Sunday, February 13, 2011
Romantic Tension - A Valentine's Day post!
Whether you write mysteries, historical fiction, or straight up romance, you need to know how to generate romantic tension.
Notice I did not say sexual tension. Sure, if you write erotica you probably are going to focus more on the physical attraction, but for just about every other genre, we are really talking about the emotional attraction, the romance of it all.
Even in more male oriented genre fiction, the more crackle you can create, the better it compliments the other 'action' in the piece.
Now many people's first instinct is to go to the "opposites attract" model. You know, the "Moonlighting" or "Romancing the Stone" type of romance where the couple bicker the whole time.
Now if the dialogue is witty enough and the story moves along fast enough you can pull this off, however not all romantic tension has to take the form of confrontation.
The sideways glance or accidental brushing of the shoulder can go a long way to building up tension without all that annoying arguing. Not to say that your couple should be all lovey-dovey and agree on anything. That is on the other end of the spectrum... boring.
So somewhere between annoying and boring is an entire land of romantic tension just waiting to be generated.
The single most important factor to generating true spark is you must have some reason why the couple doesn't just fall in love and spoon constantly.
Because if you do your job and show the couple's attraction, you now must create a reason to keep them apart. Obviously bickering can do it. The two can't get over their pride to show their true feelings.
But what about it you don't want them bickering? There are an infinite number of other ways such as...
One or both are in another relationship or promised to another (although you need to be careful on this one because disloyalty is a major sympathy-crusher for a character)
One or both are afraid of commitment
One or both knows or holds a horrible secret about themselves or the other and fear if they are too intimate, they will spill the beans
One or both have a body issues that make it difficult for them to feel intimate
One or both of them have a task or quest that feels like it does not allow for romance
One or both of them have either parental or mentor related interference to the romance. (Romeo & Juliet)
Now that was a very short list of a very long set of techniques that can be used to distance your lovers.
There should be a yearning (or awakening to yearn) with an equally strong reason they can't get together. That is what creates the tension part of romantic tension :-)
Join me on Saturday at 2pm PST on my LIVE radio show as we discuss all the various forms of romantic tension and how you can ratchet yours up!
Want to see romantic tension in action?
Then check out Amber Scott's romantic comedy "Play Fling." This is her "Bestseller for a Day" event 2/14/11 so "Play Fling" is only 99 cents today!
Click on "Play Fling" to go to her Kindle page and help her march up the charts.
There are also two "Bonus Buys" associated with "Bestseller for a Day." Basically if you purchase "Play Fling" at the same time as Amber's erotic novel "Love Lust" and/or my contemporary romance "Indian Moon" you can get your full purchase price of "Love Lust"/"Indian Moon" completely rebated.
That's right, if you work it right, you can get 3 amazing V-day reads for less than a buck! #awesome. Just had over to the www.bestsellerforaday.com site for more details!