by Allie Pleiter
The best romances usually pair two people who don’t seem suited for each other. Engaged readers figure out that a hero and heroine are surprisingly perfect for each other-long before the characters do if I’ve done my job right. It’s great fun to watch a heroine realize that the oh-so-irritating fellow in her life is actually the man of her dreams, isn’t it?
If you want a strong story arc, craft your characters as far apart as you can-physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Give them enough distance for them to cross to reach each other, and ensure that the final bridging of that gap costs them a great deal. That’s the formula for a compelling romance.
How does an author make that happen? One of my favorite ways is to draw up a chart of opposites. I start it with a brainstorming session before I write the book and add to it as I go. Here are some examples from the chart I kept for my current book THE LAWMAN’S OKLAHOMA SWEETHEART:
|Sharp Edges||Soft curves|
|Realism, facts, hard truths||Story, fairytales, wishes|
|Earthen Brown||Sky Blue|