Nicholas Sparks (born December 31, 1965) is the screenwriter behind the films Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights In Rodanthe, The Last Song, Dear John, The Lucky One, Safe Haven, The Best Of Me, The Longest Ride and most recently, The Choice. He reportedly began writing during his first year of college at Notre Dame after a track injury and a long recovery. He took a string of jobs from waiter, real estate appraiser, telemarketer, orthopedic manufacturer, and pharmaceutical sales. Finally in 1994 he tried one last time and produced The Notebook which launched him to fame.
He makes distinctions about his work and insists that he screenwrites love stories, not romance; drama, not melodrama. And that's why, he said, he dominates the genre.
List of selected works
Tropes about the screenwriter:
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Often. The one in The Choice is very similar to the one from The Notebook in tone, to the point of being a Shout-Out.
- Bittersweet Ending/Downer Ending: What a ridiculously abundant amount of his books end up having, and in the rare instance that they don't the ending of True Believer, then the follow-up book will.
- Caught in the Rain: Might be in everyone of his books/films.
- Creator Killer: Nicholas Sparks Productions closed down a few months after the film version of The Choice underperformed.
- Creator Provincialism: Most of his works are set in North Carolina, where he's from. If not specifically North Carolina, somewhere in the Southeast—South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana.
- Falling-in-Love Montage: In every single one of his movies.
- Interclass Romance: Most of his works have this, frequently as an obstacle to love.
- Monochrome Casting: The number of minority characters in his books/movies can be counted on one hand.
- Recycled In Space: Aside from his movies frequently displaying the listed tropes, there are other similar plot/plot elements that keep cropping up in his works—The Best Of Me and The Longest Ride, released within months of each other (the former in October 2014, the latter in April 2015) both feature the young lovers in question being counseled by a sage older man, The Best Of Me and The Notebook both feature virtually parallel storylines between older and younger versions of the lovebirds, etc.
- Shout-Out: In The Choice, a brief mention is made of a blissfully happy married couple who had to eventually move to a nursing home, where they died together. Couldn't they mean Noah and Allie?
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Several of his works—The Notebook, Nights In Rodanthe, The Best Of Me, etc.—have the protagonist cheating on their significant other, but this is always justified by the unhappiness of the previous relationship and/or the true love of the new (sometimes rekindled) one.
- Taken Up to Eleven in The Choice, where the heroine cheats on her boyfriend with the hero (and he technically cheats on his on-again, off-again paramour with her), even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with him or the relationship. She carries on with the other guy for roughly a month and not until her boyfriend returns to town does she even seem to realize that there was anything wrong with her behavior, and ironically, it's her lover who calls her out on this, pointing out that she can't go back to her boyfriend and act like nothing happened between them.