I recently made my first foray into romantic comedy with The Wedding Diary and at the moment I am well into my current work-in-progress which is also a romantic comedy, even though it’s much darker this time.
So I have been thinking (perhaps rather belatedly) about what makes a romantic comedy work and what makes a comedy romantic.
I’ve come up with the following and would love to know what other people think.
- The set-up/conflict/motivating incident in a rom com can be the opposite of funny. The hero and heroine usually start off in a bad place. One or both of them might have been jilted, hurt, sacked, abandoned, have lost something very precious or even have a serious and/or possibly terminal illness. The reader will want to watch these people walking back to happiness.
- The secondary characters – for example, best friends, bosses, siblings, parents, wise old grannies – often offer the reader the most laughs. Manic, man-chasing sisters (like Lydia in Pride and Prejudice), crazy mothers (like Bridget Jones’s in Bridget Jones’s Diary) are so over-the-top they’re hilarious.
- Who should I marry is usually the big question – the bad (but gorgeous) boy, the good (but dull) boy, the bad (but sexy) girl, the good (but ordinary) girl? The reader will want to see the characters end up with the right people, so can falling in love allow the good boy to become gorgeous and the good girl to become sexy? Let’s hope so!
- The hero and heroine need to discover the truth about themselves and about other people.
- At the start of the story, the hero and heroine don’t need to have a clue about what they really, really want. But the reader must know and be hoping they’ll get it.
- There will need to be a point at which everything goes horribly wrong and it looks as if the hero and heroine have no chance of achieving their happy-ever-after because there are just too many obstacles in their way.
- The hero and heroine must give each other gifts. Luxury mansions and diamond rings are lovely, but gifts can also include self-respect, self-confidence, faith in the future, and of course the best gift of all – love.
Links for Margaret:-
The Wedding Diary: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wedding-Diary-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B00C6BFEUC/ref=sr_1_4_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378197503&sr=1-4
What do you think makes a romantic comedy funny and what makes it romantic?