Monday, September 22, 2014

Robyn Rychards: How Long Should the Romance Timeline Be?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately.  When should my Hero and Heroine get their Happily Ever After?  Generally, I feel it isn’t realistic for the Hero and Heroine to fall in love and decide they want to be together forever in a week or even a few days.  That having been said, when I’m reading a romance, the time frame really isn’t a factor for me.  It’s only when I’m writing them that I think about it.  Maybe it’s because I feel like I couldn’t come up with enough action in a week to fill up a book of 50,000 or more words.  

In Her Man From Shilo the events cover a time period of almost twenty years, starting when the Hero and Heroine were children.  Her Knight in Shining Armour, my latest release, covers the time period of a summer.  The rest of my stories fall somewhere in between.  My latest work in progress is a medical romance that takes place on a cruise ship.  Since a cruise lasts a week or less, you would expect the characters to have their HEA by the end of the cruise.  

However, both my characters work for the cruise line, so having the story span a greater amount of time is definitely doable.  But do I want it to do that?  I am rather surprised I have enough ideas in my head I could actually meet my word count without having to make the story cover a longer period of time.  Since I’ve been going back and forth in my head about what I want to do, I decided to ask you lovely readers out there what you think.

Does it matter to you how much time passes before the Hero and Heroine get their HEA?

To make things more fun, one commenter will get a free eBook copy of Her Knight in Shining Armour or Her Man From Shilo, your choice.

Here’s the blurbs from each to help you decide which you prefer:

Her Man From Shilo:
Rafferty Pierce's step-father has arranged a marriage for him in order to expand the family ranch. Just one small problem-Rafferty already has a wife.
Daimiana Casey has loved two things for as long as she can remember…. Dancing and Rafferty Pierce. Will she be able to convince Rafferty she doesn’t have to give up one to have the other? 
With his step-father’s ultimatum, Rafferty is forced to reveal his secret shotgun marriage to Daimee, and with it passion and tension erupt.. Can Daimee and Raff have what they both want more than anything?

Her Knight in Shining Armour:

She may not need a knight in shining armour to save her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to look a gift knight in the visor...
Paisley doesn’t need a knight in shining armour to rescue her from her high-powered, abusive ex-husband. She’s got it covered on her own: she's changed her name, liquidated her assets, and has a plan to disappear in the Rocky Mountain National Park. 
Psychiatrist Sterling James has absolutely no intention of being anyone’s saviour. The only woman he has any time for is his sister. But circumstances change when Sterling finds Paisley in an unexpected and life-threatening situation. Brought in to the drama of her escape, Sterling finds himself invested, and he can't move on until he knows Paisley is going to be safe. 
It should be a simple enough exercise to get Paisley out of the park and into her new life. But nothing is ever as simple as it should be, and Sterling soon discovers that even if her ex-husband buys the set-up, he might not be able to watch Paisley go... 

***Robyn's winner is Alina P!  Please email with your mailing details!***


Liz Flaherty said...

I'm like you--I seldom notice timelines in the books I read, but worry incessantly in the ones I write. My WIP has been kind of nice. I "gave" it the holidays, so the timeline's built in, but you can't do that every time. :-) Great post.

Robyn Rychards said...

Thanks for stopping by Liz! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who looks at things that way. I'm interested to see how others feel.

erin said...

Congrats Robyn on the books! Ummm... I'm very guilty of not noticing timelines either. I get lost in a story and sail away! But sometimes I'll stop and go "wait a minute" if I realize too little time has passed. But in a weird twist, I don't like instaluv/lust... I like a reasonable build up. So maybe I'm a fickle reader :)

Robyn Rychards said...

Thanks Erin! You've got me thinking with your fickleness point. I may very well have the same problem... Hehe! I'm also wondering if it's more about believe-ability than about the length of time covered.

Desere said...

The time line does matter to me. I am not much of a meet and end fan within 5 chapters but I also don't like the dragged out for years and years. I like a realistic time frame. Great post Robyn!

Robyn Rychards said...

Thanks for stopping by Desere! I really appreciate your point and maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time deciding what to do! Where do you draw the line between realistic and it's just a fictional story, do what you want?

Alina P said...

It doesn't really matter to me if it's a PNR or romantic suspense, the adrenalin and the possibility of a "fated mate" works with that. Otherwise in contemps and historical romances I need more time for everything to be believable :)

Robyn Rychards said...

Thanks for stopping by Alina! You've brought up something I haven't thought about but when I read your comment about romantic suspense, it made total sense. Whenever I read a romance that has suspense/intrigue the timeline is pretty short but I have no problem with it. It could very well be the type of romance that makes the length of the timeline believable!

Alina P said...

That's what I think as well :) In romantic suspense they have to trust each other early on, not the same with regular contemporaries :)