Romance… *nervous cough*

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    Anne of Lothlorien

    @morreafirebird What do you know I took the MBTI test as Felicity and she came out and INFJ! I’m an I/ENFP, btw, so hopefully I can have some good experience personally to write from. She is very much based on myself, actually.

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

    Buddy J.


    Okay… So the way it seems to be going, it sounds more like a major plot point than a minor one. If you’re gonna make it a minor plot point, I think you would need to make is far far more implicit then it sounds to me as a reader. In fact maybe don’t imply it… that way when you get to the end the reader may not have been expecting it per say, but when you make the reveal, it’s almost as if they didn’t quite catch on (until this point), but it was all kind of there. (like what @daeus-lamb is saying)

    Now I shall answer your last question… Honestly I probably do have all of these things collected in my mind through experience, though  probably not in the same kind of experience you are thinking.

    First I will say that I have two older siblings who went are now married, and went through and engagement/courtship process. This is probably not where I got most of my ideas though, because they each married the first person they courted.

    Second, our family has never done recreational dating. One of rules dad says is that we don’t get to talk about getting married, until we are capable of supporting a wife. And on top of that my parents have pointed out things that are unhealthy in relationships as well as things that are healthy.

    Third, Our family went through a chaotic time of life, where we were stuck in a cultic community (who called themselves a church), and in that time frame I went through a crash-course on  relationships (in general, not romantic). I was able to see what was un-healthy in a relationship, what was healthy, what healed, what damaged.

    And from that time forward, I’ve been taught and shown how much responsibility I have as a male. My parents have done a lot to teach what it means to be a gentleman. They point out where the gentleman is well portrayed in movies/literature, and where he is not. So much of the way I’m being raised is about how not to have healthy relationships (in general) with anyone we come into contact with.  And where we get those ideas is from The Bible.

    On top of all that, I have been teaching martial arts for the past year and a half, and in that I have learned so much as far as leadership and healthy communication.

    So no… I have not had experience in romantic type relationships, but I have seen examples of both good and bad, I’ve been taught to look out for dangerous and unhealthy relationships, and people like my pastor and parents help in keeping my eyes open as far as what is healthy vs unhealthy.

    So if someone is not relationally healthy outside of romantic relationships, they won’t be healthy within. Those kinds of relationships don’t fix personal problems, they only compound them. When you live with someone as opposed to see them once in a while, or even weekly, you begin to see more of the sin nature in them. Now, in the marriage relationship, if the people are healthy, they will grow, and work together to better. So I guess one of the key factors in all of this is that we understand that this kind of relationship does not fix us… But if we work together with our spouse, in a healthy way, there will be growth.

    So overall, this is something that has been instilled in my throughout my growing up years. Which has been a great blessing, and I thank God for. It has been hard at times (like being in the cultic community), but we learn so much in time like that.

    Now, that’s not to say that I’m an expert, at all. But I can still have a knowledgeable conversation on this topic, without being left in the dust. And I thank both God and my parents for that.

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

    Anne of Lothlorien

    @wordsmith – Thanks for the tip. I see what you mean about it becoming too major. I think as I was thinking about it I got more and more involved. 😀 I really do want to back off, so I think I’ll take your suggestion and have it not very prominent at all until the end. Actually, I’m formulating the ending and if you don’t mind reading it, having a ‘spoiler’, I’d like to post it up here and see if you think it’s way too shocking at the end and random or just right.

    That’s really great what your family has done in relation to ‘dating’ and marriage. My parents as well have talked to my older brother and I about all this, pointing out the dangers in recreational dating from their personal experiences when they were growing up. They both were in relationships with other people that never went far, or got serious but still broke up, and they’ve explained how dangerous, hurtful, and potentially immoral that can be, and I totally, totally agree. I’ve never wanted to do that myself. The first guy I’m in a serious relationship I want to be the one I marry. And beyond my parents age of when they would allow me to consider courting if someone approached them, I’ve set my own limits because I don’t want to get into a relationship until I feel and have confirmation from God that I am ready and responsible enough for that. Marriage takes mature, Godly people, and I want to make sure that both my boyfriend and I have made God the center of our relationship.

    It is a blessing to have a family and church who make sure they talk with teens about healthy relationships, romance, and other things that can be wonderful or dangerous. I’m so grateful I have parents and a church family that do that, and have showed me things I might have learned the hard way otherwise.

    I totally agree that romantic relationships can’t fix personal problems. That’s the reason I don’t want this to be something she holds on to to ignore her other problems. I want her to mature and forgive and get God’s help with it before she realizes she’s ready for love.

    You teach martial arts? That is like, seriously, seriously COOL! I’ve never done anything like that beyond punching my pillows, so it’s almost like you’re a fantasy character come to life. And I actually gave up punching my pillows when I punched a thin one and I basically punched through it and onto my headboard. That hurt. 😀


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

    Jane Maree

    Disclaimer: I didn’t read everything that everyone else has said so this might be repeating stuff, sorry. 😛


    When it comes to romance, there’s two things you have to think about before including it.

    1: What does it do to advance the plot/add higher stakes/increase tension?
    2: How does it help the themeatic character development and ultimate message?


    If the answer to either of those questions is “it doesn’t, really” then you shouldn’t have the romance.


    Just some other notes:

    – Romance MUST start with a friendship
    – Slow and steady. Don’t jump into it.
    – It’s going to be awkward but also kind of sweet, because it’s vulnerable to admit feelings for someone else
    – When the couple see each other, their day will instantly be 90% cooler
    – It’s not actually that much more than a close friendship, so don’t overthink it. If you write a good friendship, it’ll probably just flow on from that really easily.


    That’s basically my thoughts on the topic. *thumbs up* If you’re confident that it’s going to add to the story, not detract, then you’re probably all good.

    (NOTE: I have not been in a romantic relationship myself, but my oldest sister is courting. 😛 )

    Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.au

    Buddy J.


    I would love to read it for you!

    It has been an amazing blessing to me, that I get to teach karate. And on that note, I recommend that you do not punch boards… It can be dangerous. Who knows when the board might punch back?

    And I am glad I’ve been helpful. Jane Maree has some really good points, that I would like to add onto.  The character might not realize consciously that their day gets 90% cooler (in that person’s presence)… They might, but not always, especially at first.

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


    Of course, @wordsmith, great minds think alike and naturally, you need another person of intelligence on this forum- thread- thing (well that counts you out, Pip [#LOTRfan]) 😛

    First of all, I really appreciated what you said, @wordsmith about there being a difference between love and attraction. I realized recently that I hate much of modern secular music because of the emphasis on love being so cheap, break-up, all the nasty details. I hate it so much. Love in my mind is something that is sacred, and anything that cheapens the picture in my mind literally offends me.

    O.K. So… Falling in love. Well… As of my 17 years of life have gone, the worst thing that has ever happened to me in that regard has been when a guy in his truck blared his horn at me grinning the entire time. Never have I ever been asked out, and I actually know very few guys more than their name and why they annoy me. HOWEVER, while I am NOT a romance novel person, my view of the book or movie goes up considerably if it has a good romance. I feel that I do know how to write it, but as I write fantasy and some of the time, my romances turn out with the guy dying (much to my friends’ grief). My writing friend Essa told me strictly to never even think about killing a certain guy in my books.

    However… Several things I like in a good romance.

    1. They’re cute/perfect for each other. Eowyn and Faramir… Can I just say how much I love this romance??!!!! They’re just PERFECT for each other!!!!! Miracle and Michael O’Roarke, Kili and Tauriel (I know, I know, my diehard Silmarillion people hate that, but I loved it…) and the list goes on. If you’ve ever read Viking Quest, Mikkel and Bree are just two of my favorite romance characters EVER. It’s Juvenile Fiction, but I shipped those two the whole time. When I got to the end of the series, I nearly cried. I almost shed tears of joy that they FINALY were going to get married. So, yeah, I like the guy to be A GUY and the girl to be A LADY, so not the charming wimp and the strong female character. Remember, guys and girls complement each other, so all those differences done right (AKA genuine guy and girl, not guy written by a girl and a girl) are just lovely in and of themselves.

