Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Do you come here often?

If you are writing romance, the first meeting between your hero and heroine is crucial. It ought to happen early, preferably on the first page, and it will probably set the tone for the rest of the book. It's the writer's equivalent of the chat up line - it needs to be interesting, memorable - plausible. Like locations for chat-ups there are favourite situations, a close encounter between vehicles in a car park, the start of a new job, some sort of mix up over a booking, where hero and heroine end up sharing anything from a hotel room to a house. Wills and inheritances are good too. As is falling, literally, into each others arms. 

He gives her flowers - is that cute?
It's frequently referred to as the 'Meet Cute' - if you can find a good one, you are probably onto a winner. But it isn't always easy. One of the complications is that instant attraction thing. Assuming you are not going down the love at first sight route, which can make it difficult to keep them apart later - why not just walk off into the sunset right now - then the couple has to go from strangers to soul mates in whatever the time span of the book happens to be. Fine if that's a year or so, but not if it's only a week. It is a bit simpler when you write romantic suspense, tension and life threatening situations turn up the heat nicely. 

Pondering this has made me wonder if this might be a reason for the apparent popularity amongst readers for 'friends to lovers' and 'lovers with past history' plots - the love story has had longer to work out, even if you don't see it all happening, and it is easier to believe that the relationship is the forever kind? 

I've been wondering as my recent ideas have all involved lovers with past history - the novella which I hope will be published this year, the one I am currently working on, which is a Romeo and Juliet type reunion, and another idea that has been bubbling on the edges. Am I taking the line of least resistance? 

Time to break out a few new ideas for a meet cute?   

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