Friday, February 15, 2008

Obligatory Romancey Post

It being Valentine's Day (well, the day after, at least). I decided to do a romancey post, just to fulfill my obligation to the atmosphere of mid-February. And dog knows we need something to heat up the 18-degree temperatures around here. But you know me, I'm going to turn it into something writing-related. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.

Character romantic arcs are some of the most difficult aspects of writing. I know one of the basic tenets of romance is the arc of the progression of the relationship between the principals. And it should be fraught with conflict.

But what makes a good romantic conflict? A good realistic one? It's one of the toughest things to plot, if you ask me. Personally, I've never been involved in romantic conflict. Drama, yes. Conflict, no. Melodrama, dog yes. But nothing sustainable past the age of about 20. My own Mr. Xandra and I did not have a rocky road of love.

So I am challenged to create conflict that is worthwhile enough for characters I care about and I want others to care about. Part of the appeal in romantic fiction is seeing characters become worthy of healthy relationships through character growth. I enjoy the stories most where I can see that characters not only find love--because two dysfunctional people can find love, but that they become worthy of healthy love in the process through their own individual growth. It's rather pragmatic for a romantic notion, but one that lends realism to a romantic story, and one that inspires real hope and truly believable happy endings.

-- Xandra

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1 comment:

Savanna Kougar said...

My favorite way of writng the love story of the heroine and hero is how they grow toward one another, whether that's through overcoming impossible odds or the mundane. I like to focus on what they have to offer each other, that discovery process, and show how much they love each other, revealed to them through whatever journey they share together.