Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Falling in Love with Romance Part 3: Attraction and Longing

Happy Wednesday, my writing friends, 

Romance! One of my favorite topics. So far we've covered the joy of writing romance, and last week, we began answering the question: What are the key elements of a successful romance novel? We started with characters (of course!) and this week we'll  take a gander at attraction and longing. 

I love this part of romantic stories! Hero and Heroine meet, and immediately we know they belong together. This story is about them, and everything must happen to move them toward a wonderfully satisfying ending. Why? Good, old fashioned romantic magnetism. Even if outwardly Hero despises Heroine, the reader senses he can't help but be drawn to her on some level. If we accomplish this, we've hooked our readers. 

Quick tip: One subtle way to show this is to have the hero state the opposite of what the reader senses he’s feeling. Remember Mr. Darcy’s statement that there were no suitable women at the dance in Pride and Prejudice. His bluntness, and Miss Bennett’s reaction, clued us in that underneath it all sparks were flying—even if the characters didn’t know!

The next step goes beyond that simple, ooh la la physical attraction to a desire based on worthy character traits. It can be their smarts or joy or compassion or strength—something that draws them.

Maybe our lovebirds can ignore their initial lure toward each other, but this can’t be denied. And now, the aching begins. Heroine’s sassy remarks intrude on Hero’s thoughts. Hero’s quick reaction to a crisis replays in Heroine’s mind.

As the story builds, the longing grows stronger until, even though plagued with obstacles, the longing wins—and love occurs!

Only to be thwarted one last time—but we’ll talk about that next week.

Happy writing and God bless,