Romance in Writing....First Meeting How To Set the Scene
Romance writing....First meeting.
Romance writing has come a long way from when i first started reading them in my early teens, gone are bodice ripping pirates and swooning maids. Now our romances novels branch across many different genres; Historical Romance, Regency Romance , Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Young Adult Romance and even Erotica is finding its place.
One strong element in all of these books is a solid and gripping first meeting between our intended sweethearts. I Believe there are 5 key things to remember when writing and editing your first meeting.
You can have the best plot in the world but if your characters are boring, or even worse come across as flat, then no one will read about them for very long. Take time out to flesh out your characters, write a bio about them, what do they look like? what do they do for a living, what skills do they have outside of work?
do they have any flaws or strange quirks. Write a history brief or long about their lives, achievements and failures. maybe you could interview them on paper. the more you know about them the better you will be able to share that with the reader
Do this for both of them and not only will it help you strengthen the characters but it will give you a valuable resources to refer back too later in your writing.
Now I am not sure if this is a golden rule or not, but too me it is. The characters need to meet, even if its one sided, by the end of the first chapter. It is after all a romance novel and the readers want to know who to form attachments too. You need to keep their attention.
It also helps keep the momentum of the story moving. As a writer I can get stuck revealing too much early on or getting bogged down in detail about my characters that my readers don’t really need to know. Having the aim that need to meet helps me sort the information the readers need now from information I can reveal later in the story. And if I do miss something I can always add it in later.
This word speaks for itself. The intended love birds need to have attraction for each other from the moment they meet, even if they don’t want to feel that way.
There is nothing without chemistry. It’s up to the writer to get this across to the reader.
Good old fashioned lust goes a long way in getting two characters together, make it believable, build it up for the reader so by the time the characters do finally act on their feelings the reader is wanting them too, not sitting there wondering where that came from.
Read about body language, and don't be shy to look up flirting tips. Watch those around you, how they interact.
Attraction is a vital ingredient in getting the realism of your romance alive to the reader, getting them invested in the story, that they want to keep reading it.
Ah conflict, without this there is no story; the best way that I have learnt to create conflict between characters is sit down and write out at least ten different things that would stop these two characters that I want to be together from actually reaching their happy ever after ending. That’s ten for each of them.
Then Write out ways that they will be able to work though or over come this obstacle to true love; again this is worth the time, as you will soon be able to weed out the working ideas from the ones that will stall the story.
Why does this need to be part of the first meeting? Again it’s about keeping the readers interest. Without conflict, be it situation or personal, there is no reason for them to read the story.
After all the characters have met, they are strongly attracted to each other, but without conflict they reach their happy ever after. In chapter one.
There needs to be a situation or a personal conflict between the characters to keep the reader wondering what happens next. It’s the Biggest cog that keeps your story turning.
It is important to be consistent with your descriptions of your characters, especially if you are changing P.O.V a lot. If he likes her crystal blue eyes the most, and suddenly he staring into green eyes you are going to throw your reader.
I find taking two photos or artwork that I can base my characters off is a really good place to start. Put them up where you can see them at all times, write down in a notebook what it is each character likes about the other physically, sexually.
That way you can drop these tidbits in from the very moment they meet in your story.
Writing and editing is an evolving thing, And I like you are always looking for ways to make my writing better so if you have any ideas that you could add please don’t hesitate to add a comment or contact me :)
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