1. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    Writing a romance

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by King Arthur, Feb 2, 2016.

    Hello!

    My story is not a romance novel, but historical fiction. Though romance plays a very important role in my MC's life. The problem is, I've no idea how relationships or romance works. I've not been in a romantic relationship before. Is there any way to find out how to write one well? Also, how should one pace it?

    Cheers,
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, there is no how-to guide. My advice is to make the two people strong characters on their own, but even stronger when together. They should shine in their interactions. That gets across the most important thing in writing a believable romance - chemistry. How you do that is up to you as the writer.

    As for pacing, also up to you. A lot of romances have insta-love, because the will-they-won't-they gets annoying if it drags on (we all know they will) but even many romance readers don't like it if it's TOO rushed. If you're writing historical fiction, you must be constrained by at least a rough idea of how they they knew each other before they became romantically involved?
     
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  3. TopherT
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    There's no one solid rule for any genre of story, especially in romance.

    As the Brother's Grimm started "Once upon a time...", so should you begin your begin your story with "Once upon a time, a boy meets girl..."

    But as I said, there's no set-in-stone method. For instance, Jane Austen wrote more traditional romantic tales, which are met with happy endings, but with various conflicts and misinterpretations along the way. As for the Bronte Sisters, they went a darker route, and in the case of Wuthering Heights ...*SPOILER ALERT*...unrequited love with much misery along the way. Same with Romeo and Juliet, the ultimate unrequited couple.

    As long as you begin in with boy meets girl (Or girl meets girl, or boy meets boy) you'll be just fine. And make sure that you keep the characters real, as you want your readers to relate to them.

    I would advice everyone to read "Stephen King: On writing". He tells you to read, read and read. I would suggest you read Romeo and Juliet, Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. Four of my personal favourites.

    Good luck.
     
  4. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    The problem is there's not enough chemistry, and the girl quite quickly cuckolds him.
     
  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well then you already have your romantic plot. I don't understand what you're asking?
     
  6. King Arthur
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    The genre isn't a romance, it's merely part of the plot.
     
  7. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    I don't know how people would interact when married. Or how they'd flirt before even being in a relationship, etc...
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If you can't imagine it, you just need to read some books with romances in them. I.e. almost any book.
     
  9. TopherT
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    Still, the more believable the "love" the better the story will ultimately be.

    You can't go "Girl meets guy in a tavern, he buys her a flagon of ale. They fall in love... now let's more on"
     
  10. TopherT
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    It really depends on your style on writing. Me, I'd have them blather away about everything under the sun. Conversation doesn't have to be earth-shatteringly important. And as for the flirting, well, there would be no flirting, but there would be gestures of love, and the gestures don't have to be blatant. Less is more.
     
  11. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, I dunno. There could be tons of flirting. The girl is probably the consummate captivating flirt, if she cheats on him shortly after they get married (NB, "cuckolding" refers to something done to husbands. But the OP knows that, yes?). She's made her conquest, and now on to the next challenge.

    But that raises the question: What is the function of the love story in your overall plot? What issues and problems does the new wife's infidelity raise? If the disappointed husband were to look back and wonder what he ever saw in her, well, what did he see in her? What did they both do when they were around each other to make them marry before a true connection formed?

    Or when you say there's not enough chemistry, are you saying it was an arranged marriage? In that case, you don't have a romantic subplot, you have a commercial contract gone wrong.

    Anyway, look at what the "love" story is supposed to accomplish and write it accordingly.
     
  12. TopherT
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    I think the OP is asking how couples communicate and flirt after establishing their marriage.

    Flirting is like fishing, you dangle your line in the water, waiting for something to bite. Once you get a nibble then that's that. You're done. The fishing is over. You don't keep the line in the water after the fish has been caught, unless you're a Mormon....

    I'm not saying the romance should end once the chase has ended, on the contrary, the flirting should cease but the romance should be elevated to a new level.
     
  13. Feo Takahari
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    A dirty little secret: I write the relationship between lovers the same way I write the relationship between siblings, only with boning.

    Seriously, there's a reason why so many of the juggernaut ships in fandom are incest, and it's not just the taboo. Both positive romantic relationships and positive sibling relationships are often sold to the audience by demonstrating how much the characters understand and empathize with each other. I've gotten a lot of mileage from exploiting that resemblance.

    Edit: Should have said "with," not "without," since I'm not writing Game of Thrones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  14. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, all right. Though this is what the OP asked:

    Though personally I think flirting with your spouse would be one way of keeping the relationship lively. :supercheeky:
     
  15. TopherT
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    Ah. I read it wrong. I thought he wrote "flirting AFTER the relationship", which sounds rather odd, cue my slightly flabbergasted response. lol

    [/QUOTE]Though personally I think flirting with your spouse would be one way of keeping the relationship lively. :supercheeky:[/QUOTE]

    Ah yes, the "strangers at the bar" method, or the "playing doctors" form of roleplaying. Classics. You know the ones, strange guy meets strange girl at the bar and they flirt shamelessly, not knowing that either already has a partner back home. *wink, wink*. Or the "Oh! My Jenkings! Your temperate is at a dangerously low scale, we have to get you to bed and find a way of raising it!" - Gonna love double entendres.
     

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