The Curves You Own (Romance, Drama)

Title: The Curves You Own
Target Audience: 18+
Genre: Romance, Drama, maybe Chicklit
Intended length: ~85k-100k

Summary

Growing up was never easy for Adina “Fatty Addy” Braveheart. Her body image struggles drove her into an on-and-off toxic relationship with an older man at just seventeen. Cade Van Der Waal is the mayor’s son and town’s golden boy forced to be with the popular girlfriend, Sophia, for political purposes. Hiding from Sophia, he spent his summer at the local arcade where he interacts with Adina for the first time. The two butt-heads, but eventually form a genuine friendship.

Adina and Cade test the boundaries of their friendship, resulting in Cade experiencing sexual and emotional attraction for the first time. He realizes he’s demisexual. However, Cade continues to be with Sophia to help his father politically. Adina, feeling rejected, goes back to her toxic relationship. When Adina shows up to school with a busted lip, Cade confronts her, begging her to stop seeing this man. Adina eventually agrees.

Unable to resist each other, they have a secret relationship, but when a misleading video of Adina being kissed by her abuser makes its way to Cade, in a drunken, jealous haze, Cade loses his virginity to Sophia. Sophia releases photos of Cade sleeping next to her to Adina, forcing Adina to confront Cade about what happened. Cade admits to sleeping with Sophia and Adina decides to sever their relationship.

Prom arrives and Cade and Adina have trouble keeping away from each other. They end up revealing their true feelings to each other and have sex. Cade promises to break things with Sophia and move to California with Adina. However, Sophia tells Cade that she is pregnant before Cade ends things between them. His family guilts him into “doing the right thing” and marrying Sophia. Alone and brokenhearted, Adina leaves Southport, determined to never look back.

Two months into college, Adina realizes she hasn’t had a period since the last time she slept with Cade and visits the gynecologist where she’s diagnosed with PCOS. She learns that the possibility of bearing children in the future is slim. Her pain becomes her driver to overcome her past and do something of herself. With time, Adina becomes a successful fashion designer, plus-size model, icon and advocate for positive body image.

Thirteen years later, Adina makes her way back to Southport to care for her sick Aunt. While there, she runs into Cade-a recently divorced single father- and the two give in to their long-repressed affections for each other and sleep together, eventually falling back in love. But once again Sophia forces her way back into Cade’s life through Lizzy-their daughter. Adina steps back as Lizzy desperately wants her family back together.

For six months, Cade and Adina keep a long-distance friendship and when things with Sophia don’t work out, Cade leaves Sophia for good and moves with Lizzy to California to be with Adina. He asks for her hand in marriage, and she says yes, finally finding some semblance of a happily ever after.

Major Plotlines
  • Cade realizing he has a sexual and emotional attraction for Adina but continues pretending to be in a relationship with Sophia to help his family politically.
  • Cade deciding to break up with Sophia to be with Adina but is not able to since Sophia is pregnant with his baby.
  • Adina and Cade falling back in love after thirteen years of living their lives separately.
  • Cade finally leaving Sophia for good and moving to California with his daughter to be with Adina.
Notes
  • The story will be told in first person POV in both Cade and Adina’s POVs unless third person POV is better for this kind of story (you tell me).
  • The story is character-driven rather than plot-driven so there may be changes to the plot as the story gets written down.
  • Cade is a demisexual character which means he needs to create a very deep bond with someone to feel any sexual drive. Usually, an intellectual connection is needed beforehand. I don’t think there are many stories that talk about this type of sexuality, and one of my purposes is to delve into this topic and struggles with Cade.
  • Adina is a plus-size character from beginning to end with abandonment and body image issues but a strong and feisty personality making her also a unique character in my opinion and I aim to bring unique struggles plus-size individuals face in society through her development.
  • There may or may not be erotic scenes in this book.
  • I guess the high drama could be compared with a telenovela/Jane the Virgin kind of drama.
  • Book will be divided into parts to make the timeline easier to follow.

I look forward to your feedback. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Like your story idea, Sue :slight_smile: I admire the way you have taken the concept of body image and merged it with sexuality and politics. The end was sweet :slight_smile:

Sharing my two cents here.

