Really enjoyed the discussion yesterday! Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. Ah, love. Shall we move on to the next one? It's one of my personal favorites to read.
The Formula: Girl and Boy meet—they hate each other. (Or Girl hates Boy and he hides his love...or vice versa.) Series of events force them into awful situations where they have to deal with each other. Their hate either grows or wanes until the moment. At said moment, it comes out that one or both of them actually likes the other. Affection ensues...or doesn't.
Personally, I love the romantic tension in these novels. There's often much witty banter, and I'm left smiling the whole way through because I'm thinking, "Teehee, they're sooo going to eat their words by the end...neener neener." There's something about how they resist each other that makes me want them together. It's like if they can make it past all THAT, then they must really love each other. The natural attraction. The frustration. The awkward situations. So been there. The line between love and hate is precariously thin.
Okay, so a couple examples—there are so many out there. (I'll be doing a movie/play and book for each one, just to follow my previous format.) One of the first movies that comes to mind for me is You've Got Mail. I know, I'm cheesy. But Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks rock the reluctant love. Here they are enemies, so focused on their "book war" they don't realize/admit they're attracted to each other. (And you know they really are with their anon. emails. omg.) You so know they'll end up together, and you're sucked in because you want to see how it happens.
And I can't even think of writing this post without mentioning the quintessential story of reluctant love—Pride & Prejudice. Yes, Miss Austen has like every kind of love story in there, but it's Elizabeth and Darcy's reluctant adventure into matrimony that leaves us all giddy inside. For me, it just doesn't get old. The pride. The prejudice. The undeniable attraction. Teehee.
As much as I love this "formula," I can't seem to carry it through a whole novel. This has always been an "element" in my books. My characters initially resist, but I can't seem to get them to hold out longer than half the novel (or sometimes like a couple chapters, heh). But I think that's okay—that's one way to change this format up because the story usually takes knew twists once they're together (or want to be together). There are so many ways to spin this format: the love triangle, the separation with unexpected pining, the misunderstanding, the revelation, the stubborness, the possible hybrid of a "forbidden love" element, etc. I'm sure you can all think of excellent examples.
Dang reluctant love! I hate you! Wait...maybe I don't. You didn't say I was ugly? You were talking about someone else? Swoon. Okay, I love you.