1. Thank you all for your patience with our technical errors. We think we've fixed it, but please do report anything that's not working right, by posting on the 'minor bugs' thread in Support and Feedback, which can be found here.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,676

    Epiphanies About Romance

    Discussion in 'Romance Forums' started by BayView, Jul 7, 2017.

    I'd been writing Romance for a few years before I realized that the central challenge of romance lies in the careful balancing act required by whatever is keeping the main characters apart. The obstacle needs to be serious enough to make readers believe in the struggle to be together (which, of course, is the central issue of the book). But it also needs to be surmounted by the end of the book, in a definitive enough way to allow a convincing HEA.

    Possibly this is incredibly obvious to everyone else (once I'd realized it, it seemed obvious to me, too) but it was a really valuable discovery to me at the time I made it. If we ramp up one side of the equation (the reasons to be apart) we need to ramp up the other side as well (the resolution of those issues). And the more we ramp up each side (within the bounds of realism) the more dramatic the story will be.

    Anyone else had any epiphanies/realizations about Romance? Even if they seem obvious to you now, there was a time when they weren't, so... share! Maybe someone else here hasn't realized whatever it is yet!
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    10,212
    Location:
    London, UK
    I discovered that early on. *smug look* Another element I put with that is the "black moment" has to be carefully balanced, if there is one. It has to seem to the characters that all hope is lost and they won't be together, but the reasons for them thinking that have to be redeemable and convincing. And definitely not based on a misunderstanding that could be cleared up with one conversation...

    It took me longer to realise the obstacles don't actually have to be huge to make a convincing story. In Bay's terms, a book doesn't have to be highly "dramatic" to work. I can see a progression in my manuscripts: each one has progressively 'smaller' obstacles, and progressively less external and more internal. In the latest one, all that's keeping them apart is fear of being hurt, as opposed to my first manuscript where he was hiding the fact that he murdered people and she had a phobia of being touched...

    I still like that first one, though, and I don't think it's as ridiculous as it sounds when played out over 90k words.

    This is harder to put into words but I learned that chemistry is about the characters making each other feel things that other people don't make them feel. The heroine should be more... alive?... when the hero is in a scene with her than when she's in a scene with her friends. Alive isn't quite the right word. It could be that he makes her feel more comfortable, more able to be herself, than others... or he makes her laugh... or he annoys her more than anyone else (enemies to lovers). And vice versa. They have to 'sparkle' more with each other than without each other. Of course, they still have to have personality and be complete people without each other, because I don't buy into co-dependence as romance. But they each bring out the other's personality.

    I'm rambling.
     
    BayView likes this.
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,844
    Likes Received:
    20,803
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    I'll chime in with The Romantic Obstacleâ„¢. It's not at all easy without falling into the ditch of lampoon, which lies on both sides of the thin path between.

    I'm worried right now that the obstacle in my story isn't really valid because I based my conflict on a kind of proxy war between Brenn's mother and uncle. But, this proxy war has as a goal of each respective side that the relationship between Brenn and Tevin flourish. Is the resentment of manipulation enough to drive them apart until they find their own, unmanipulated path? I don't know yet. That's a rhetorical question, clearly, since its resolution is mine to write and is the crux of the matter.
     
    BayView likes this.
  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,448
    Likes Received:
    3,952
    I tend to have more subtle/surmountable obstacles in my stories for some reason. I think Tenderisier hit the nail on the head with "all that's keeping them apart is fear of being hurt." Because I honestly thin that's usually one of the biggest obstacle in real-life romance, and a lot of readers can identify with that. Oh sure, I'll throw in TV cameras (UTK), the ethical dilemma of personal trainers dating clients (Gravity) or ghostly happenings (Lifted Spirits), but that's mostly smoke and mirrors. It's really more about getting my MCs to the point where they can freely give their trust and hearts to each other that's the biggest obstacle they need to overcome.
     
    BayView likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice