Writing a Believable Romance

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.


About lisamorrowbooks

Lisa Morrow is a life-long reader who treasures fantasy in all forms. Being a middle child in a large family gave her a unique perspective on the world, but few experiences compare to her time spent studying abroad in Cambridge, England and wandering throughout Europe. After her travels, Lisa settled down in Arizona to teach junior high English, and later, to spend time with her young children, husband, and cats. To some people, her life may seem quiet. But to her, every day is spent in a world colored by the imagination of children, and fantastical worlds created by her very own mind.
This entry was posted in character relationships, Characters, fantasy, fiction, romance, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Writing a Believable Romance

  1. taiorafan21 says:

    The second novel was an example of lazy writing. I wouldn’t believe the relationship either because there was no development shown prior to it being introduced. Novels aren’t just guilty of this. Sometimes, TV shows/cartoons are guilty of it too.. I personally need to see the development of a foundation for romance in order to accept it as real. Like you said, you can have a romantic relationship between characters that developed before the start of the story, but if you do, there needs to be interactions that show qualities of a real love. Trust, open communication, compromise, problem-solving, sacrifice, and faithfulness.

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