Before I begin I just want to say that this post is the second part in a series. Part one is available here if you haven’t read it already.
The first post in the series focused on how to begin writing an engaging romance. It was all about how people get together and that certain chemistry starts to build. In this post, we’re going to focus on not only how the relationship progresses, but most importantly, how it ends.
3. Chart a Course
This is where you need to think ahead in your planning stage of writing. How do you want the romance to spark and burn? Is it going to be a slow starter? Are they going to be friends first? Are they going to be immediately attracted to each other? Are they going to be romantically entangled with someone else first?
Now I know this seems like something that is needed in a first impression, but I left it separate because that’s just not the case. You see, two people can make their first impressions of each other without knowing anything about the other remember? This is the backup to their first impression and where the conflicts you planned out will come into play.
For example, in my novel No Rest for the Wicked, when Nico and Isabella meet for the first time, Isabella is dating another man named Stan who hates Nico with a passion. Hell, Nico may actually dislike the man even more, but that doesn’t matter.
Despite Nico being instantly attracted to Isabella, their romantic spark develops differently. You see, Nico comes to appreciate Isabella for her supportive and optimistic nature mixed with her independent personality. Isabella on the other hand is drawn to Nico because he actually treats her well, the opposite of Stan who has a tendency to be controlling.
They each bring out the best in each other, and I wrote it like this for a reason. You see, the story ends on a darker note for all characters involved, and I wanted to highlight that drama and pain as you see each character growing in a positive light.
4. How’s it Going to End?
You need to have a clear vision of what form the romance will take by the end of the story. Why? Because it helps you to frame the development of the romance’s progression. Also, this helps you make sure that your romance fits the theme and emotional through line of the story. Nothing is worse than a romantic relationship in a story that seems ham handed and out-of-place.
Like I said earlier, I wanted Nico and Isabella’s relationship to help them grow throughout the story, despite its dark ending. I wanted it to go like this for two reasons.
They are actually separated at the end of the book.
After that separation, their relationship may never come back to life.
I know, I’m a downer, but seriously. Just follow along with me.
I wrote the romance like this because I wanted to give the sense of neither would have been able to handle the end of the novel without the influence they had on each other. Secondly, I also wanted each person to have something to possibly come back to. Through this it gives them not only motivation and scope for their actions in the following books, but also it’s rife with possibilities for plots and sub plots.
In all honesty, I used their romance to set up the development for the characters not only in No Rest for the Wicked, but for the books following it.
I’m curious how you’ve already used and/or thinking of using them in the future!
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Think I’m nuts? Whatever you do think, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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