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Romance… *nervous cough*

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  • #43425
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    My thanks to whomever had the courage to click on this topic. I realize that most of us are teens, so we don’t have much experience in the romance field, but I guess you don’t have to be in love to write about it. But that’s also my dilemma…

    So, I’m trying to decide whether or not I should include a romance in my WIP, Firefly Town. I already have a wedding in the book, of two small side characters, Gloria and Harper, and I’m trying to decide if Gloria’s older brother, Clay, should fall in love with the protagonist, Felicity. Felicity crashes her bike a few miles from Firefly Town and Clay is the first person she meets, then his mom and sister, Gloria.

    Gloria’s wedding is rather easy to do as I’ve seen tons of weddings and the couple isn’t featured much, so I don’t need to go into detail about their feelings, etc.

    Clay and Felicity however, would be much harder. The story is first person, which means a bunch of Felicity’s inside thoughts, and writing first person romance would probably be a struggle… I mean, it’s not like I have much experience with it. I have, like… zero. If I did make them fall for each other, it would probably still be very simple and subtle. No kissing or whatever. 😛 😀 I don’t want it to distract from the main plot of the book. But it would still be uncharted waters for me.

    So…

    1. Would you say go for it? In your experience is writing romance not that hard? Is it amazingly difficult? What do you like to see and not see in story romance?

    2. If you do have experience in writing romance, can you give me some pointers? What do people… do? I mean, are there certain ways they act, how do you portray a person realizing they’ve fallen in love… etc?

    3. I don’t know if anyone on here is actually in love in real life, but if you happen to be, then do you have some real-life tips? How does it feel? Awkward? Amazing? How do you exactly express your love to someone for the first time? If that’s way too personal, don’t feel obliged to answer.

    Thank you in advance!

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #43431
    Parker Hankins
    @parker

    I think you should go for it, @anne-of-lothlorien! Another genre included will grow your audience.

    Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.

    #43433
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @anne-of-lothlorien (Nice name!)

    Okay… I have never written in this field… But I might have some writerly advice. First lemme tag some people though, and then I can work off what other peoples says.


    @brandon-miller
    , because I know how much you LOVE this topic 😉


    @jane-maree
    , because you’ve had lots of experience writing, and very well might have helpful advice.


    @scribbles
    , because I know you’ve written in this subject before.


    @ericawordsmith
    , because you are my kinsman in name.


    @evelyn
    , surely between the two of us we can stir up some kind trouble.

     

    Now! Before I try to offer any advice… What is it you are most worried about in trying it? What is the thing you are worried will be the hardest thing for you?

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #43442
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @parker Thanks for the encouragement! I’m leaning a bit more towards doing it, but I’m still not sure.


    @wordsmith
    – Your compliment is received with thanks. My best friend calls me Anne because I love the Anne of Green Gables books and I also live in Lothlorien, so I decided to combine the two for my internet name.

    Oh, @brandon-miller, this topic interests you? 😉 I’d be grateful for your advice

    Now, now, @wordsmith, @evelyn, let’s not have trouble on a nice innocent topic. 😛


    @wordsmith
    – Unrealistic romance. That’s my greatest fear. Because I’m not in love yet, I have no personal experience from which to draw on and I’m afraid that I won’t make it convincing. I have no idea how you think about a guy you’re in love with, how you act, etc. I’ve read several books before with romance subplots that just didn’t feel authentic; too easy-cheesy or problems free. Or there’s too much passion and kissing and never any talking about their relationship, or the reasons they love each other besides ‘she’s pretty’ or ‘he saved my life’, or working through trials together. If I decide to have them fall in love, I want people to believe that they genuinely love about each other and can live the rest of their lives together.

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #43453
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @anne-of-lothlorien

    1. I’d go for it. It might actually make the novel more realistic, though that depends on what age these characters are. If they’re over sixteen, I think it might be natural for it to happen (though it does depend on their upbringing). As for how hard it is…I find it easy? I had a couple in a novel I wrote over a year ago and my alpha reader (*cough* my mom) said I wrote the romance well. Then, in a more recent novel, I came out with a love triangle, and though no one has read that yet, I’d say it came out pretty well 😛 So while having a whole plot revolve around romance isn’t my thing, I think it makes a novel realistic and often more relatable, especially if it stays at the awkward stage (which is incredibly fun to write 😉 )

    2. As for pointers…I can’t bring to mind any tangible ones at the moment 😛 A lot of what I picked up was from reading books and watching movies. There’s a really sweet romance in Jaye L. Knight’s Ilyon Chronicles, and that helped me a lot. I think the biggest thing is to distinguish between love and attraction. Love is just how it’s defined in the Bible: wishing the best for people and genuinely striving to make them happy, etc. Attraction is more of a magnetic force between opposite genders, if I can put it that way. Like subtly thinking “oh wow, he’s cute” or “man, she’s pretty” or just ending up stupidly grinning at each other, stuttering, and thinking about the other person more than would be normal. Attraction would probably happen much more quickly than actual love. Beyond that, it would depend on the character, as some would deny they have “feelings” for the other, or be happy about it, etc.

