Marriage of Convenience or Not?

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.

Related Post:
The Intricacies of Marriages of Convenience.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
This entry was posted in genre, romance novels, writing process. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Marriage of Convenience or Not?

  1. loligo says:

    I just finished TMM and I'm so glad these characters get their own sequel! But I think you're right, it's not a classic Marriage of Convenience. It's not just their intense (though brief) history with each other that takes it out of that category. It's the fact that they already know that they share something that's so deep and emotional and fundamental to their identities. For me, Marriage of Convenience is totally situational, not based in character. He needs money, she's got money. She needs to flee the country, and he's got a boat that's set to sail. And so on. The characters often *suspect* that there's some compatibility, or they wouldn't be willing to take the chance, but it's not anywhere near as deep as what T. & N. share.

  2. Tumperkin says:

    I think it is marriage of convenience – I think marriage of convenience is quite a wide-ranging trope with varying levels of conflict and familiarity of the couples. Some couples start off very hostile to one another, others as polite strangers and others as friends. Yours seems to fall into the latter cateogry. The thing that makes it a MOC storyline for me is the journey to love (or realisation of existing love) of the couple. In short, they don't marry for love but they end the book in love.

  3. Victoria Janssen says:

    Wow, L., you finished that fast! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    Tumperkin wrote:
    The thing that makes it a MOC storyline for me is the journey to love (or realisation of existing love) of the couple. In short, they don't marry for love but they end the book in love.

    I like that definition a lot. Because I do intend them to have a love relationship as well as the sexual one.

Comments are closed.