Today I’m discussing common storylines. Do you have a storyline you like best? If so, what is it? For me it’s the forced or shotgun marriage. Now, being a Regency writer, the variations are almost endless. One needs only set up the scene and watch what happens next. So, whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, historical, or whatever, share with me your favorite storyline.
Here is an example of my favorite storyline from my as yet unnamed, unedited WIP. Miss Dorothea Stern has just overheard a plot to trap the Marquis of Merton into marriage and has decided to save him.
She caught up to Merton as he reached the meeting place. “My lord—.”
He frowned and held the note up. “Miss Stern, what is the meaning of this?”
“I’ve come to warn you.” Her heart was beating so fast she could barely speak and she’d never been alone with a gentleman. “You must go back inside.”
He shook his head. “I don’t understand. You asked me to meet you here.”
Of all times for him to pick to be difficult. Keeping her voice low, she infused it with urgency. “No, the note is a trap.” She grabbed his hand and tried to pull him towards the doors. Unfortunately, the dratted man stood stock still.
He frowned. “A trap? What do you mean?”
She resisted the urge to rail at him. It must be almost midnight, they had to leave now. “I’ll explain it to you on the way in.”
He stared down at her. “You’ll explain it to me now.”
Of all times for him to act like…Grrr. didn’t he read novels? As calmly as she could she said, “I overheard a conversation. There is a lady trying to force you to marry her.” Dotty took his other hand, and tugged. “Please, you can’t be caught out here.”
Finally he moved, but the force of her pulling, and him stepping forward brought them up against each other. Before she could move away someone gasped.
“Well, well, well, what have we here?”
Dotty recognized the voice as one of the ladies she’d overheard.
Merton was so close her breasts practically touched his chest. She knew they looked like lovers. It probably wouldn’t help, but she’d try to talk them out of this any way. She turned to face the women. One lady’s jaw dropped open and her face flushed with anger.
“I—I was delivering a note.” Dotty stuttered.
By the shocked looks on the faces of all four ladies, none of them believed her.
Merton placed his arms around her. “What you see, ladies,” he said in a wintery tone, “is a proposal.” He glanced at Dotty. “I believe Miss Stern was about to give me an answer when you interrupted.”