    3. Erm… no. Though, depending on the age of your characters, I’d bet you’ll have room for lots of awkward moments 😛 And from dreaming up the perfect romance for one of my protagonists, the guy who fell for her just started doing nice things for her… until they were in a life-or-death situation and it finally came out into the open XD

    I will also add that how these characters fall in love with each other will, again, depend on who they are as people. Do they have self-control in this area, are they looking for a partner right now, are they allowed to have a partner right now, do they actually want to fall in love, what do they think about love, do they just want to be friends and not lovers, but end up becoming lovers anyway — those might be some questions to consider, as it will affect how their relationship develops and plays out.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. It’s weird how much I actually wrote up here when I have no experience in the field of romance. I hope it helps somewhat 😛

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #43455
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    Oh, I forgot to add: your parents might have some helpful tips. Probably more realistic than mine 😛

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #43461
    Evelyn
    @evelyn
    #43462
    Evelyn
    @evelyn

    To be serious though… (I don’t have time to write out all my thoughts on romance and romance in novels/movies etc and in which doing I’d probably offend a lot of people… XD) but one thought: two people can love each other but still not be compatible for marriage.

    For other tips, as a certain friend of mine says if you ever approach him for counseling: “Go talk to your parents.” 😉

    #43471
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @anne-of-lothlorien

    I agree with @morreafirebird in the difference between love and attraction. Those are two words that get used interchangeably, in our culture, far more than they should.

    And on top of that I think it’s important to remember what @evelyn said: “Two people can love each other but still not be compatible for marriage.” 

    As @morreafirebird and @evelyn (and that friend of hers) say, asking your parents is very likely a good start.

    A few questions need to be asked… Are these two characters getting married in the end? Or are you just creating a tension there that will lead to another plot point? What is the final destination. Secondly how do they get to that final destination… Because they my show general love for each other, but not be attracted until it’s all said and done. Though they may be attracted to each other and find they don’t want to live with each other for the rest of their lives, but through trial come to get married, and it’s a good thing.

    If you can answer these kinds of questions, and think about what would be a healthy relationship that builds up to marriage versus an unhealthy relationship that builds up to marriage, I think that will help you a lot.

    Does that help at all? (feel free to ask more specific questions)

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #43472
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @anne-of-lothlorien

    It’s not that hard.

    Um…I don’t really know what to say.

    1. Don’t shy away from the strong emotions because that’s kinda the whole theme.

    2. Be subtle. Unless you’re writing satire and trying to be funny. Just because a character has strong feelings doesn’t mean they want to share them ALL with the reader. Sheesh. Think about the poor protagonist! You kinda want to touch and feel the emotions without fully spelling them out, just like you should handle all character emotions.

    3. There will be ups and downs…but don’t make it a reality show.

    4. Good romances start with good characters.

    😀
    👕👍
    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    #43476
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @morreafirebird Thanks –  Felicity is actually 20, so definitely old enough. And I would say that it would be normal for her to be very open to a relationship were she actually feels loved, because her foster parents didn’t give her that and she’s really alone. So I think not having a lot of love in her life would mean she’s needing it more. As I’m thinking about this I’m deciding and writing it out, so @wordsmith, @evelyn, @morreafirebird, I may answer your questions as I go…

    The guy, Clay, I think, but I haven’t decided it quite yet, is a litle hesitant to do this because he’s not totally sure yet, as I think a lot of people are, that this is truly the right thing right now. He never went to college and is a writer, (hmm, wonder where I got the idea?) and he’s trying to get a history of their town published. So he doesn’t really know if being in a serious relationship would be the right thing. But I don’t really show a lot of that, because it’s written from Felicity’s pov and of course she can’t read his thoughts. So his true feelings for her won’t come out until the end, I think. At the end I’m thinking that I will have him, when she is trying to decide if she’ll leave or not, because it isn’t her home town, she crashed there on her bike when her foster parents threw her out, anyways, run-ons are awful, aren’t they, I think he’s going to tell her that he wants her to stay. And, duh, she will, but they’re engagement or wedding won’t be in the book. No time. XD XD

    Um, so, new thoughts… Felicity sort of likes him, though I’d say not as in a ‘I want to date this guy’, pretty much right from the moment they meet because she’s never had much experience with people that are as compassionate and serving as him and his mom and sister, and I think if you don’t have experience with kind people that you’d get attached to them right away. His dad died from cancer, her parents are gone, so they share that in their lives… uh… They really begin to form a bond over a little girl, Angel, who has mental disorders, and I think that Felicity realizes that he’s really the kind of person that she would be willing to consider thinking more seriously about as she sees his tenderness towards Angel, and she begins to sort of care for him as more than the first nice person she’s met. Clay is a little more slow to realize that she matters more to him than a girl his mom took in, but I think he really does realize it more towards the end when presented with the possibility of her leave. Kind of like Love Comes Softly, if you’ve ever seen that.

