1. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    secret to writing romance

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by erebh, Apr 8, 2013.

    Hi guys

    In my book I have gratuitous sex, all out action, unrequited love, jealousy and serious amounts of conspiracies - I am stuck on romance.

    I have a love triangle, one couple (M/F) seriously in love, another F in love with the guy (They had a thing before but it's been over a long time but she still loves him. I am having trouble with the couple. In particular trouble not making it cheesey - my wife almost wet herself reading pure cheddar - any suggestions?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can you post a section in the critique section? There should be things throughout the book that shows how this couple is in love -- the way they think about each other, the things they say, the way they interact, even while all this other stuff is going on. Is it particular dialogue or scenes that are giving you trouble? Sexual scenes with this particular couple? It's very hard to say what the trouble is just from your statement that it is currently cheesy. Something must not be ringing true, but without seeing it, I can't even begin to guess what it is.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm with Liz, can't tell without seeing it. You know how entertaining I found your Wookie sex scene ;), so I'm guessing it may only be in need of a minor tweak. If it's a short scene, you could send it out in a PM if you don't want to put it on public display.

    Ginger
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Pure cheddar because it was no Gouda?

    Maybe instead of the fromage, focus on the couple going through a rough spot. Even people seriously in love have to deal with illnesses, overwork, insomnia, chores that neither wants to do, finances, whatever. How they work it out also shows the love. It doesn't have to be sex.
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks Liz, its kinda difficult as the Male has to leave his girlfriend very early in the book so the first chapter is like their last night together, but neither know it. It's basically all dialogue and they don't have sex in case her folks get home and he wants their first night together to be perfect, without interuption.

    If I may I'll give you a quick line or two here that my wife thought was hilarious

    He held her tight to his chest, “I promise it will all be worth waiting for”.
    “Don’t ever let me go Bob, hold me like our lives depend on it, like I'm falling off a cliff”.

    I thought this was ok, my wife peed her pants! :(
    My problem in writing romantic scenes is that all these love songs pop into my head like John Denver's Leaving On A Jet Plane - Hoooooold me like you'll never let me go - o - ooooooo and it's just completely off putting, and cheesey!
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Oy vey, Cheese is right, You could spread that on a bagel.

    Better their last scene together be an argument with a lot of hurt feelings. It will eat at them all the time they are apart, and that makes good fiction.
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    good thinking batman - i like that!

    I still have to map their dialogue - it's just the two of them lying on the bed professing their love, it doesn't suit me at all, maybe I should dump it. I know from experience one wrong, unintended word can cause a massive row that you regret for days, with him having to leave so abruptly and with such guilt it might just work - thank you!
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they don't know it, they're not going to be waxing poetic or nostalgic. They may be *thinking* about something that might happen soon, but if there is no special reason to think that night is anything special, what would cause them to suddenly make a statement about their relationship?

    You can do a lot with thoughts, as well.

    I'm going to assume here that you have a good relationship with your wife and that you love each other and you have what you consider the romance of your life.
    Can you honestly close your eyes right now and picture her saying to you,
    at any point -- now or at the beginning of your relationship with her?

    Now, what might she actually say to you? (Or perhaps she does say that but can barely get through it without laughing.)
    If you somehow did say, "I promise it will be worth waiting for," what would she have said? "It sure better be?" with a smile? or "One day my parents won't be an issue." "Oh? Why is that? Did you put a hit out on them?" or "Oh, is that so? You planning on marrying me?" "Actually, yes." There are all kinds of possibilities, depending on your style and how exactly you want to portray the characters and the relationship. And if it works, you could still have them fight later on.
     
  9. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    Would you ever say this to your wife? Would she ever say that to you? (I'm not trying to get personal here.)

    Forget trying to write romance, and write the people. Hopefully your female characters aren't constantly talking like that. :p
     
  10. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    erebh: I have a thought what about this make the story a story of unrequited love that leads to sex and as the sexual relationship evolves the male character has to leave the female character for some reason then he comes back after there separation and then they are able to resume their sexual relationship.
     
  11. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    The bold line made me chuckle. :p

    The trick to main characters is making your readers root for them. The trick to a successful romantic story arc is making your readers root for two characters to be together. Reading romance or watching a good romance film can help. Notice what triggers your own emotional response to say, "hey, they need to be together."

    From what I've observed, it's chemistry. First encounters are important; the chemistry is unquestionable, even if they are naive and unaware. The two characters you want readers to root for make each other feel better. For example, the most comm They have arguments, but then they can always/eventually work things out. Sex is often believed to be a sign of people "belonging" together. I don't think it's realistic, but it's a trope you can use in your own writing to get your point across.

    Often, they compliment each other. For example, the most common trope is the fastidious male meats the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. But they need to share common beliefs, as well.
     
  12. NewAgeFiction
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    NewAgeFiction Member

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    For me, the best romance involves realistic passion and not so much lines from old Hollywood films (please don't take that wrong!). I think the strongest romantic relationships are based on best friendship. The couple is giddy when together, but can also poke fun at eachother's strengths and weaknesses (and clumsy behaviors at times) along with knowing when (and how) to be serious when appropriate to be so. Absolutely like funky said, the audience/reader should be on their side relating to their issues. The romantic attributes should be impulsive and come naturally, and the couple should have a shared strategy about going through troubles external to their own personal "bubble". If I were writing a romance, I would incorporate my own ways of going about love, sex, and passion. It would be fun-spirited, spontaneous, with a little silliness and deep lust thrown within to make it a sound portrait of how "good" and lasting relationships traverse a world that often opposes such qualities. Just a thought or two!
     

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