Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine Ideas for the Romance Writer

Since I don't write romances, this is a bit of a stretch for me, although I'll have you know that even in a Christian fiction or cozy mystery book there can be a bit of romance.

Photo by Adam Bell Photography, courtesy of Flickr
And, need I say it, I have had a bit of romance in the almost 33 years that I have been married.

So here goes:

The best books I've read that have had romance in them (even if they've only included one small kissing scene) do one of three things. They:

1. Keep you Guessing. The entire Valentine scene isn't spelled out. In my mind, the best romance isn't handed out on a silver platter, it takes some imagination to finish out the scene. That means that the reader is finishing out the kissing and what comes after it, not the writer.

2. Are Realistic. Most of the best romance happens on the spur of the moment, not on some long drawn out planned event. Sure, you may take your best girl to Hawaii for Valentine's Day, but it's not the flower petals that really get her, it's the flooding in the hotel that proves her man's devotion to her.

Photo by: Ryan Jarvis Photography, courtesy of Flickr
3. Keep You Wanting More. There is a lead up that first kiss. It isn't always easy and there are many obstacles to overcome before the romance happens. Heck, she may not even like him at first. Beginning the romance before it's time is kind of like taking the relationship to the next level before it's time. And yes, this does happen in real life, so if you decide to make this an issue in your book, be very sure to give your main character some time to heal or learn from the 'too soon' jump.

Valentine's Day, or at least those Valentine moments can be used in every book as long as the reader is kept guessing, feels like the romance is realistic, and the obstacles, including time, keep them wanting more.

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