So I’ve been thinking about romance lately. Not necessarily because the Tech Monkey and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary in October, but mostly due to reviews for Brighid’s Cross point out that the romance between my main characters is a mite less developed than it could have been. I think in an effort make the romance more conflicted by events and less so by character angst I may have over-edited the emotional impact. This may have been an answer to all the “I love you one moment, now I don’t, no wait I’ve changed my mind AGAIN” that so annoys me in some stories. I wanted it less than emotionally exhausting, a product of the story, but I may have left it underdone as a result. In hindsight, I probably could have included a bit more of Aika’s backstory, since it could have been a source of additional conflict. It being an apocalyptic story, and given Aika’s character, I’d thought the romance had hit the right, believable notes, being mostly straight forward, but apparently it could have used a little more oomph. Brighid’s Cross has been a learning experience in so many ways, and this is no exception.
Time, I decided, to take a good, hard look at the other burgeoning romances in my writing life.
Big Dang Projeckt
I am so far loving the developing romance between our favourite Fallen Knight and The Minstrel. To be fair, being a full-length novel, I have more time to insinuate this subplot into the main story. It’s mainly conflicted by Fallen Knight’s unfinished business with Childhood Sweetheart and the guilt that drives him to make amends for his past. On The Minstrel’s part, there’s the whole witnessing her father’s murder and putting her job first that’s holding her back from making emotional investments. But could there be more without ensuing melodrama? I don’t do melodrama well as either an audience member or a writer.
Marked (Keepers #2)
This being the second book in the Keepers of the Flame series, this is the one that concerns me most. Once again, I’ve got about 20K words to interweave the romantic subplot among the demons, betrayals, Loa, and murder investigation. So, how can I show this growing romance without telling? Again, without the dread melodrama? I’m a fan a subtext versus context, but for clarification purposes maybe a little context isn’t such a bad thing? Time to search for some balance, now that I have a discovery draft ready to be developed into a meditation draft.
The good news is, I recently got smacked between the eyes with an idea in regards to setting for Marked. Now I just need to figure out how to Make It Work.
So those are my goals this week—search for ways to promote romance without hitting my audience over the head repeatedly with a club, screaming “See? See?! ROMANCE!!” WHAM WHAM WHAM!!
How 'bout you, fellow ROW-ers? What are you focusing on this week? Lay it on me.