what are the external and internal goals of the heroine and hero of my romantic novel

by Faith Ilesanmi
(Ibadan,Oyostate,Nigeria)

Question: The story is all about two lovers who met in a particular restaurant somewhere in New York. She wasn't able to pay her bill because she noticed she left her purse at home. Luckily for her, a particular guy came in and paid her bill. Feeling grateful, she thanked him and left the restaurant because of the great embarrassment she caused to herself. She was looking forward in getting a cab when she felt a tap at her back only to discover that it was this same guy that saved her from further embarrassment at the restaurant. He requested for her name which she told him and from there they became friends. They discovered that they were so much in love with each other but their parents on both sides refused their marriage rites. The only way out for the both of them was to run away which they did eventually. They got married and had children. A few years later she had an accident causing her paralysis. The time she needed him most he was not there; he abandoned her and their children to marry another woman. Fortunately for her she met a helper who was the doctor in that hospital. The doctor helped her and her children so much and gradually the trauma of her lover leaving her began to fade away. At that point, she reconciled with her parents. Years later, ex-her lover was having problems with his job and unfortunately for him he lost it and the official house, car was taken away from him he lost everything including his newly wedded wife and so he decided to go back to his first wife and love. As he got to where she was she was on a wheelchair knitting a sweater for her grandchild, she saw him. At first she couldn't recognize him but later when she got to know he was the one she cried so much as he was really apologizing to her. Due to the great love she had for him, she forgave him.


That's the story. I want to know if it is a romantic novel and the internal and external goals of the Hero and heroine of the novel.

Answer: I would say the story is romantic, but I'm not certain if it would qualify as a romance for today's readers, as the definition of romance has become a little more strict.

I would be concerned that readers would think the main character is weak for taking the man back after he abandoned her in her hour of need and marrying another woman. Such stories used to be more popular (I like to call them "Stand by Your Man" stories.) By this, I mean stories about women who are treated badly by their men, but always stay loyal and in love with them and are always willing to forgive. Such loyalty in a woman was once seen as a virtue, but no longer.

Most readers today prefer strong women who are not willing to put up with such treatment. A man who abandons his wife for another woman is usually considered unworthy of being taken back.

Of course, if you give the man a more valid reason for leaving his wife -- perhaps because he has no choice -- and show how he loses contact with her and struggles to find her again, his actions might be more forgivable.

As for external and internal goals, I don't think you have created them yet. You'll need to put some more thought into what these characters really want and whether the main character must change in order to achieve it.

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