Relationship Drama vs. Dramatic Relationship

Hi Jim,

 

I’m actually in the process of writing a novel, but I’m having a hard time getting the characters together. At times, it seems like the storyline kind of interferes with any chance to get them together. Do you have any advice on how to write a story with a romantic element?

Thanks,
Marylou


Hi Marylou,

It’s not always the easiest thing in the world, admittedly. In my books, I kind of like to leave the romance either to the beginning or middle of the story and just kind of allude to it through the body of the book. What I mean is, have the two characters forge a relationship before or in the middle of the main adventure. If your novel is fast-paced where there is no downtime, it may be a good idea for them to start off together and then have their relationship grow throughout the story.

This is more personal preference, but I don’t typically like stories where the relationship begins at the end. There is an old anecdote… that’s been mocked in several action movies; “Relationships based on intense experiences never work.”
Again, it’s an anecdote, but a pretty accurate one from what I’ve observed. This is just my opinion, but if you want a romantic element, don’t end on that note. It’s contrived, cheesy, and really doesn’t draw an audience in.

Since I’ve given you some do’s and don’ts, there’s another one I feel like I should bring up. This is something I see all the time in modern literature, tv, and movies and it really drives me insane. Do not write a story where the obvious ‘breeding pair’ has several close calls where the almost get together, but either one of them backs off or has second thoughts… more than once, and then another character comes in and interferes, only to disappear once his purpose has been served.

This is relationship drama and, while a little bit of it is okay, prolonging your story this way will annoy readers very quickly. This can be considered a form of baiting and readers don’t tend to like that very much.

Create a Dramatic Relationship, not Relationship Drama. What’s the difference? Well the opposed to what I wrote above, a dramatic relationship is one that responds and evolves due to outside stimulus, but remains strong. That’s really what you want if you’re going to draw people in.

So I went off on a bit of a tangeant there, and I apologize for that. Really all you need to do is create two likeable characters and let them work through things together. Create two characters who either compliment each other or work well off each other. Do that, and you’ll be just fine.

Hope this helps!

Readers,  do you have any advice for Marylou about adding a romantic element into a fast-paced story? Let her know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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From My Writing Playlist

Kamelot has always been kind of a doom and gloom band, but I still love them. This is a great track off their new album

When to Listen: Most of Kamelot’s songs fall until the most desperate hour. That moment in time when your heroes hit their low point and have all but lost. This is the song you listen to when all hope is dwindling and more than likely no one is coming out of the final fight unscathed, if alive.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Blogging Motivations

You have a great blog. Would you like to share your story on “What You Blog About”
what motivated you to start this blog?

Hello,

A good question. Well honestly, I have to admit that my initial reasons were not as altruistic as one might think. I’d gone through site after site looking for good ways to advertise your writing. My books weren’t getting much traction with what I’d already had set up. Then I contacted another writer to see what he recommended. One of the main things was maintaining an online presence through a blog or other social media. He said the best thing you can do is give back some of that success you earned.

So I started my blog. At first, it got almost no traction because I was mostly advertising myself and my writing. I decided that, at that point, if I was going to get any traction, I needed to actually become part of the community. So I began looking at other blogs on WordPress and … sigh… tumblr… and a few other places. As I began commenting on and sharing what other’s had written, I began to notice a recurrent problem; There was plenty of talent, but not much in the way of experience. Too many skilled writers were having problems.

I started handing out advice in the comments section of a couple of the blogs that I frequented. I started getting a lot of compliments and gratitude. At that point, I really found my niche and started writing pieces about how to write and how to get published. Before I knew it, I started getting questions in my comments field.

My books got more traction and I set up an email for both fan mail and advice questions. Before long, I was inundated with emails from both. Unfortunately, I made a promise to myself to personally respond to each of these… and have since been paying the price for that.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love getting messages and will continue to respond. It has become a labor of love for me and I really enjoy doing it.

So that’s it really. What started off as a way to advertise my book, became an advice and geek culture page.

Hope this helps!

Thanks!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim