Elements of Romantic Comedy: Resonance

As with with a delightful musical, your story ought to end as if it were singing. When the final page is read and the cover is regretfully closed, resonance is what should remain. Resonance fuels the highest compliment an author can receive: a second read. And, well, a heartfelt recommendation to friends…

Photo: Larry Ziffle (Creative Commons Flickr)
The sweep and swing of joyous storytelling involve more than a happy ending. The reader should close the book with a satisfied sigh. Photo: Larry Ziffle (Creative Commons Flickr)

At its best, fiction is all about what it means to be human. A well-told story engages the heart and emotions, but it’s more than that. Dare I say it touches the spirit? The soul? Resonance is what makes a story personally meaningful.

Can I deliberately structure a story to have this quality? Ha, no!  (Will jumping up and down mean I’ll be nearer to the starry sky and see better? Not!) In this, I have only myself as a guide. I stumble ahead, writing what delights and engages me. Will some of my readers be swept away as well? Proof’s in the pudding, as they say!

 I enjoy camaraderie in a book, you know, the friendship thing. I want to be chased into Narnia by lions with A Horse and His Boy. I want to spar with Mr. Rochester, and later set out across the moor (heartbroken but with dignity intact), along with Jane Eyre. Or tramp the Shire with Frodo and Merry and Pippin and Sam. Or scout coons along the river at night with Billy and his hounds in Where The Red Fern Grows. That inclusive thing is what I’m going for when I write.

DBAON-thumbnailFiguring out what to share from from Darcy By Any Other Name  is becoming more difficult, because I shouldn’t give spoilers. So here’s a bit from Chapter 5 , where Darcy discovers not only how rude his aunt is to underlings, but also that there are advantages to being Collins.

Lady Catherine dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief. “I loathe the sickroom,” she stated, “perhaps because I am never ill. I daresay if I had ever learnt to nurse someone—”

Darcy set his teeth, for he knew where this remark was heading. The audacity of his aunt, to give voice to such an outrageous thought! Was she truly so self-absorbed?

“—I would have been,” she continued, “a great proficient.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that, ma’am,” Darcy said, before he could stop himself. “It occurs to me that you have had many opportunities to nurse and encourage your daughter.”

Darcy snapped his lips shut. Curse his unruly tongue! He knew that he ought to follow up with one of Collins’ babbling compliments, but he could think of nothing to say.

Of their own accord, his lips came to his rescue and formed Collins’ simpering smile. “So you see,” he heard himself squeak out, “you are proficient at nursing, milady, er, without realizing it.”

Lady Catherine stood blinking, trying to determine if this was a compliment.

Darcy hid a grin and added (in his best Collins-like manner), “Such fundamental skills must surely descend from your ancient, noble, and exalted family lineage.”

Ha, this was rather fun!

For tomorrow, S is for Sex–or, well…not. If you’ve read my stuff, you know where I stand, but hey, let’s talk about it!

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Laura Hile (1)

Excerpt is from Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile, copyright 2016

10 thoughts on “Elements of Romantic Comedy: Resonance

  1. Yes, books are great. You can fight along with the hero, and conquer the evil no matter what form it takes. Even when, like me, you know you will probably die in the first wave of a zombie apocalypse.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But who knows, you may survive and become the ZA version of the old Japanese soldiers found on islands in the Pacific who did know the war was over. And you could write about it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Unlikely, but hey, who knows? You are very right, though. No experience is wasted. We could always write about whatever comes our way, even students. I mean zombies. 🙂

          It’s that time of year. My students–especially the seniors–stagger from one assignment to the next. Six-and-a-half weeks..


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