As an incurable romantic I’ve spent a bit of time lately mulling over what makes those scenes, be it book or movie, so special. You know the moments I’m talking about, when you sigh or sob pathetically or are just are struck mute by the pure beauty of what is before you. Like the moment in Dirty Dancing when Johnny dances the last dance with Baby or when Robin Hood tells Maid Marion he would die for her in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Having been laid low with an illness and unable to read or write, due to the 7 Dwarfs doing a happy dance inside my skull, I watched my Jane Austen collection whilst snivelling into tissues for two days. Unlike some of you I can watch the same movie repeatedly and will even re-play those scenes to try and work out what makes them so touching, what makes them cause your stomach to flutter and you to relive them in your head over and over again.
The 2007 version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with Rupert Penry-Jones, who plays Captain Wentworth, has a scene at the end where he kisses Anne Elliot, played by Sally Hawkins, and it makes me well up every time. Working through the scene I see a beautiful day with a spectacular home in the background but it is the characters who make it. The way he looks at her and she him, almost like they are alone in their perfect world for two and nothing can touch them. His hair gets ruffled (sigh) which makes him appear less than perfect, and you can almost feel the happiness they have finally achieved against the odds that were stacked against them, (hurrah!) It’s the final realization of that special moment when you know that there is going to be a happy ever after for them.
As a writer you know when you have written something special. It takes a bit of work to make myself cry but when I do I’m always pleased because I then realize that whoever reads it doesn’t stand a chance.
A hero I believe must be a hero. It’s ok for him to have flaws like forgetting to shave (yum) or having messy hair (double yum) but he must stand up and be counted when needed, he has to step up on his figurative white charger wearing his long black cape and say, ‘I’m here doll face, step aside and let me deal with it.’ Same goes in my book for the heroine. Gone are the days of weeping and wailing whilst sagging against the nearest object in distress, a woman must stand up when the need arises; and protect him as he does her, and it is this that we as writers try to put onto our pages. We try to write that special scene and fill the readers with feelings of love, happiness and grief.
Is there any scene, be it in a book or movie that makes you cry, laugh or smile? Something that tugs at your insides and makes you put it on the shelf or drawer with the other keepers? I’d love to hear about them.
Wendy Vella is a lover of all things romantic. She started reading her first Georgette Heyer book at a young age and instantly fell in love with the Regency era. Writing is something she has always found time for; she penned her first novel at eighteen though she says it will never make an appearance further than the closet in which it currently resides.
After having her two children Wendy then joined RWNZ and started honing her chosen craft by entering competitions with some success and attending conferences. Her Clendon and Readers Choice award-winning historical romance The Reluctant Countess will debut in Jan 2013 with Random House in their Loveswept line.
She has an addiction to reading and loves a wide range of genres while her first love will always be historical. She relishes novels steeped in Romance and excitement with feisty heroines and delicious heroes, especially when they are set amongst the treacherous waters of London society.
Wendy is a sucker for a happy ending having secured her own. She has been married to her own dark brooding hero for 28 years and shares her home with two wonderful children, two dogs and anyone else who happens to be visiting at the time. Born and raised in a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand, Wendy loves the beaches and lush green rolling hills of her homeland and is proud to call herself a very patriotic Kiwi!
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