hope and promise in the future. This movie stayed with me, and influences the romance in my writing to this day.
Thanks for reading. Do you have any romantic movie inspirations? Let me know!