Love or hate, writing romance is all about emotions.
I’ve judged hundreds of contest entries, read thousands of books and reviewed a few dozen. And gotten to the point where I’ll stop reading if the story lacks a certain pizzazz. I’ve noticed the same mistakes by beginning authors. The emotion doesn’t jump off the page and grab the reader.
For example: I love you- Okay, sweet. How about: I adore you- sounds a little more exciting. Or I hate you can be I despise you, I detest you – lots more feeling there.
I’ve learned you need to go over the top to hook your reader.
Check that word in your thesaurus. I bet there a bunch of other, better words to use.
That’s a problem, too. You start with the excited tingle; increase it to shiver, shake, and shudder and then what –
To sustain the over the top emotions can be exhausting for the reader as well as the hero and heroine. We need to shake them up. Drop them into an abyss of despair. Cut off all that love and give ‘em a jolt. Switch the emotion to the other side of the spectrum. Give her a gulp of guilt to sour the sweet love feelings or a dose of bitter regret.
Oh so many wonderful emotions to pick from. Don’t be boring.
Sure a romance is about the triumph of love, but there won’t be much of a celebration if he quietly woos her, she decides to share her life and they live happily ever after, with two babies and a white picket fence.
Throw in the biggest monkey wrench you can devise. If their love survives a catastrophe, death, horrid mistakes in judgment or the evil actions of that villain, then the story is a winner.
Good luck with those rewrites!
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