There are about a bazillion Pride and Prejudice variations out there, according to the latest scientific estimate. There are almost as many different plots in this unique sub-genre:
- The forced marriage scenario (always a big favorite)
- The different-path-to-the-same-outcome scenario. You know this one–what if Elizabeth hadn’t overheard Darcy’s insulting remark at the Meryton assembly? What if Bingley had stayed in Meryton for the winter? What if Elizabeth never read Darcy’s letter? What if he didn’t leave Rosings after she did read it? What if, what if, what if . . .
- The happily ever after scenario: how do they function as a married couple? For some reason, Elizabeth often has trouble conceiving in this scenario.
- The Other Character scenario, in which Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Kitty, Mary, or yes, even Lydia, pursue their happily ever afters.
Each of these types of plots has its own charms and challenges, and it seems like someone comes up with a new twist every day. Some what-ifs are more believable than others, of course, but that’s for the reader to decide. The happily ever after scenario is hard to pull off because, let’s face it, we like the chase, the angst, the separation and the reunion, the joy that comes with finding and recognizing a true love at last. And it’s hard to get readers engaged with anyone but Our Dear Couple. All the world loves a lover, but they love Elizabeth and Darcy in love the most.
I’m about 10,000 words into my next book, which will be a forced marriage scenario, but please tell me: what is your favorite type of Pride and Prejudice variation? Is there a scenario you’d like to see someone try, one that you’ve never seen done before? If you could commission an author to write one Pride and Prejudice variation, what would it be?