They Have Started…
And yes, I watch them. And yes, I know the plots are all the same. Duh, they are romance, people. Happy Ever After and all that.
But honestly, if you can manage to get your nose out of the air and watch a few dozen of them, you can learn a ton about plotting and character and teams and depth and sometimes even dialog, depending…
And right now in Covid land, these movies are a perfect antidote. I watch Lifetime Christmas Movies, not Hallmark. Honestly, they vary less on Lifetime and I honestly like that.
I find it interesting that the elements of the plot are timed so perfectly with the commercials. (I record them so I don’t have to sit through the same commercials over and over.) Watch for the almost (but interrupted) kiss and ask yourself why. Watch for the push away, run away, can’t work section with some great cliffhangers.
And wow, the meet cutes are often very creative.
So is the use of kids. A ton more respect for family in the last few years than before.
For the most part, they have gotten away from the strong career woman giving up her career to be with a guy or another woman, or a strong career man giving up his career to be with a woman or another man. They are getting better with the creative compromise part of the plot resolution. Not all, but better.
Watch the copyright dates. The movies that are five to eight years old still have those issues. The new ones mostly do not.
I get asked all the time how you learn plot. Answer? You absorb it and pay attention.
Lifetime movies have a feel and a voice to them as a product. They are branded. How do you learn how to do that in your own fiction? You absorb it and pay attention.
So right now, if you have a desire to get away from Covid and be taken into a world with problems that can be solved in two hours and love found in two hours, and if you want to study plot and cliffhangers and pacing in romances, tis the season.
Just saying… Learning for writers is everywhere if you open up and allow it in.