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Mysterious Allure Is Mysterious To Me

So, karenhealey and I are editing our books. This obviously requires a large amount of chattering on the internet. About important literary things, and also pie.

karenhealey: (The names of the couple I think are true love in the Demon's Lexicon series) get each other on about fifty billion different levels of "each other"
sarahtales: that is why they are the OTP. ;)
sarahtales: Mark and Ellie (the hero and heroine of Guardian of the Dead) get each other
and in fact fall in love via the process of getting to get each other
karenhealey: Oh yes.
sarahtales: Which is in fact ideal for me
the act of communication and understanding as act of love ekcetrar
Is what I like.
karenhealey: The nastiest thing Ellie does is (spoiler)
Because it is just true enough to hurt him really bad
And she said it, because she knew it would hurt
Because she loves him!
sarahtales: Very true
nobody can hurt you like the ones you love for a reeeeason
sarahtales: which is why falling for a Mysterious Stranger makes little sense to me
Being intrigued and attracted, sure
But with the knowing comes the loving
And so I demands it for all relayshunships I enjoy
karenhealey: Pride +Prejudice
sarahtales: Yes!! You know what is great
that bit at the end of Pride and Prejudice
where Elizabeth is like Darcy, man
Still needs to learn how to laugh at himself!
in their marriage they will have stuff to work on
and will learn to know and therefore love each other better
DARCY: Elizabeth I cannot believe you said that, in front of the prime minster
ELIZABETH: he didn't get it, and it was lols.
DARCY: it is always lols with you madam!
ELIZABETH: lol your FACE

Another thing I like to do, obviously, is defile works of timeless genius in this manner.

I was also thinking of tropes I really like in books. There aren't that many of them, but one traditional thing I really love: the romantic couple who are the Bicker Twins. Darcy and Elizabeth. Beatrice and Benedict. Many other contemporary examples.

Obviously the Bicker Twins can be done really wrong, and just read like horrible people sniping at each other because they really don't like each other (and you don't like them either). But all things can be done wrong.

I have also seen the Bicker Twins used as an example of problematic relationships in books. I really do not think that is so. Because a pair who argue together, in the best way - zinging back and forth, coming from different viewpoints, both being intelligent, neither backing down or in any way afraid - well, they're going to get to know each other. And true knowledge is very close to true love.

Anyway, it is very different from a Mysterious Boyfriend who scares you yet excites you, or love from afar, or love at first sight. I do not believe in any of those things. (It is possible that the problem is I have a cold, dead heart.)

Which is not to say that bickering is the only way to express equality and rapport between people. Obviously it is not! But I do think it is one way. And it is a way I love.

Your thoughts on romance and mystery as always, very welcome!

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( 113 comments — Leave a comment )
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beckyh2112
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
As much as I love the Mysterious Stranger, love from afar, and love at first sight tropes, I don't love them as the lynchpins of a romance. I love them as the starting points of "let's get to know each other and maybe do the horizontal tango".

Sometimes Harlequins fail me in this matter, but HQNs failing me is a very expected part of my HQN reading. (Helpfully, failtastic HQNs can be cut up and made into art!)
sarahtales
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, all these things are totally cool as a start-off point! Like Mark in Guardian of the Dead is a mysterious hot boy in class who Ellie fancies. And then he enchants her, she beats him up for information, they talk of Ellie's love for violence and Mark's murderous inclinations, and then it can be love. ;)
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kalichan
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
The other thing about (Elizabeth! Darcy! Beatrice! Benedict! My favorites!) is the "born in a merry hour" aspect; i.e. they are not humorless jerks... well, I guess Darcy is a bit, but HE WILL LEARN. And actually he brings the snark too, it's just a bit more deadpan. What is love without sarcasm? Naught! Naught I say!

I think the problem with many romances is that they end when the couple gets together. I'm always like, well, okay. Now that we've got that out of the way... !!! But the story is just starting! It's part of the... "okay, you love each other, but do you like each other?" thing Must I imagine your relationship following as entirely without conversation? If so... feh.

In short: yes.
calloocallay
Apr. 29th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
Tommy and Tuppence!
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amberdulen
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
I LOVE the Bicker Twins, but it's worth noting that I also love them in platonic relationships; adorable, understanding-gaining wit-battles can foster friendship as well.
sarahtales
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, of course it can: I was just talking about it as a trope of romance.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
"True knowledge is close to true love."

Brilliant.
shiraz_wine
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Beatrice and Benedict are one of my favorite couples of all time!

I think The Bicker Twins (I love that name for the trope; surprisingly it's not a TV trope), in general, are awesome because it's obvious from the beginning that they're going to get together, it's just a matter of when. So it's like the reader, or viewer if it's a TV show or movie, has the inside scoop and you get that feeling of superiority when they finally do get together; "I knew it all along!" Plus, if done right, it's a fountain of snark, wit, and epic one-liners. Everybody wins!

