Top Ten Ways Authors convince readers the Hero is in love with the Heroine (and vice versa)
by Kristin Holt
He may not say "I love you" often, but he goes out of his way to make sure she feels it.
How do romance authors convince readers their fictional characters are falling in love?
Authors employing strategies, including (but not limited to):
(Note: I'll substitute Hero and Heroine interchangeably for readability. None of these are gender-specific.)
1) Enough scenes together. (What ninny falls in love at one glance--and from a great distance? One Disney princess, for whom I have no professional respect. She shall remain unnamed.)
2) They talk. Really talk. Important characteristics are revealed. (It's hard to fall in love with a turnip. Even a gorgeous turnip.)
3) The heroine denies falling for him--or tries desperately to talk herself out of it. After all, it's a rotten idea, because...
4) She's the ONE woman he shouldn't fall for--because she brings up emotional stuff he doesn't want to address. (Universal fiction truth: No Conflict, No Story.)
5) Hero behaves like a man in love--in character, in gender-specific ways.
6) Even in G-Rated romances, physical attraction/awareness is part of falling in love. First or last, it must be there. Type? Boundaries? Determined by heat level and subgenre.
7) Something new is revealed and understanding occurs. Her motivations make sense, she makes sense. Readers get it without a whisper of explanation.
8) Nothing happens in a vacuum. A bad guy threatens the heroine's life, the hero is forced to act. The reader intuitively understands his motivation.
9) The heroine makes a grand gesture. The romance story arc always features one or both characters running the relationship aground. Grand gesture? She'll stand on that pitcher's mound, in front of the whole school, awaiting that first kiss...
|Grand Gesture scene from Never Been Kissed. Source: Pinterest.|
I have TWO new romances for you this month (well, make that SIX!)
Can Morgan welcome the same difficult woman as stepmother and mother-in-law?
This story is surrounded by five more sweet western historical romance novellas. Fall in love, 5 different ways!
Sophia's Leap-Year Courtship. (Preorder now! Debuts this Friday: 2-24-17)
A Fake Mail-Order Bride. A Leap-Year Courtship. A Newspaperman's Meddling. A Man in Love.
Hi! I'm Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author.
I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down) about the nineteenth century American West–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Romance Reads, Sweet Americana Sweethearts, and Romancing the Genres.
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