(Note: I thought I posted this on Tuesday, but it didn’t show up for some reason…so you’re getting it today. *g*)
I spent the weekend driving again – to camp to drop off my sons this time. I saw my daughter looking cute and directing traffic (she’s working at camp for the summer), and stole a few moments with her and her girlfriend (delivering home-made cookies, of course!). The first thing out of her friends’ mouth was…. “I met a boy.” And then I saw it…that sparkle in her eyes, the glow in her expression, the way she hunched her shoulders and giggled. Oh…she met a BOY.
I love to fall in love. (and when you’re married, you get to do it over and over again *g*). And I love to watch others fall in love. To me, that’s my favorite part about writing romance in a novel – the parts where we make them fall for each other.
Today we’re going to touch the two elements in a book that make our characters fall in love…
Entertain Me – I’m going to tell you a trick I use….in every book, I always have a DATE. Something sweet and perfect for the hero and heroine to do that ignites their romance. I love scenes that are out of the ordinary, things that the hero and heroine do that make me smile. Like go fishing. Or play hockey. Or go camping, or cook s’mores. Things that are out of the ordinary leave an impression in my mind and make me enjoy the story more. I want to see him doing little things for her tell me he’s falling for her, even if she doesn’t see it, and vice versa.
Like, in Cutting Edge when Dorsey gives Kate his hockey jersey. She doesn’t like it, but I, the viewer know what it means to him to give it to her.
In every book, I try and create a unique “date” for my hero/heroine, something that might not be a typical date, but something that, if you look in the story, you see as the turning point in their relationship.
One of my favorite scenes in CE is watching Kate and Dorsey jogging together — but it’s not just any jog – they race. Over and over, and as they do, we see their relationship develop, see him beating her, see her plotting on how to win.
Give your characters a creative date!
Dialogue that Sparks – You can’t fall in love without talking to each other. A great romance has witty, spicy dialogue that focuses on drawing out emotions and plot essentials. Make your characters say what they are really feeling, unless of course, it’s part of the plot to have them hide information, and even then they can be sarcastic and rude, and even flippant. I love it when a heroine pushes all the hero’s buttons and drives him to his last nerve. This is where your voice comes alive.
I have a course that teaches how to write great dialogue – but here’s a few essentials:
1. Dance around the issues, don’t confront until later in the book.
2. Say things that will make them believe certain plot or emotional facts about each other that aren’t true. If you reveal everything to each other off the bat, then you have no intrigue to the relationship.
3. Go with your gut. Sometimes, I’ve written my gut feeling into a piece and had to go back and edit it out. But I put their emotions to say what they really feel, if it it’s only in internal dialogue.
4. Speak in run-on and choppy sentences. Don’t make their speech perfect or they will be perfect…and uninteresting.
5. Give them things to taunt each other – (Remember — Toepick! It drives him crazy!)
Make your reader fall in love again, put that sparkle in their eye, that glow on their face as they share in the romance of your characters!
Tomorrow we’re going to talk about the dreaded Black Moment in a romance. See you then!