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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Near Misses

Let's face it, we all enjoy reading about a good snogging every now and again...maybe even like it when things get steamier. That's what romance is about right? The hugs, touches, kisses, intimacy.

But, in fiction, none of that is as much fun if the "near misses" aren't there. You know, those scenes where the hero and heroine are just about to break and give in to the attraction one--if not both of them--has been trying to deny.


In that moment, they want it to happen. We want it to happen. Everyone wants it to happen.

But...it doesn't happen.

Something stops them before they're able to be fully swept away. Whether it's a pair of teenagers interrupted mid-makeout by a parent, or an adult couple sidetracked by some other force of life, they aren't allowed to cross the finish line.

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It's this dissruption--this sense of "Damn it! What would have happened if the phone hadn't rang just then?!?"--that drives us insane as readers and makes us root for the couple to get together even more.

So while all the hand holding and stares of longing are great, and we're happy for the tremendous sex once the couple gets together, it's the near misses that truly set the scene.

The better the near misses and frustration we feel as a result, the better the satisfaction when our heroes finally break through all their barriers. Make sure you don't skimp on this part while you're writing your story...the potential payoff is too great.

4 comments:

Linda Kage said...

Oh, I love near misses. You are so right. They make the next snog just that much better. The near miss in "Elizabethtown" between Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom....YUM.

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I agree. Near misses are awesome! I just love the tension. Sometimes they're better than the actual kiss.

McKenzie McCann said...

I have mixed feelings about the subject. As a writer, I understand how great it is as a tool to build tension, but as a reader I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE GOOD PART.

I use near misses sparingly, because if a story is replete with them, it just gets annoying.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Near misses are my favorite part of romance--both to read and write. :D

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