My current novel is not a Marriage of Convenience. I’d been thinking it was. In my mind, for many months, I’ve been calling it “The Werewolf Marriage of Convenience.”
Alas, I was wrong. My desperate desire to write a Marriage of Convenience obscured the reality. My characters know each other too well for their marriage to be one of convenience.
I think one of the major aspects of a Marriage of Convenience story is a focus on the hero and heroine (or whatever other gender pairing/grouping you choose) getting to know each other. They’ve been forced into intimate proximity, and have to make the best of it. If they already know each other, that can’t happen, unless there’s an additional layer: for example, they knew each other once, but have been separated for years; or for another example, they didn’t know each other as well as they thought, because one of them was actually a spy the whole time, or harbored a secret deep angst, or was actually an alien.
In my story, the characters met in The Moonlight Mistress when they were both held captive by the villain. They’re both werewolves, and both want werewolf children, so after their escape, one talks the other into marrying (very Marriage of Convenience!). They make sure they are sexually compatible before marrying (not very Marriage of Convenience) and know something already about their partner’s basic personality, clearly exposed during their captivity (ditto).
The trick to this story, then, won’t be the things they don’t know about each other. I think it will have to be what they don’t know about what they do know. (I know what I mean!)
The tensions in the story will have to revolve around what their flaws will mean for their marriage. They’ll have to learn the depth of those flaws. They’ll have to learn to accept and live with flaws they already know about.
So…maybe it is a Marriage of Convenience. It just has one extra layer. What do you think?
I’m thinking I’m going to think about it some more, while I work on a favorites list of marriage of convenience novels.
The Intricacies of Marriages of Convenience.