*With apologies to Human League
Tip of the day: To challenge your writing skills, try creating a love interest who is someone you would never in a million years be romantically interested in yourself.
The basis for my novels is never romance. Not that love/crush interests don't make appearances in my stories, and not that relationships aren't instigators for novel conflict -- they are! But I think the issue is I'm just not a big romantic. My idea of a good Valentine's Day is one where my manpanion gives me some shoulder squeezes -- something I make him do on the regular anyway.
My current YA WIP, the Vietnam/Mafia Book, does explore what people will do for love, so I'm working on developing my romantic skills.
That said, here's how I write romance:
1) I plunge into my characters when I write, so when the love interest arrives, I use a lot of physical description.
2) Amidst the physical descriptions, the MC conveys how those physical traits make her feel/what she thinks about him.
3) When the love interest begins interacting with the MC, I use lots of dialog -- or lack of -- to show if he's a flirtatious guy, the strong silent type, etc.
4) As the MC and the love interests' relationship develops, I heighten the amount of internal feelings the MC has for the interest -- and heighten the amount of physical contact they make.
5) If I want to portray a lot of romance/super strong feelings, I draw out the kissing/hugging/touching bits into a long paragraph rather than a sentence.
6) "Longing" is huge in teen relationships, so I play that up with the MC whenever the love interest is not around.
I have not yet written a boy MC, but if I did, I wonder if I would use the same techniques to develop a romantic relationship. What do you think? (A good example that does this well is I KNOW IT'S OVER by C. K. Kelly Martin.)
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing