Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Favorite Ways to Build Chemistry in Romance?

I know you're expected a show don't tell king of blog post here, but not today. :) The other day I posted a question on social media. I wanted to know readers' favorite ways to show/read chemistry and build up of tension between the hero/heroin in a romance novel.

I got some great answers, so thought I'd start a list. That way when I get stuck or feel like I'm repeating myself, I've got a resource. So here we go, favorite ways to show chemistry:
  • The moment when they're eyes meet and they connect for the first time.
  • The way they avoid each other, even though they are attracted to one another, but still have to be in the same room or elevator.
  • The first casual touch. It doesn't have to be sexual. (But not a handshake) It can be as innocent as a hand on the arm, or a hand on the lower back to guide them.
  • Where you can tell they really, really want to kiss, but neither will make the first move. Then they're interrupted and the moment is gone, but they're both just SMOLDERING.
  • That "will he/won't he" moment when you're hoping he will.
  • When they're laughing and then the chemistry kicks in and they stop abruptly
  • That shared joke or inside piece of information that no one else in the room knows about, but you see them connect over it.
  • When they share a vulnerability, fear, or experience that builds intimacy and connection.
  • When the other person sees more than everyone else.
  • Becoming hyper-aware of each other. Both physical - the sweep of her neck, the way she blushes, his strong forearms, and personal - the way she's nice to everyone, how he defended her when he didn't need to.
  • A feisty dialogue exchange where the underlying tension just screams through both words and actions
  • Their inner thoughts reveal that they both WANT but can't HAVE, but still WANT
Okay - that's what came from Facebook and Twitter (and me lol). What else? Help me add to it!


Maureen said...

This is a great list! I wasn't sure if I could add to it, but how about when she's doing an ordinary task and then answers the phone and hears his voice and suddenly her whole outlook of the day changes when the butterflies erupt in her belly.

Diane Burton said...

Super list, Abigail. I read an example of him seeing more than other people in a recent book. She's beyond nervous around people. Others think she's stuck up or that she thinks she's better than others. He sees her terror. Regarding a touch: to ramp up the tension, he touches the back of her neck; she brushes something (lint/bug/piece of fluff) off his shoulder. The closer to the face, the better it gets.

Sorchia DuBois said...

Fantastic list!! What a handy reference. I like to watch a relationship build through the story. I believe in love at first sight, but 'the course of true love never does run smooth.' Delicious hints and nagging doubts and finally a crisis when they react instinctively in unison. Wonderful post!!

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

What a great list! It adds so much to the characterization too.