Last night I posted this on Facebook: "I realized Eloisa James has surpassed Judith McNaught as my other favorite historical author. She's still a tie with Virginia Henley. Not only because McNaught quit writing historical and gone to corporate guys (eww) but like Henley, James sneaks in bitchin' history lessons & she's daring.
Still, McNaught was queen of the "Aww" factor. But now I've discovered Julie Garwood for that."
The next morning, both Eloisa James and Virginia Henley responded to my post! After I was done doing the happy fan-girl dance, I realized that it would be great to do a blog post about the "Awww" Factor. I still maintain that McNaught reigned supreme with it...then again, Garwood wields that weapon formidably.
The Awww factor is, well, anything in a story that literally makes the reader melt a little and go, "Awwwww!" It is a very difficult thing to achieve. There is a fine line between cheesy and Awww. Witness the many epic failures of dozens of romantic comedies. I have failed in at least 80% of my attempts. "This seems forced" "A farce" "Cliche" or "Flat out corny, please cut" my readers will declare.
But every once in awhile, I succeed. There was the scene in which my autocratic rock star hero (who had just met the heroine) soothed her from a nightmare by singing her to sleep. "Awwww!" my readers responded, and I melted even more than I did during writing that scene. And there was the one in my Brides of Prophecy series...but I don't know how to describe it without revealing spoilers.
Really, that's all I can think of off the top of my head. The "Awww" factor is THAT hard to nail. What are some of your favorite "Awww" moments, either in books or movies? What do you think makes or breaks an attempt at an "Awww" factor? Is it magic? Or is there a science to it?
Btw, I still adore Judith McNaught, hell, I named a character after her. But she did something else that really bugged me. After one of her novels is an excerpt of an awesome time-travel that I would have pawned something so I could buy and read it right away. Turns out, that book never came to be. Do you have any idea how frustrating that was?!! Oh yeah, we're all readers here. I know you do. :)