    The main goal, I think, that I’m going for, is to present it in the way that the reader knows they are falling in love and will eventually marry, but I’m trying to make it not be the thing that gets her through her hard time in life, I mean, not that love can’t help us through trials, but that she resolves things about her past and her ‘family’ throwing her out, and all the feelings of resentments on her own between her and God. It’s not ‘Oh, I have a boyfriend so I can just ignore that stuff now and live happily ever after’, it’s, ‘I have forgiven them and dealt with that, so now I can have a boyfriend and live happily ever after.’

    The one thing that is going to make this interesting is that in this book I have a slightly un-realistic people-reading thing she has, like she can ‘see feelings’. You know, in the book I describe her seeing people’s feelings, like tangibly. Like, um… “I was about to ask where Leonard was I saw a wisp of sadness slip in the back door of her heart-house and peek out through a window. I smiled sadly.” Or… “As that sadness faded into the floor, a new feeling slipped out from Mollie Mae’s heart and draped around her neck, hanging soft like a winter scarf. It was one I’d never seen before, one I might never have even called a feeling. Sweet remembrance. And it fit. It went this this beautiful, fragile young woman like fudge to a sundae. It even sounded perfect. Mollie Mae, sweet remembrance.”

    So seeing his feelings of confusion and awkwardness will be confusing and awkward for her as well. And add another layer of dimension-ness-thingy to their relationship. I’m just hoping I don’t mess it up.

    Yes, the difference between love and attraction is not understood right nowadays, and I think that’s why a lot of divorces are happening, because people marry someone they think makes them happy and feel good and they like without a deeper relationship that isn’t based on looks and feelings. Then when they don’t ‘feel’ that love anymore, they think it isn’t working, but they don’t realize that love is a choice; choosing to still love and care for a person even when you doesn’t feel nice at the moment, like you still love a sibling even when they’re being super annoying.

    Asking my parents, plus a girl I know who is courting right now is on my list. I should have enough information because my parents have been telling me stories about how they met and fell in love for years, but I still feel like I don’t have the knowledge to go for it yet.

    So, @wordsmith, I’m just curious, and maybe too much so, but have you had personal experience, because your writing advice seems very good, or are you just like fifteen or something? I mean, not that I’d discount your advice just because it wasn’t from experience, but since it seems very good I was just wondering if you it was, or you learned it from observing siblings, or just studying it in books a lot or what? Whatever, if that was too personal and prying, don’t feel obliged to answer. I’m used to talking with a bunch of girls who share things like this easier than I suspect guys do, so… yeah, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

     

     

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #43477
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @thanks for the tips, daeus-lamb

    I’m trying to find the balance between subtle and there, you know? I mean, romance isn’t the main plot, it’s not a romance book, but I want it to add to her character development, but I don’t want it to distract from it either.

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #43481
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    Can’t believe I did that. I meant…

    Thanks for the tips, @daeus-lamb

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #43485
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @anne-of-lothlorien hmm, that seems like it could work. Since it’s not the central part of the plot, it will probably be on the side quite a bit, especially if it’s not going to be causing a lot of conflict. Just slipping in a little hint of love here and there and having a few thoughts would probably get it by fine. Again, I have little clue about romance, but like Daeus mentioned, it’s very subtle. At the stage your characters will be at they won’t be proclaiming they love each other, and they’re sensible they won’t even be saying they like each other. They’ll just be nice to each other, probably wondering if the other person likes them too, until it comes out at the end. Unless they’re in a courtship, where things will be very out in the open.

    People-reading like that is realistic if your character as the right MBTI 😉 An INFJ or INFP would do the trick. INFJ would be especially good because we’re great at reading other peoples’ emotions then obsessing over what they mean and what’s going on in that person’s life that creates them and how we might be able to help them feel better but at the same time feeling totally inadequate to do anything. XD

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #43487
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    @morreafirebird – I don’t know if you quite got the idea of the seeing feelings things, but I just wanted to explain a bit more if I can, I don’t know if it’s not coming out right.

    It’s not just that she can sense people’s feelings, like a normal sensitive person who knows when you need to talk and when they need to just shut up and let you cry on their shoulder. It’s really that she can see them, truly see the shapes of the feelings and what they do, walking besides people holding hands, sitting on their shoulder, dancing around their hearts. One of my favorite cool things about that is that she’s at a rainstorm celebration, when they play music and sing and dance to celebrate that the rain came after a drought. She sees a pile of feelings at the edge of the circle, feelings like guilt, and doubt, and anger, things that people have left and forgotten for one night while they truly enjoy everything.

    I haven’t yet figured out their MBTI’s yet. I know it can be useful, but I’m not as obsessed with it as some people, and I’m also not good at identifying what ones my characters are. I have yet to take it as her, so maybe i’ll go do that now.

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

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