While reading Kandy Shepherd's debut book 'Love is a Four-Legged Word' yesterday, I had a minor epiphany about writing romance.
There's always so much focus (in blogs, workshops, editor interviews, etc) on making sure there's something MAJOR and IMPORTANT keeping the hero and heroine apart (INTERNAL CONFLICT)!! This seems to be the reason many wannabee authors (including myself) get rejected on mss, which are otherwise considered quite noice, so it's right we focus on such things. But... I sometimes wonder if in the HUGE strive to achieve the perfect internal conflicts between our lovely characters, we forget that there needs to be a MAJOR reason, if not reasons, why they should be together as well.
In Kandy's book, the hero and heroine get chatting (at a funeral as it happens) about their love for animated Disney films. Not only does this show they have something in common but it gives the heroine insight into the hero's more 'human' side and she begins to fall for more than his stunningly sexy good looks. I'm only at the beginning of this book and so I'm sure there's many more reasons why the hero and heroine go so well together, but it made me think about my own wips and wonder if I've given good reasons why my h&Hs are PERFECT and therefore will make the reader root for their HEA!
In my 'Feel The Heat' entry, Matt and Libby are instantly attracted to each other but quite aside from the physical, Matt likes Libby's gumption and attitude and Libby likes Matt's humour and passion for his cars. Yet... in terms of what they've got in common, I can't think of anything concrete. They both have issues with their parents, but is that enough? Me thinks not.
In my current MH wip, Sebastian and Martha find each other attractive immediately but have pre-conceptions about deeper issues of personality that stop them acting on this attraction. So far the only thing I can think of that they have in common is their love for younger siblings and the fact they both work with their hands. Is this enough? Somehow... I think I have to work on more!
So... I'm now gonna think about WHY my hero and heroines should be together as much as why they shouldn't. Hopefully... this helps bring my mss' up to publication standard.
Would love to hear your thoughts...