Saturday, July 14, 2012

CRAFT: Show attraction

Writing Romantic Suspense Part 5

So...let's recap...
We've thought about what sort of book we want to write.
We've started with some memorable characters.
We have a villain we love to hate.
An emotional connection has been established between the heroine and the hero.
What's the next important ingredient needed to balance that romance with the suspense?
Of course you can't have a romance unless you...

Show Attraction
Attraction for each other, often despite antagonism, is mandatory to any romance and the romantic suspense is no exception. This begins with a physical awareness between the heroine and the hero, that heart pounding, blush inducing chemical reaction that happens when you see someone who floats your boat. Think Brad Pitt or Gerard Butler. My pulse rises just picturing their faces in my head.

This is the reaction you need to show between your characters. Notice I said show…not tell. Where is the impact if you tell us that he thinks she’s hot, or she finds herself strangely attracted to him? You have to show why and you use the five senses to convey this. What does he/she look like? Does he or she have a distinctive scent? What perfume/aftershave can be smelt? How does their skin feel? What characteristics does his/her voice have? Do they have distinctive speech patterns? What do they taste when kissed?

You should keep the attraction thing going even when they are not together. They should be constantly thinking of each other and remember little things about their last encounter. He relives the feel of her silken skin. She sighs as she remembers the power of his kiss.

Never forget that you must continue that emotional connection I mentioned earlier, as well as increasing the physical attraction. Without the characters beginning to care for each other the attraction becomes meaningless. Her looks might strike a cord with him as he remembers a lost love. He makes her feel protected and safe in the midst of all the chaos. However it happens, it’s something that evolves as the characters spend more time together and are drawn further into the intrigue or suspense of the circumstances they find themselves in.


Write a paragraph showing how you can weave attraction into a scene while still showing the story


  1. This is a great resource for writers at any stage of their development. Great post and so well-worded. :)

  2. Thanks for the feedback charonschatter! I hope people can get something out of the series :-)