Please welcome today’s guest blogger, Ginger Monette, with her thoughts on Falling in Love: Writing Romance that Goes Beyond Attraction.
Have you ever wondered how couples fall in love?
As a romance novelist, it’s my job to weave a story that gives readers a front row seat to watch the unfolding of a beautiful love story.But how does a couple get from “Hello my name is” (or even “I despise you”) to “You’re my soulmate and I want to spend the rest of my life with you?”
Having been disappointed by numerous novels where the couple claimed to suddenly “be in love” without actually “falling in love,” I went on a quest to investigate this mysterious process of falling head over heels. What I discovered changed my writing.
I dissected some fifty romance novels and made notes. All the couples had hefty doses of attraction, but the most satisfying stories went beyond attraction to something deeper. They showed the characters passing through four phases that moved them step by step from “meh” (or downright hatred) to “wowie-zowie he’s the most wonderful person in the world.”
And each phase seemed to be characterized by distinct thought patterns. See if you think these phases and thought patterns ring true to real life—particularly if at first Prince Charming seemed to be more of a frog than a prince.
Acknowledgement of him:
- Acknowledges some good quality about him (talented, kind, generous, etc)
- Finds him attractive
- Hyper aware of him, or hyper critical of his shortcomings (which often signals preoccupation or a subconscious denial of admiration)
- Acknowledges an attraction, but blows it off
Appreciation of his good qualities:
- Defends his character while not necessarily liking him
- Is genuinely thankful for a good quality
- Beginning to warm towards him
- Not so judgmental towards him
- More willing to consider his opinion on a matter
- Takes his advice
- Imitates quality or action of his
- Admits her initial criticism or objections were exaggerated or biased
- Curiosity grows—willing to spend more time in his company
- Acknowledges similar values or mutual interests
- Finds she is thinking (fondly) of him more and more
- Openly acknowledges her love/warm feelings for him
- Desires to be in his company
- Thinks he is wonderful
- Thinks he is perfect match
- Misses him painfully when he is gone
- Thinks about him constantly
So how did this awareness of stages change my writing? In my novel Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, I kept these four stages and behaviours in mind as I crafted scenes. They became an outline of sorts that I wove with compelling action, mystery, suspense, and historical detail. I made sure the couple had ample opportunity to interact on a deep level, then continually gave voice to the heroine’s evolving inner thoughts to show their romance was based on more than physical attraction and chemistry.
Using this approach produced not only a thrilling story, but gives readers a deep sense of satisfaction as they watch the heroine’s tiny bud of acknowledgement open into appreciation, then expand with admiration, and finally blossom into full adoration.
Don’t we all ultimately desire a romance built on a foundation of compatibility and emotional intimacy rather than just a pitter-pattering heart?
The Darcy’s Hope Saga
Downton Abbey Meets Pride & Prejudice!
Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside Jane Austen’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You’ll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences at a field hospital only miles from the Front. When injury and espionage separate the couple, Darcy is crushed. But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.
“…a stellar example of fine Austenesque literature. …an exceptionally moving story complete with a compelling plot, danger, mystery, action, introspection, vivid detail, and an emotionally wrought romance.” ~Austenesque Reviews
***** 90% of reviews are five star!
The Darcy’s Hope Saga:
About Ginger Monette:
The teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she’s hooked—on writing and World War I.
When not writing, Ginger enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.
In 2015, her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders Field of Grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s “Picture This” grand prize.
Ginger lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she happily resides with her husband, three teenagers, and two loyal dogs.
Connect with her online at:
Note from Linda: I’m so impressed with what Ginger has done in analyzing so many romance novels. I’m also impressed that she has managed to combine two of my favorite things, Pride and Prejudice and Downton Abbey and come up with her own unique take on both.
What do you think? Add your comments to the conversation in the comments section.