When you write a romance novel, the attraction between the hero and heroine needs to crackle off the pages in order to drive the story forward. So how do you set about creating this sort of chemistry?
An important aspect of attraction is mystery… the hero and the heroine need to spend time wondering about each other. A good way to create mystery in a novel is to have short, sparkling scenes of dialogue between the hero and heroine, interspersed with scenes where the main characters reflect about their interactions with the other person. The more they wonder about each other and try and figure each other out, the more they will become attracted to each other.
Another important aspect of attraction is desire… in order to keep the desire building between the hero and heroine, you should create obstacles between them that need to be overcome. This applies particularly to the hero of a novel, because the more he has to work for the heroine, the more he will appreciate her. Heroes in romance novels are often Alpha Males, who have the world (and most women) at their feet. That’s why it’s so important for men of this ilk to work hard for the heroine because heroes who have it all need to be shaken out of their complacency if they’re ever to fall properly in love.
The third important aspect of attraction is confidence… even if you’ve created a shy, retiring female character she needs to have some element of confidence in herself if she is ever to be a believable romantic heroine. If a heroine has no self-belief, it will be hard for the reader to believe in her and her love for the hero – it’ll appear to be a wishy-washy kind of thing without form or substance. The hero also needs to portray confidence in a romantic relationship so that the heroine (and the reader!) will fall in love with him. Just as a man leads a woman when they are dancing, in the same way, a man’s confidence will either sweep a woman off her feet if it is present or cause her (and the romance) to stumble if it is not.
In my next post, I will elaborate on other important elements of attraction, which are vital for a romance to be believable.