jstallcup at jstallcup at
Wed May 14 23:27:07 EDT 2003

Are the storylines in romances really THAT similar?  I haven't read
enough of them to know.  I mean, I do know that there are particular
formulas (formulae?) that have to be followed, or as you say they won't
get picked up.  I don't know... again, I find it hard to define.  It
bothers me that McCullough "borrowed" so freely, but on the other hand, I
think that Clueless is a wonderful update of Emma, and that's the same
basic kind of borrowing.  

As an aside, I have to tell you all something that I heard an author say
at a talk on the romance novel once.  Explaining how she became a best
selling writer of these romances, she said that she loved--absolutely
LOVED to read them, and that after reading a 1,000 or so, she figured out
how they worked.  

I thought, "It took reading 1,000 to figure that out??????"

Well, maybe it would.  I haven't read 1,000, and certainly if I had, I
would be much more knowledgeable about them than I am now.  But the
remark struck me as funny.

On Thu, 15 May 2003 13:09:19 +1000 "Sally Odgers" <sodgers at>
> And there's
> > Colleen McCullough's use in the Ladies of Missalonghi of 
> Montgomery's
> > basic storyline in the Blue Castle.  I've read both, and there's 
> not a
> > single line that is the same, but the basic story IS the same.  
> So, is
> > that plagiarizing?  Hard to say.
> I'd say it isn't, because if it *is*, then a lot of category 
> romances must
> also be plag. These aren't (contrary to some opinion) 
> paint-by-number
> stories, but many of them are at least as similar to one another as 
> Ladies
> is to Castle. If they get too dissimilar they won't be published.
> Sallyo.
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