Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Most Romantic...PROOF?

Top Ten Ways Authors convince readers the Hero is in love with the Heroine (and vice versa)

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.
10) THIS ONE IS UP TO YOU. When reading a romance, how do you know when a character has fallen in love? What do you need to see to believe it? REPLY, and tell us what the list isn't complete without!

I have  TWO new romances for you this month (well, make that SIX!)

Gunsmoke & Gingham, an anthology containing my new title The Gunsmith's Bride.

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.

I love to hear from readers! Please drop me a note. Or find me on Facebook.


 Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC


Pippa Jay said...

Great points! I would also add it's the little things they do for each other or remember about the other. Like their favourite colour, or how they like their tea. It shows they've paid attention to those details and care enough to do them.

Kristin Holt said...

Excellent addition, Pippa! I wholeheartedly agree.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Can't wait to see what others come up with!

Judith Ashley said...

Not sure I have something to add, Kristin but I do like your list and Pippa's addition. For me, the strongest relationships have a foundation on friendship or trust. So maybe share a weakness or vulnerability would be one although it could fall under one of your 9.