ETA: Found it! Belligerent Sexual Tension. I like the Bicker Twins better. They even mention Much Ado about Nothing!

Edited at 2010-04-29 03:28 pm (UTC)
blienky27
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
*sucked into TV tropes for 8 hours* I blame yoooooooooouuuuuuuuuuu!
(no subject) - shiraz_wine - Apr. 29th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
arkeiryn
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Darcy and Elizabeth ftw ^_^

I don't believe in love at first sight either. But I also recently experienced falling in love with someone over a ridiculously short time period. Probably because I already knew he was trustworthy before we started going out, and then spent hours and hours and hours talking instead of sleeping, so I suppose my experience could be a validation of your "with the knowing comes the loving" comment... I dunno. I am rambling slightly ^_^ But you do not have a cold, dead heart. I highly doubt you could write so awesomely if you did :P
thegreatmissjj
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Sometimes Bicker Twins can be a shortcut for "See? See? They have Sexual Tension!!!!!" and that drives me crazy. I love a good pair of Bicker Twins (like the ones you mention--I ADORE BEATRICE AND BENEDICK), but I also want to get the sense that they actually care about each other beneath the bickering. Also, sense of humor is crucial! Not necessarily that one or the other needs to be extraordinarily witty, just that they don't take quips/tiffs/arguing as OMG A MORTAL OFFENSE!

Personally, I'm a total sucker for the emotionally clueless girl and the emotionally intuitive boy. (Um...this may be why I ship Katniss and Peeta so hard.)

BOY: Here's this thing that's really special and specific to you! A gift! A present! Because I lo---
GIRL: Why thanks! This is why we're friends!
BOY: Uh, sure. You're welcome?
GIRL: I seem to have hurt your feelings. I do not comprehend how.
BOY: Nah, doesn't matter. Let's go do this thing you and I enjoy!
GIRL: Yay! Except I do not understand why you do this with me as I am clearly better than you. And smarter.
BOY: You know...I love you, but you're a freaking idiot.
GIRL: No I'm not! But I love you anyway.
BOY: ...
GIRL: ...oh. OH. Heeyyyyyyyyyy...
BOY: Yeah, took you long enough.

(Which is why I love Knightley and Emma so.)
evewithanapple
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
. . . I think you just described one of my own couples. \o/
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evewithanapple
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
*uses icon of my favourite Bicker Twins*
thegreatmissjj
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Oh I loooooooooooooooooove this pair. Love so hard. *thumbs up*
oracne
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
"Bicker Twins" is a great name for that!!!
sarahtales
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
Possibly I coin a phrase!
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annemjw
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
As I said to Karen, I imagine these conversations happening while you both wear princess dresses and tiaras. Because it is the truth.
shachi
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I started to love the Bicker Twins as a romantic trope at a very young age, and now I'm not such a fan anymore, probably because thinking that was a sign of TRUE LOVE may have warped my romantic development somewhat. I still love it as a platonic trope and like it as a romantic one, but sadly not as much as I used to. Even though it's fiction, I do sometimes find myself thinking "you fools! Don't you know it will never work out!" And then it does, and I go, "oh. Well okay then! CONTINUE."

*crosses fingers, prays for Alan/Mae to be The Pairing*

Is TDL out (in US markets) as mass market paperback, or trade?
sarahtales
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Trade: YA books are usually only published in hardcover and then trade. (Or just trade, depending.) No idea why!

*takes note* I am always extremely interested to see what pairings people want. (Sometimes I am very surprised by them! But always interested.)
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wingstodust
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
I think the Bicker Twins are fine, but usually I need more than just banter in order to be convinced that they like each other. (there are exceptions, of course, but this is what generally happens for me)

What I really love though? Is when we have a super level-headed, uber competent lady, and the guy loves that about her and worships the ground he walks on (as oppose to whoooo hey, our love interest sweeps in with skills that are THAT much better than the leading lady, and wows her with his superiority or something). Add that with a dose of emotionally clueless girl and emotionally intuitive boy and I'm a goner.

(Katsa/Po foreverrrrrrrrrr)
harborshore
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
One of the great things about the Bicker Twins is that they frequently are both right. And that's a trope I love in romance--when they both get to be right, both get to help and support and yell at each other, etc. I'm profoundly uninterested in relationships where all the being right comes from one direction. Or the being wrong.
sarahtales
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, indeed.
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blamebrampton
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Ah Pride and Prejudice and the Advent of Lolspeak ... I'm sure you could get that published these days ;-)
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sarahtales
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
I agree completely about what you say in re: instant fiery attraction being too easy. I believe I once put it that the sizzle of burning loins drowned out meaningful conversation.

That said, I like Kirk and Spock's dynamic in the movie, but see it as solely friendship, for I believe Spock loves Uhura forever. ;)
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