    2. Angst. Depending upon your story… Well, you might not have the kind of angst that usually runs through my favorite romances and the poor victims I write about, however, I do like the angst that is proper in even the calmest of love stories. I mean, with a girl, when are strong emotions ever CALM?? I’m just saying, a teen girl who has a crush can flop on her bed and weep about it. So, triple that when the girl actually IS in love. Like, the “he loves me, he loves me not” is sort of a good bit of angst. The reader will want to see them realize that they’re in love, and whether the happily ever after comes about or not, the reader needs to sense that angst that will keep them baited. Angst in a romance is what draws them back, to see what happens. Just saying, if you’ve never read Martin Hospitality, you might find some helpful tips for that in there. I love that book…

    3. Don’t make the guy know how to effortlessly be perfect and dreamy.

    DO NOT MAKE HIM THE FIRST ONE!!!!!!!!! All girls think it’s cute, just don’t do it. Don’t make a guy able to know all a girl’s expectations and how to be even better because it’s just not possible.

    Anyway, I had better stop before I make a mess out of this thing, but hopefully there’s at least one sentence on here that will make sense, and if anything, just laugh at the pic! (Thanks @wordsmith, I now feel quite clueless how to put all this into words and write it down now that I’ve been asked to do it) 😉 I’ll leave with the sage wisdom of just let it flow naturally, falling in love isn’t 1+2=<3,  falling in love “just happens” sometimes. Like when my mom first met my dad she thought “What? No!” But they’ve had a really wonderful marriage and I’m the oldest of 7, am 17 years old, and I’ve never seen them be mean or ugly to each other ever, and they’re still very much in love. Really I just think that God makes couples for each other, and the right one is the right one, and SOMEHOW they figure that out.

    Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

    Buddy J.


    Okay… First off, I’m quite offended that you put Kili and Tauriel on a scale anywhere near Faramir and Eowyn. They might be the greatest romance ever… Topped only by the Beren and Luthien. So I’m also offended that you did not mention them.

    Other than that I think you hold words of wisdom. What the boy says is really hilarious, though I think in reality he might offer his own coat, unless something in his upbringing didn’t teach that kind of chivalry.

    So! Anyway… We can start a different conversation to further debate such annoyingness as Kili and Tauriel. *gags* 😉

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

    Daeus Lamb

    Eowyn and Faramir — that.

    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    Anne of Lothlorien

    @jane-maree  –  Thanks for the tips! I especially love the 90% better one. I find that’s true with just my good friends. I only see them once a week at church, and it just makes my whole day better.

      –  I’ll post it up here after these answers. And “Who knows when the board might punch back?”… best response to that story I’ve ever gotten. 😀

      –  Oh, I know… break up love songs… I hate them.

    Eowyn and Faramir… I’m sorry, I just have to rant a little about how PERFECT THEY ARE!!!!! Eowyn believes she’s fallen in love with Aragorn, but truly I think she was just ‘in love’ with the idea of what he was; a ranger, free, a king, powerful, a warrior, brave, and I think she also saw him as a person that could take her away from the life she felt trapped in. But Faramir, Faramir was the man she really needed. A man who’d been through the same things, who could help her grieve and and love her like she needed. THEY ARE SO PERFECT PERFECT PEEEEEEEEEERFECT!!!!! Oh, and I have read the Viking Quest series, and I was sooo happy!!! And Martin Hospitality; I literally have it sitting right next to me on the couch! Love it!

    Yeah, the strong female and weak guy, really trying to stay away from that. I’ve read several books with male characters that are writers and the author of the book makes them sort of wimpy, snowflake, emotional people, and I don’t like that at all. I’m sorry to girls that don’t like this, but you’ve just got to face it that we are the weaker sex and guys are God ordained protectors and fighters.

    I’m hoping for not too much angst, because she has enough on her plate and I’d like it not to get too close to the over-dramatic ‘oh i like him no i don’t he loves me he dumped me i hate him i love him’ stories that are so annoying. The heart-conflict that definitely comes with the territory of falling in love i’m hoping to fit in a little of, but since I think I’ve decided to keep it a very small part and only reveal it at the end, there won’t be much.

