Hey Writing Friends! I’m back this week and excited to jump into some romance. Now, I’m not typically the one to buy into Valentine’s Day, but what better time to talk about how romance can play out in writing. So in this post, we’ll talk about creating couples and I’ll share with you my “special” writing playlist for when you need to get the sexy going and give your couple’s a little one on one time. Y’all ready? Let’s get into it!
One of my favorite things to write about is relationships. I like to write about romantic relationships because there are countless different dynamics that can be explored. You have couples who avoid their conflicts and maybe even each other. You have couples that are volatile and you wonder why they are even together. You have the couples who may have been together for some time and have grown apart becoming detached from one another. Or, the new couple who’s enjoying their honeymoon stage and want to spend every waking moment together.
There are an endless number of ways to view relationships and subsequent ways to write those views. And what makes relationships even more interesting to write about is the conflict that can arise from the dynamic you’ve built into your story. Conflict is where we get those juicy, can’t put down, drama filled stories we all love.
Regardless of what type of couple you are writing about or where they are in their relationship, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of their situation and how the couple deals with each other on a daily basis. Understanding these elements of their relationship allows you to better tell their story and gives you opportunities to take your story in a direction that will keep your readers interested.
I often refer to reading and even writing as a means of escape and while this can be true, most stories are still based on some sort of reality. This should be weaved into your characters as well. Creating realistic characters is at the base of any character development that I teach in my workshops or work with my clients to build their manuscripts. Of course, there are exceptions to this depending on what genre you are writing, but for the sake of this post, I am referring to general fiction.
Making your couple realistic will keep your readers captivated and make them invested emotionally into the characters because they will become relatable. How many times have you thought, “I like you, because you remind me of myself.” That’s because that person was relatable. You can build this same quality into your characters.
When you have fully developed your characters, you give your readers a chance to know them, understand them, and maybe even take their side. You can also make it difficult for your reader to choose a side if both characters present a genuine struggle in their relationship. Take your readers on an emotional ride, make them feel what your characters are feeling with amazing description by painting vivid pictures with your words, and give your readers reasons to root for your couple’s relationship to work.
Additionally, when you are creating the dynamic of a couple, make sure their relationship has order. Don’t make rapid romances. Yes, people swear by love at first sight or feeling that they have known their partner forever when it has only been three days and you can still write these things about your couple, however, you still need to show the emotions behind these instantaneous feelings.
For example, if your couple is on their first date and they are feeling all of the vibes and chemistry, talk about that, describe those enraptured feelings to your readers. Let your readers in on that and take them through the build up of this new relationship.
For a couple that is already established, you can take a couple of different approaches. I would suggest start by showing where they currently stand in their relationship and gradually show where they came from. This means that you need to have the backstory of their relationship fully developed. Do not drop all of their backstory in one place, as I stated drop it in gradually so that readers have a chance to find those relatable moments to invest in.
Another way you can create a dynamic couple your readers will love is to show balance in the individual lives of your characters. Using the example of our honeymoon phase couple, we know that realistically if your relationship takes over your life this can cause issues in other areas of life. Perhaps work starts to slip or time with friends and family. This should be included in your story as well, whether things are in balance or out of balance.
Romance and intimacy play a major role in relationships. We know from real life that this area of a relationship can often make or break the couple’s connection. Be sure to show this in your character development. Our minds can go straight to romance and intimacy being all about sex, but that is not true and you shouldn’t portray that in your story. Consider nonsexual acts of intimacy to show how your character’s care for each other outside of the bedroom. (Or kitchen, laundry room, whatever floats their boat.)
Fleshing out characters can be one of the most difficult aspects of story creation because you have to be able to provide specific details for your characters to make sense, to present a character driven plot, and help your readers identify with your overall message. So it is a crucial part of your story. To help you through this part of your process, check out my Character Building For Couples Questionnaire. In over 100+ questions, you’ll be able to see your couple from the beginning of their relationship to how they communicate with each other, the physical aspects of their relationship, and how they view commitment, trust, and conflict. This is a tool that you will be able to use from project to project.
Now, on to the super sexy. Why not, after all we’re talking about romantic life and intimacy and all those good things that come along with relationships. So as promised I’ll share with you my, Writer’s Playlist, this one is to get the mood set just right. Utilize this playlist however you please, but this is a great way to set yourself up with writing those steamy love scenes for your couple. You set the mood when you write by creating a calm and creative atmosphere and this is no different. Think inspiring thoughts.
*Special Mention - You will see quite a few songs from artist Jake & Papa on my playlist. I am very biased when it comes to these two brothas, I am totally a fan girl when it comes to them. As an added bonus to your writing time, when writing those steamy scenes check out their entire album Athena’s Erotica 2.0.
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That's all for today writing friends.
Happy Writing! 💚