Again, I typically write fantasy novels, with a little bit of romance mixed in, but I am more and more intrigued about what it takes to create a believable romance.
I recently read two fantasy novels by the same author. In the first novel, it takes the characters about a quarter of the book to develop their relationship and fall in love. In the second novel, it takes about two chapters. For some reason, the second novel just didn’t work for me. Yes, the author sums things up with “they’d spent the past three months getting to know each other,” or something of that sort, but I didn’t believe the relationship because it occurred while I was reading the book, but I didn’t see it. The author simply wrote a few paragraphs telling me that the characters had got to know each other, but I never saw it develop.
Now, this isn’t to say I have a problem with romances where the characters have developed a relationship before the start of the story, because I don’t. I just didn’t particularly like being told about a relationship blossoming and never seeing it.
But then, how do you develop a believable romance in 80-120,000 words? Friendships can happen quickly or instantly. “Love” or “lust” can happen quickly or instantly. But, I feel a whole romantic relationship needs time to develop. Additionally, I think creating this type of romance takes an ingenious writer, because they need to be clever to use a small amount of space to create something so big.
Honestly, I am still working on this ability myself, but I plan to continue reading and analyzing, to see how other authors create believable romances in so few words.