Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Page Turners in Romance

Why do readers of romance keeping turning the page instead of rushing off to clean the toilet? (I mean, other than the obvious reason) It’s because they want to know what happens between the hero and heroine.
But it’s not enough to give the two characters a happily-ever-after from page one (save that for the ending). You need to create tension and conflict between them, which is maintained throughout the story.
According to Leslie Waigner (Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies) this can be achieved by creating an emotional conflict (one that grows from the heart) between the two characters that has nothing to with the plot. After that, you can throw all kinds of complications at them.
However, don’t confuse emotional conflict with intellectual conflict. Intellectual conflict comes from the head, such as opinions.
Remember, at the end of the day, the reader cares more about what’s in the hero’s and heroine’s hearts than what’s in their heads. (Okay, you know what I mean.)

Is there anything in a romance that keeps you from turning the page?


Sherrie Petersen said...

Cliches keep me from turning the page of any book, but especially romances. I want characters who act believable but still manage to surprise me. Is that too much to ask? :)

Linda Kage said...

Great point. I'm going to write that line out and post it on my wall of great writing tips. Readers care more about emotional rather than intellectual conflict. It makes sense too when I think back to all my favorite stories.


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