Romance: Formula & Fizz

I’m so grateful for my beta readers. By the time a manuscript is ready for eyes other than mine, I’ve sunk so many hours into the beast that total objectivity is no longer possible. This is the point where my test readers become my knights-in-shining; they tell me what’s working and what needs a tweak (or overhaul).

Recently, a reader for my young adult novel reported apathy regarding the book’s central romantic pair. For her, their tie to one another wasn’t compelling enough for it to seem justified when the heroine surrenders her dreams in order to remain with the hero.

Obviously, I would’ve preferred for her to gush over my love birds. But this kind of honest feedback is enormously helpful, indispensable… and a good reminder of the two elements essential for writing the kind of romantic relationships readers want to sink into:

  1. Puzzle-Piecing (Yup, this is a newly-coined term, à la yours truly.)
  2. Chemistry

Continue reading “Romance: Formula & Fizz”

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Love is a Many-Splendored Thing….

Lately, I’ve been doing a fair bit of thinking about romantic love within story-telling. It’s been said that love makes the world go ’round. Nowhere is this truer than in the microcosm of fiction. Holding what may be a unique position in writing, romantic love is equally popular as a plot point and a story theme.

Of course, the way love manifests in these roles is incredibly varied. Love as a theme might be true love or love unrequited, love’s futility or love’s endurance. Love as a plot point might be the reunion of childhood sweethearts or the fracture of a mature marriage; jealous love turning a character to rage, or sustaining love uplifting a character from despair.

But at the center of these variations is the core concept of romantic love, at once divinely simple and inexpressibly complex.

My philosophical waxing on this subject is inspired by my current novel project. Continue reading “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing….”