It’s Blog Chain time again.
Sandra started this time, with the following topic:
Do you write romantic relationships in your books? If so, what do you do to show the attraction between your characters? What problems do your characters encounter? What qualities do you think make a romantic relationship work in fiction? If you wish, feel free to include examples of your favorite couples.
Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
— Denis Diderot
I don’t consider myself a romance writer in any way. Yet, I do consider myself a romantic person – and that romanticism seeps into my writing most of the time.
The dictionary defines romantic as an adjective meaning passionate or fervent. Therefore, although we typically think of romantic relationships as “love” or erotic relationships – the broader meaning could include any relationship in our stories that are passionate and intense in nature. And in that respect. all of my stories are romantic.
But, that’s not exactly what Sandra was asking, and I digress. Sandra wanted to know about the more typical romantic relationships within our stories. I do sprinkle every story I write with an element of romance – at least in my novels.
I write young adult stories. And one of the core events for young adults is first love and early romance. I think that is why it finds its way into every storyline I write, even though I never start off planning to write a YA Romance story. It’s just one of those themes that really resonate with my intended audience.
Sandra’s other questions centered around the way in which we showed attraction and conflict. Like anything, both are shown through the thoughts and behaviors of the characters.
Because YA characters are typically intense in their feelings (a by product of their age), attraction usually has an almost obsessive quality to it. And while my characters don’t usually cross the “sex” line in the physical nature of their relationships, there is a strong physical element – the first kiss, the nature of their touch, the mental aspect of their physical attraction – all of this is woven throughout their intimate scenes.
Conflict is a necessary part of fiction. As many people before in the chain have said, it drives the plot forward. Given the intense emotional nature of romance, it is not surprising that conflict within the romance is a nice way to keep things moving as well. Betrayal, denial, torment – all of these are enhanced when there is a romantic dynamic to them.
At the start of the post I mentioned that I was a romantic at heart. And I really am – I ultimately want the couples to wind up together, regardless of the things standing in their way. I want them to overcome tough odds, only to find out that they are stronger together than apart.
For that reason, most of my stories ultimately have the romantic pairing end up together – even if it is in the mos tragic of ways. In my first books, the CHAOS TRILOGY, the main character ultimately finds her way back to her romantic partner – but not without major internal transformation on the part of both characters. In my current project, FORBIDDEN REDEMPTION, the romantic partners never end up together – although their relationship is the catalyst for significant internal transformation as well.
(And after all, doesn’t any romantic relationship require the people involved to undergo a personal transformation to move that relationship from romance to love – I think so.)
Okay, so the last part of Sandra’s question…romantic couples in literature that I like…Hmmm.
In YA literature, I really like Jannie and Cabe in the WAKE series, and Seth and Ash in the WICKED LOVELY series.
In adult literature, Romeo and Juliet has always been one of my favorite examples of first love and the passion (or tragedy) inherent in it(in fact, this tragedy has been very influential in my current WiP).
I’m picking the topic in July…Mwahahahaha – so be sure to keep your eyes open for that!