Now, first of all, we have to understand what the romance genre is about. This is a genre where the central story arc is the coming together of a couple. We watch how they move through their relationship to that point of a happily ever after. When we read a romance, we need to see not only the relationship building, but truly watching the couple move to a point of falling in love with one another.
What I see, far too often, is a story of essentially a couple dating. We throw in some sex scenes and then, by about 3/4 of the way through the book, one of the characters declares to the other, "I love you!" and during the rest of the book, the characters do nothing more than to mop up the other plot issues the author used to get that one character to say those three words. This is not romance.
Your goal as a romance author is to tap into all of those raw emotions that people feel when they fall in love.
- We need to see the awkwardness of being around the other person. This is not because it is the boss, or their is an external plot issue that makes the character not comfortable being there. We need to see the awkwardness because there are unclear emotions running through the characters' heads.
- We need to see the realization (that probably does not happen on the first meeting) that this person is an amazing person for whatever they do. We need to see that realization of something special the character, up until now did not see.
- We need to see the feeling of loss when that person leaves and the room is empty. The character needs to have a sense of a vacuum and a void when the other person is not around.
- We need to see the characters just want to "BE" with each other. No, this does not mean the desire to hop into the sack and go for it! They would be happy just doing crossword puzzles in a kitchen.
I challenge all of you romance authors to take some time this week to really look around you. Find those couples that are truly "in love" and watch them. Take the time to listen to their stories. Use that as your inspiration for you romance.