The first half talks about Cade and the second shows his summer hide-out. I think you can split this sentence into two for a smoother flow. Something on the lines of:
Cade Van Der Waal, the town’s golden boy, and mayor’s son is forced by his father to maintain his relationship with girlfriend Sophia for political mileage. He spends his summer hiding at the local arcade where he meets Adrina for the first time.

I suggest you remove the ‘he’s not asexual or impotent’ as it’s stalls the flow of the sentence and write it as:
He realizes he’s demisexual.

‘With time’ implies later. I think you can remove/edit ‘and later’ for a smoother flow. Something like:
With time, Adina becomes a successful fashion designer, a plus-size model, icon and advocate for positive body image.

I think it should read ‘their’ daughter, since Lizzy is the child of Sophia and Cade. Like this:
Lizzy-their daughter.

1 Like

Thank you so much Nab. This does smooth out the summary flow. I’ll change it as soon as I get on my PC.

1 Like

This is certainly a lot of drama. It is, unfortunately, not much other than that.

In a lot of ways, I’m reminded of the sorts of TV dramas I very much resent (so keep my biases in mind). The major issues with a lot of these shows is that they end up feeling largely hollow. Things happen, but nothing is happening, if that makes sense. The story moves from one major template dramatic reveal (a misunderstood fake relationship, a drunken misunderstanding, an abusive ex making a scene, a revenge sleeping, a surprise pregnancy, the return of an ex to meddle, etc) to the next, without a consistent throughline other than “relationship might happen whenever the drama stops getting in the way.”

These sorts of stories are tough. It can be tricky to walk the line between melodrama and necessary cliche and actual character building. You’ll need a growth throughline throughout this (other than discovering they’re demisexual pretty much at the start, how does male lead grow? Who is the female lead and what blocks her from body positivity or what doe she grow to learn?).

While I resent these types of dramas, I also love them, when they’re great and have a soft spot for such melodrama so long as it surrounds believable growth.

For example, Kimi no Iru Machi and Fuuka (same author) are both pretty melodramatic, but they centre on characters who need to grow into something. In Kimi you have a male lead who needs to figure out what he wants to do in life other than just pursue a girl and a female lead who needs to face her familial issues instead of bottling them up with a fake carefree attitude and smile. In Fuuka a guy who is purposeless and obsessed only with his own social media and his ~100 followers bumps into a girl who is equally purposeless but is being pursued by a track team looking to recruit her. She’s passionate and aggressive in actions but doesn’t know what to do and he’s reserved and never motivated.

And yeah, there’s exes, cheating, fake dating, misunderstandings, all that stuff. But since they’re constantly trying to grow and become something, those dramas usually come up in natural settings (sometimes not, again, it’s a thin line) and generally tend to help the characters move along the arc they’re pursuing.

I need a throughline to attach to all these dramatic events so that I’m willing to put up with these usual cliches (cause I will if I have cause). The framework is here, just need the thing in between.

2 Likes

Thanks nick for the feedback. I hear you about meaningless drama, so not going for that, so thanks for pointing that out. So just to make sure I understand your comment. The events for this type of story is not as important as what these events mean to the character’s growth. So what I understand is that I need to focus more on for example, rather than just pointing out how Adina goes out with the toxic relationship because of her low self esteem, I should focus on how that relationship lead her to decide she’s had enough and she’s not gonna base her self worth on what others think of her. And with her new self confidence she decides not to let what others think of her stop her from enjoying life and in the process decides to befriend Cade who sees her refreshing attitude as inspiration to be honest with himself. Is this what you’re hinting at?

Correct. Her body image troubles come up at the start and then sort of not really for much of the rest of it until the very end. There’s sort of a pause on that issue in between while drama happens and then it sort of shows up as a reflection.

The dramatic moments throughout have to contribute to their growth or help them grow and reflect or prevent them from growing and so on. Or there has to be a consistent throughline alongside all these dramatic moments.

2 Likes

Noted! I’ll re do it and share when ready for feedback, if that’s ok. :slight_smile: