One Recipe, Two Very Different Dishes

acrossuniverse Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the Lord of the Rings books or seen the movies, this post contains spoilers regarding the ending.

We’ve been having quite the lively discussion on the Romance Potpourri Board about just how much the HEA constrains the writing of a novel, whether books are written to a recipe or formula, and what reasonable amount of reality and originality can be expected from genre fiction (romance in particular) given said restraints. The whole formula issue is an old one here at AAR, with some of us looking for the works that push that barrier, and others pointing out thatours are not the only novels written to a pattern.