Friday, April 22, 2011

Jennifer Estep: Plots we love or love to hate...

Greetings and salutations! I want to say thanks to Lee for having me on the blog today. Thanks, Lee!

I'm getting ready to start writing a new book, so I've been thinking about plots lately. Ah, plots. You can lift me up, you can bring me, and you can drive me absolutely crazy.

We all have plots that we love or love to hate, ones that suck us in or leave us cold every single time. Here are some plots that get me every single time:

1) Marriage of convenience: I absolutely love, love, love this plot. Watching two characters who are thrown together fall in love gets me every single time, no matter if it’s a historical or contemporary romance. Then again, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. Seriously. I get totally addicted to the Hallmark Channel at Christmas time when they run all the rom-com holiday movies.

2) Friends to lovers: This is another plot that really works for me because I think it’s one of the more realistic plots. How many of us have known a co-worker, friend, or friend of a friend that became something more to us?

3) Opposites attract: I don’t know that it’s really a plot, but I love it when opposites clash, when the laid-back girl gets the uptight guy to loosen up – or vice versa – and they both learn something about themselves in the process.

4) Pretend relationships: Remember those rom-com movies that I mentioned? Well, lots of them feature people who have to fake a relationship to collect an inheritance or hide out from the bad guys. Whatever the reason, you’ll find me glued to the television or turning the pages as fast as I can.

5) The great, secret destiny: You see this one a lot in epic fantasy novels, where the farmboy suddenly discovers that he has this amazing magic and this amazing destiny that is just out there waiting for him. If, of course, he can survive the hordes of evil bad guys who are bent on a) killing the farmboy and b) world domination – not necessarily in that order. Sure, it’s been done a thousand times, but when done well, it works for me every single time

What about you guys? What plots do you love or love to hate?

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, and Venom. Tangled Threads, the fourth book, will be published on April 26, while Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released in October.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

The first book, Touch of Frost, will be out in August, while the second book, Kiss of Frost, will hit shelves in December. First Frost, a prequel e-short story to the series, will be out in July. Visit for excerpts and more.


marybelle said...

One of my favorites would be opposites attracting - love the fireworks & electricity. Friends to lovers can be very, very sweet. The gradual realization, the build up.


Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for your post, Jennifer. Like you, I love some plots, love to hate others.

I'm a sucker for stories about two people who love each other, but one of them falls victim to a cruel, bizarre fate. The other must move heaven and earth to save him/her.

There aren't that many romances along these lines on the shelves. So what do I do about it? You guessed it. I write my own.

As for plots I can't stand---well, let's just say that you and I will have to agree to disagree about marriage-of-convenience romances. I hope I don't get kicked off this blog for saying this, but to me marriages of convenience represent legalized prostitution. Nothing romantic about that, at least to this reader.

Another plot device I have just as little tolerance for is that of abduction romances. I'm sorry, but kidnapping is NOT romantic. It's a crime. A horrible one, which does terrible things to its victims.

If anyone believes getting abducted and held against one's will is romantic, she should ask Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, or Patricia Hearst. She can't ask Polly Klaas.

Yes, I know how popular these two plots are. But not with me!

Good luck with your new and upcoming releases.

Jennifer Estep said...

Marybelle -- Opposites attract is another plot I like too.

Mary Anne -- Thanks. Glad you liked the post. I think we all have plots that we do or don't like better than others.

desere_steenberg said...

Friends to lovers ,opposites attract and pretend relationships are some of the very best ones ! The other one I simply adore is old flames getting back together after a number of years either because one is in danger or just because some sort of arrangement call for it LOVE IT!

Nice post thanks for sharing

Jennifer Estep said...

Desere -- Old flames reuniting is another good plot.

Michele L. said...

Ok, I love the undercover agents plots that feature a tall, dark and handsome guy. I read one book where the lady won a lottery, so she was a millionaire, and the undercover agent was spying on her to dig up some dirt on her past. It had all kinds of twists and turns. It also had love and humor thrown in the mix.

Jennifer Estep said...

Michele -- I like undercover stories too. And a good spy or action-adventure thriller.