By Norma Gail
You don’t have to compete with the greatest romance ever written to capture the heart of your reader. You have to make them fall in love with your character. Think of the most romantic line you have ever heard. So many great lines have been written and spoken over the years that it seems impossible to come up with anything better-so don’t try. If you long to write romance, chances are that it already exists in a unique form within you.
Why did those words find their way into your heart? Most romantic lines say something about the heart of the lover or the depth of their love. A perfect statement of love expresses a desire to be with the object of the romantic feelings. Love lines often speak of forever. Words used to describe feelings of love describe the unity of two souls and the passion that draws them together. Lovers cannot feel complete unless the object of their love is in their life.
Next, describe your most romantic leading lady or man-someone so lovely it makes your heart ache to think of them, and place your words in their mouth. Create a setting fit to grace the outside of a Valentine card and drop your characters into it.
Moonlight, rainbows, roses, and chocolate-or not. Try a twist. Make the character not so lovely and perfect. Give them a flaw that would seem to keep them from ever finding love. Create someone shy, stuttering, and not too attractive, but with a heart of gold. Perhaps it’s raining and their ideal mate offers an umbrella and walks them home.
Either the character who finds a way into the heart of your reader will be as perfect as anyone can be or the complete opposite. The most unlovable, undesirable person may harbor a hidden treasure deep inside that shines forth when the object of their love is at a point of need.
The trick to reaching reader’s deepest emotions is to combine a character who lacks something essential with the one person in their world who owns that attribute. Add an ample measure of mood and setting. Stir in a conflict that separates them, perhaps forever, and sprinkle in the magic of two stars colliding in space and fusing together when all seems lost.
Perfect or not so perfect, the joining of two hearts occurs when love, loss, desire, and need spark the imagination of your reader. If it moves you to tears or makes you want to jump up and down with glee, chances are it will grab your audience too.
It is not necessary to compete with the greatest romances of all time. Tell a story all your own containing all the right elements. Make your own heart ache with longing, and “Voilá!” You have romance!
Norma Gail’s contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, released in 2014 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is a Bible study leader, and writes devotionals for ChristianDevotions.us and “The Secret Place.” Norma is a regular contributor to the Stitches thru Time blog. She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is married and has two adult children. Connect with Norma on her website, Facebook and Twitter.
©Copyright August 11, 2015, by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman