One of the most important questions we ask in fiction is WHY. Why would the young farm boy take up a sword and start off on an epic quest? Why would a normally intelligent person walk into what she knows is a trap? Why doesn’t the amateur sleuth throw his hands up in the air and stop poking around in a case when things turn deadly? In fiction we need the reader to understand why these characters would make such decisions. Why they would choose danger. And as writers we need to make sure their motivation is strong enough that the reader believes with the character that there is no other choice–it has to be done.
“Why?” It’s such an important question. But, it tends to become obsolete when it comes to love.
Why would two characters fall in love? Why does anyone fall in love? And not just in fiction. There is no magic or even logical formula to love. In real life I’m sure we all know very unlikely couples. We probably also know people who we think might be perfect together but they just don’t click. That’s why being set up on a blind date is such a harrowing experience.
Love isn’t about why. It’s about chemistry.
Which makes putting it on the page very interesting because when it comes to telling a good story, it is far less about ‘would these two really fall in love?’ and much more about ‘will the reader WANT these two to fall in love?’ Of course, there are always readers who will pick odd pairings–that is what slash fan-fic is all about–but if you write chemistry and tension into the budding relationship of your couple, that potential will grab your reader. They will want those two together.
So who are some of your favorite couples in fiction? Anyone you’re dying to see get together because the chemistry is burning hot? (Personally, I have a bad habit of falling for the sexy bad guy. Trent and Rachel Morgan anyone? or maybe Al and Rachel? Snow and Delilah Street? How about Leo and Jane Yellowrock? *snicker* Yeah, sexy evil for me all the way. LOL)
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