Regency Plots

Kalen’s comment on Friday about being tired of Regency spies got me to thinking.

What Regency plots are readers tired of?

One of the things that strikes terror into my heart is the idea that the Regency genre might run out of plots. For example, one of the tried and true Regency plots is the lord and the governess plot. You know, the spunky governess comes to care for the lord’s unruly children and winds up married to the lord. I love that plot. I have a whole book with such a plot in my head, but I doubt that any publisher would buy it in today’s market. Unless I could give it a great twist. Maybe not even then.


Several of my plots have been “Marriage of Convenience” plots – The Mysterious Miss M, The Wagering Widow, The Improper Wife, The Marriage Bargain. Obviously that is another plot I’m fond of. Are readers sick of that one? When I first wrote The Mysterious Miss M editors said that readers would never accept a prostitute heroine, but now it seems like there are lots of Regencies out there with prostitute or courtesan heroines. Did the readers change or were those editors simply mistaken? And was it my heroine who made that book popular or was it because I used that marriage of convenience plot?

I always wondered if the traditional Regency lines were hampered by overuse of some of the popular plots – the marriage of convenience, governess and lord, unmarried duke and the ingenue in her first season, bookish spinster and debauched rakehell. What are some others?


Ironically, though, I started reading fewer traditional regencies when they started to widen the plots into suspense, mystery, paranormal. Were other readers saturated by the “traditional” plots or did they miss them, like I did?

Presently I read very few regency-set novels, but it is because I’m afraid of contaminating my fragile muse. I’m afraid I’ll either mimic others’ great ideas or I’ll be struck wordless by others’ creativity….

After I finish writing my next Harlequin Mills & Boon and my next Warner, I’ll have to seriously think about these issues. I have a fledgling Regency plot floating around in my head. It has a bit of paranormal in it, but by the time I get to writing those books, will the appetite for paranomal be satiated?

Do other Regency writers worry about such things or is it just me? I’m always afraid I will never have another story idea….

Writing Regency romance is my passion, though. I don’t ever want to stop. How do we keep the Regency genre fresh? Is it by reinventing the tried and true plots or by expanding the genre into new directions? Will the Regency ever lose its position as a popular time period in romance? Gosh I hope not!

So, tell me… What Regency plots are you tired of? Which ones do you never get tired of? Do you like it when Regency spreads itself into other genres? And, last of all, do you think the Regency genre is here to stay?

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Regency Plots

Comments are closed.