    Yeah, that pic is perfect! Not that the guys I know try to be romantic with me, but they’re definitely more like the second in real life. No offense to any guys, but you’ll never be able to understand us completely in everything, so you can’t be the perfect sweetheart all the time.

    I would definitely agree falling in love just happens sometime – I have a story I have to tell of my great-grandparents. Just after the Great Depression my grandfather was working down in a mine somewhere in the west and he told one of his friends, “I’m going to catch a train up to Chicago and see if Blank Blank will marry me.” Seriously. He’d only met her once or twice, they weren’t even great friends, but he took a train up to Chicago, asked her to marry him, and she said yes. They were married for many years and have left a legacy of godly marriages down to my parents. I think it’s absolutely amazing.




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

    Anne of Lothlorien

    @wordsmith  –  Here it is. The last part is more final, starting from where she ‘thought up a storm’. The earlier part might need more work since that’s the part I added recently.


    I didn’t know what to do. The whole town stood there, waiting for me to speak, waiting for my decision.

    “Hey, um, just so you know.” Clay stepped forward, hands shoved into his pockets. There was something in his eyes… I tried to look at his feelings, but there was so much there, such a swirling maze that I couldn’t see discern one thing from another.

    “Just so you know, I… I want you to stay.” He met my gaze and suddenly it was crystal clear what lay soft and gentle in his heart, spilling out into his words. “I want you to stay,” he repeated. “Please.”

    I couldn’t find a way to speak. Everything I was feeling rushed up into my throat and choked the words I wanted to say. I wanted to tell him… tell him I felt the same way.

    Turning towards the town I stared out at the tops of the buildings, the place I’d learned so much in. And suddenly, I couldn’t seem to imagine myself anywhere else.

    “Felicity?” Clay looked at me questioningly, and I saw the anticipation that clung to him, the tiniest bit of fear that hovered close.

    Gloria’s eyes were wide and pleading as she clung to Harper’s arm. Aunt Jo stood behind them, smiling. Just smiling in her old, young, knowing way.

    Looking around at all the people that waited for my words, I closed my eyes and thought up a storm.

    I thought about how Clay had stood in the middle of the road and caught me like a pop-fly to left-field, letting me fall right into his fireflies and flap-jacks filled life.

    I thought about Mollie Mae in her husband’s shoes, shuffle-thunking until she tip-tapped.

    I thought about how God had sent Aunt Jo, like an angel in an apron, to teach me how to let go of the past and smile at the future.

    And I did smile, because I knew that if I could look at myself right now, the one feeling I would see spinning in my heart and dancing around my head and tip-toing over my shoulders would be love.

    I knew that this tiny little two-bit town, with its campfire weddings and rainstorm celebrations, was and would be my home.


    (The End) 


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

    Cassandra Hamm


    Hi! Sorry I didn’t see this until now. 🙂 I think everyone has had some really good thoughts! I would say don’t be afraid to write romance, even if you haven’t actually had experience with it. I have dated people, and I learned things from that, but I learned more from other people’s good (and bad) relationships. You can watch the relationships around you and learn from them. 🙂 Make sure you don’t make the characters perfect. That drives me insane haha. Have the characters make mistakes. Have them hurt each other. That’s just how things work. Also, things will be awkward. They will not always know what to say; there will be miscommunication and confusion. You’ve gotta learn to communicate well with your partner; it’s generally not an immediate thing, and we’re all so different and interpret things differently. XP Look at your characters and see how they will clash. That’ll make things more realistic and more interesting! And don’t have the characters always be focused perfectly on God. That is also unrealistic. Make your characters real, awkward people.

    Also, I think it’s good that you won’t be focused on the physical part of a relationship. 🙂 There’s so much more than that! There’s the emotional and spiritual side. It seems like you’ve figured out a few things they like about each other, but maybe try to figure out more. And like @jane-maree said, make it start with a friendship. But also, I think it’s fine to indicate attraction. I find that I am generally initially attracted to a guy, and then as I get to know him, either the feelings fade or grow stronger. 🙂

    I hope some of that is beneficial! Good luck! 🙂

    I crush readers' souls like grapes.

