Formulaic? You Bet!


If you’re a reader of Romance novels, you’ve probably heard the complaint that Romances are just too formulaic. They follow too strict a pattern: boy meets girl; girl and boy are attracted; boy and girl face obstacles; girl and boy get each other in the end and live—wait for it—happily ever after. Okay, I won’t argue there isn’t a formula, but I will argue with complaining about it. Let’s take a look at patterns and their value instead. Life is full of formulas. Let’s call them patterns. Some of them stem from our very biology. We are born, we spend childhood growing and learning, we hit puberty and are bombarded with urges to find a mate, we mature into adulthood, we grow older, and eventually die. No one gets out alive and no one is immune to the pattern. That pattern is called the Life Cycle. It has predictable elements that follow one after the other in an invariable order. Of course, within and between those elements an infinite number of variations give color and texture to each person’s experience. The cyclical pattern only provides a framework for the artistry of living.
It turns out, our brains are hard wired to seek out, recognize, and feel comfortable with patterns.

Read the entire article in the September 2017 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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