Look, we both know you have a favourite when you read male/female romances. I’ve been privy to more than one conversation about how a hero deserved more than a certain heroine. I’ve been privy to fewer conversations about how a heroine deserved more than a particular hero – but that’s something for another blog post. Today, I’m talking about the fact that ideally, your readers should be saying your heroine and hero deserve one another. And how do you do that?
By making sure both your hero and heroine are important.
This sounds fairly straight-forward, doesn’t it? But it’s not. In the same way you have a favourite when you read romances, you have a favourite when you write them. Mine? The heroine. I always, always, always focus on the heroine when I’m reading and I’m writing. I’ll often find myself having a complete backstory for my heroine. She’s a well-rounded character; well-fleshed-out; and completely nuanced. My hero? Not so much. Which is frustrating in many ways, the main being that I know better.
One of the things that will have your readers rooting for your characters’ romance is to make sure your hero and heroine are portrayed in a balanced way.
That means your hero needs to be well-rounded, well-fleshed-out and nuanced, too. (Or vice versa; whatever works for you.) You want your reader to feel like the hero and heroine equally deserve their HEA; no one should be getting short changed in romance. An easy way for you to ensure this is to remember that whatever you do for your heroine or hero, you should do for their partner. (This works for more than just emotional scenes, by the way…)
Ask yourself some questions.
What are both my characters’ relationships with their families like? What happened in their past romances? Are they willing to trust? If not, why? If so, why? Once you have the answers to these for both your characters, you’re on your way to a good, solid romance.
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