    Anne of Lothlorien

    @ericawordsmith @wordsmith – Yeah, I’m not too fond of Kili and Tauriel. I… don’t really like them. Obviously I cried when he died and wished he hadn’t, but there was just never that ‘thing’ about them that made me like their romance. Plus, I’m a big ‘by the book’ person, which is why I don’t like the Hobbits as much as Lord of the Rings, and Tauriel is not even mentioned in the book, so not a big fan of that.

    And I will have to say that yes, most of the boys in my acquaintance, especially one or two in particular, would probably be a little more compassionate than ‘shoulda brought a coat’. There are some total jerks out there but I think most boys, even if they weren’t taught it, have somewhat of a natural sense of chivalry.

    – No perfect characters. Absolutely! Falling in love, as a friend who got married told me is (and I can’t quote perfectly) ‘wonderful, scary, hard, and your best dream come true’. Or something along that line.

    Yeah, of course start with friendship. Despite what happened with my great grandparents and despite Charlotte Lucas’s insisting in Pride and Prejudice that we have enough time to get to know them after we’re married, you should still start on friendship. And attraction, of course, isn’t evil, it’s there because we’re technically ‘attracted’ in a way to everyone we make friends with. Obviously something’s got to tell you that you like somebody from the start. “Oh, she seems fun, I think I’d like to get to know her.” “He seem like a very nice guy, I think I’d like to get to know her.”

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

    Brandon Miller

    @wordsmith You think you’re so funny.

    But as long as I’m here, I’ll say this.  The #1 key to pulling off a romantic relationship in any story is to get the reader to want it to happen BEFORE you get the characters to want it to happen.  They characters have to be cute or fun or awkward or whatever together in a way that make the reader say “Oh… they should be together” before they think that for themselves.  If you try to force a relationship on the reader that they don’t think will work from the outset, you’ll be facing an uphill battle.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas,
    Brandon Miller -- Wesley Turner

    Buddy J.


    Hey! I really enjoyed that! My favorite part is the beginning:

    ‘I didn’t know what to do. The whole town stood there, waiting for me to speak, waiting for my decision.

    “Hey, um, just so you know.” Clay stepped forward, hands shoved into his pockets. There was something in his eyes… I tried to look at his feelings, but there was so much there, such a swirling maze that I couldn’t see discern one thing from another.

    “Just so you know, I… I want you to stay.” He met my gaze and suddenly it was crystal clear what lay soft and gentle in his heart, spilling out into his words. “I want you to stay,” he repeated. “Please.”’

    The reason this is my favorite part is this. Because I don’t know the back story, I have to create a backstory just from what is being said. So here is what It seemed was happening to me. She is being pressured somehow to leave, or had been pressured to leave. She is sad because for the longest time he didn’t say anything regarding whether or not he wanted her to stay. She’s felt rejected, and then at this point, where she is under pressure and might be about to “step on the bus”, even certain people in the crowd want her to stay, she still wants to leave because she feels rejected by him.

    Those are the dots my mind created… That somehow she felt let down and unwanted, and he steps forward “the knight in shining armor”. Almost as though even if people don’t want her to stay, she will because he will brave it with her as a protector. That he steps in as that role. (Also… I want to think that within his gentle spirit, there is a lion that we see glimpses of throughout the story, that kind of come to fruition here, as he steps forward, offering that lion as her protector, not just someone who comes out every no and then in great need.)

    So! I really like your ending, and what I just said is how my mind connected the dots. That’s not how you have to do it, but it feels like the kind of thing that would make for a great hopeful ending. We see the man of the story open himself as her courage, not just a friend who will consul her, but a friend who will be her courage as one.

    Sorry… I am having way to much fun with this! And I hope it doesn’t dampen your spirits if this is not what you had in mind. I just kinda have a thing for super courageous guys who are not corny and actually want to marry and end up marrying the girl.

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

    Buddy J.


    Agreed! The reader must either want it with anticipation, or realize they wanted it after it happened, but didn’t realize they wanted it before it happened.

    Also… I am very funny (not really)! My humor ebbs and flows… Ask @evelyn.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Buddy J..

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

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