Tips by Naomi.
Originally Posted on: Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek :-)
1. Character development.
Think about your first reaction of Mr. Darcy and your last. Almost 100% different reaction to him and his thoughts.
That, ladies & gents, is called character development. You have to take your characters places. They have to change. One of the best scenes in literature is the confrontation between Darcy and Elizabeth where they just let each other have it. In that scene you get them. You get where Darcy is coming from and you get Elizabeth Bennet and then they change.
There has to be a change in your characters between “Once Upon a Time” and “They Lived Happily Ever After.” Falling in love changes you. Not everything about you. We’re not writing The Little Mermaid, you character doesn’t have to give up everything they are for love, but there must be evolution. A true love story is about how this new person comes into your life and ruins you. The character has to ruin you for other people, because we have to believe that there will be no infidelity in the future. The characters should just ruin each other for life, because they should have no interest in a life without each other.
Character evolution it is so important. Don’t ignore it. Don’t end the book with your characters being the same.
2. Internal thoughts, emotions of characters.
Actions speak louder than words, but not when we’re in the head of the person. If I could read the minds of everyone around me, I wouldn’t care so much if they bought me flowers, because I would know if the flowers are a legitimate gesture or just a way into my pants.
If a characters internal thoughts about their love interest is “oh, she is so sexy” or “God, he’s got the most beautiful eyes” then your love story is weak. If your characters think “he gets me” or in a moment of intense emotional peril the one thing they think is “I should have kissed him one more time” then I will believe it.
We are in the head of book characters. Even if it’s not first person POV. We have look into a persons head and as writers we have to use that to our advantage.
3. Emotional scenes.
I mean more than loud declarations of “I LOVE YOU” but scenes where everything is raw and their emotions are on edge and our emotions are on edge and everything is on the table.
I am going to turn to a film for an example of an emotional scene over a book. That scene is Ron and Hermonie in the chamber of secrets at the end of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2”
Ron & Hermonie were afraid for their lives and then there the other was and they couldn’t help it, they had to kiss. They had to be in each others arms, those feelings just exploded to the surface. THAT is a great first kiss scene. In Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, the character Edmund Bertram says one of my favourite lines of all time “Surely you and I are beyond speaking when words are clearly not enough.” Sometimes words are not enough and you have to give us a scene that tells us that.