A good friend and writing colleague of mine recently asked me for advice about writing good romance into a story and it got me thinking…
A dangerous passtime…
Yeah, I know, but I thought I’d share some of my advice here…
So you’ve got two characters. They’re getting close… very close… but you don’t want this to become a romance novel. So how do you bring a romantic element into the story without it going fully over to the romance side of things…
Well honestly… make it an element, a plot point, just don’t make it the major point of the story. If the romance is anything more than a side mention, you’re doing something wrong.
The way I see it is that you can approach this from two ways; passively, which is what I do if I want it hinted that my characters like or love each other, but don’t want a major romantic element.
So let’s say you’ve made your decision. You know the characters are going to end up together. You want the readers to want these characters together. You want the mush, you want all that… so how do you prevent it from completely taking over the book like it so easily can?
Well first of all, donate one or two scenes to it. Don’t bring it up over and over. Let the characters experience everything once and then move on.
Second way… downplay it! In some of my more recent novels, I make the characters out to be friends, casual daters or… sex buddies at most. It’s not until the end of the story where one character reveals that they love the other… and honestly it’s only at this point that the romantic sub-plot has it’s effect.
Third way, keep the romance in hint only. What do I mean by that? Don’t come right out and say anything. Let them show affection for each other, but not like outright romantic affection. Let them connect slowly, compliment each other, work well together, and don’t even use the word ‘love.’
In any case, those are the ways I typically use. Let me know what you think in the comments.
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I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
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Catch you on the flip side!