Friday, July 16, 2010

The Jane Austen Formula

I don't know if she originated the formula, but she used it to such advantage that I'm giving her credit and officially entitling what I'm about to describe as The Jane Austen Formula. If as a writer, you want to use a female protagonist in your story and to make women get all swoony about it, have her pursued romantically by two men.


Pride and Prejudice - Lizzie initially thinks Darcy is a jerk and Wickam is a hotie, but then it turns out Wickam is unscrupulous and Darcy is self-sacrificing to save her reputation.

Sense and Sensability - Marianne initially thinks Col. Brandon is a bore and Wilhoubhy is dreamy, but then it turns out W is a jerk-face and Col. B. is self-sacrificing.

This formula also applies to Persuasion.

Other obvious classics?

Gone with the Wind - Ashley or Rhett?

In our modern setting, The Twilight series and let's not forget, The Hunger Games.

I give this to you for free. It's my writing tip of the day and the last two centuries.

Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet, by Robert Ball (1945)

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