About six years ago, I found my first Pride and Prejudice variation. Now I had read Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when in High School, but I enjoyed other books more: science fiction, Agatha Christi’s mysteries, and The Black Stallion series, and other horse books. However, when I found a couple of Abigail Reynolds P&P variations, I was hooked. So, I went looking for more and found more. Between the several hundred variations, the 2005 movie, and ‘Becoming Jane’ film, I finally learned to appreciate Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. And I read it again with much more pleasure.
Just how special, though, are these Pride and Prejudice variations? Special enough that I’ve heard that Amazon is adding approximately fifty P&P’s each month. Wouldn’t surprise me as it’s easy to have the bug bite once one has read several of these offshoots from Austen’s work. In my case, by the time I read about 200 variations, I had premises and plots running through my head until I couldn’t stay away from the computer. At the moment, I have about thirty-three of these that I’m trying to put a dent in. But I think it will be a while before I reach that point. 🙂
The question that arises is ‘What is a premise, and what is a plot?’ They are not the same as a premise is the concept of the book. The plot, on the other hand, is what happens in the book, and this includes all the events that make up the story. So, I find that I have thirty-three premises and titles for future P&P’s and a few skeleton plots to go along with some of them. I think I need to be ten people in order to get all these done.
Why, though, are P&P variations so important to readers? I think it’s because the original is the perfect love story: boy meets girl, boy and girl encounter problems, family interferes with boy and girl’s courtship, other problems arise, eventually problems are solved, and our dear Darcy and Elizabeth finally acquire their HEA. And it isn’t just that this is a typical romantic trope, but it includes one of the most famous romantic couples in literature. As a writer and reader of P&P variations, I love Darcy and Elizabeth, and I am not satisfied with just Jane Austen’s version. I want to read and write more of their life and adventures. I want to see them in different settings, different plots, and even a little OOC. And that is what the wonderful authors of AuAu and elsewhere are doing: writing more and more great Pride and Prejudice variations.
Now, I’m not Jane Austen, and I don’t live back in Regency times, so I don’t write like Austen and don’t try to. I do try to give a Regency flavor to my writing especially in the dialogues. Unfortunately, because I don’t do British (UK) speak, much less Regency speak, occasionally I slip an Americanism in my writings. I really do live with a dictionary practically attached to my hip, but occasionally I miss a word here or there. I used the word gotten instead of got and actually committed an offence.
However, I do find that I have a couple of writing characteristics similar, but not the same, to Austen’s: I do tend toward being an omniscient narrator because I am a story teller. And I have a tendency to lengthy, descriptive paragraphs. But I’m not Jane Austen, and I am not the writer she was.
And I would love to be able to write with her wonderful wit, but I’m much too serious. So I try to add scenes occasionally that might lend humorous notes to my books.
Okay. I’ve now told you my feelings toward P&P variations as a writer AND as a reader. Now, it’s your turn to comment below and let me know how you feel about Pride and Prejudice variations, in general, as a reader and/or writer. I would love to know what you think. 🙂