Isn’t it romantic?

Similar to tender moments, building chemistry between characters romance can just as easily enter the realm of mushy cornball-skip to the end of the chapter – unreadable crap.

Who doesn’t love a little romance? I know I do. In fact many books and stories I read have a little or a lot. People like romance, the thrill of seeing love and the potential of sex. The genre of the story will often determine how much or how little romance will be in a story. It is however, ultimately up to the writer. I personally enjoy a little lead up, flirting and tender moments that bring two people closer. Romance should be personal. It is in real life.

I thought I’d try something different. For a few different couples I’d turn this simple three-line romantic conversation into something moving and individual for each couple. The rule, I can only use these three lines for dialogue.

“That’s how I know.”
“Know what?”
“That you’re worth the effort.”

Okay I’ll start with Dale and Amber, an atypical relationship, but one with potential.

Amber pursed her lips, lowered her chin and glared at Dale. His chuckle and glittering eyes made hers narrow at him. His apologies and persistence only made her blood boil. He was being an ass and wouldn’t stop asking her to dinner so they could talk.
He gestured at her overly defensive posture and pouty lips. “That’s how I know.”
“Know what?” Amber furrowed her brow at him and crossed her arms.
He chuckled and tapped her protruding bottom lip with his index. “That you’re worth the effort.” He walked away leaving her to stare after him, her lips parted and jaw slacked.

Hmm who’s next?  How about…  Valery and Jackson. Neither are romantic people, but perhaps they could have a moment.

Their schedules rarely coincided. Valery had almost given up seeing Jackson this week it was such an effort just to get time with him. His text earlier said he was swarmed with demanding clients and as in his style, he canceled his plans and showed up anyway. She was worried sick over Sasha being hidden away by some hot detective and her idiot boss was now MIA and she had to fill in. She needed some company badly.
And there he was, tall dark and ever so handsome. He tilted his head and gave her his best apology pout while holding out a bottle of her favorite Tintern Pinot Noir.  
Valery returned his smile with a sly one of her own. “That’s how I know.” She took the bottle and he followed her in. 
He took his coat and shoes off.”Know what?” 
“That you’re worth the effort.” She winked, grabbed his collar and kissed him deeply.

Last but not least, Tony and Anne

Tony’s hand lowered from her cheek to the back of her head and neck. He would not rush this with her. Anne stared into Tony’s steel-blue eyes mere inches from hers as her lips parted, her breath shallow and warm.
“That’s how I know.” He brushed his thumb over her rapid pulse and smiled.

Anne swallowed and whispered. “Know what?”
“That you’re worth the effort.” His eyes closed as hers did and he gently lowered his lips over hers.

Romance is worth the effort, at least it is for me. I plan and plot and scrutinize how to play it out. Subtle and tantalizingly stretched out or quick and passionate. Whatever I decide for those moody moments I know it has to be personal to the couple otherwise it’s like cut and past romance writing that just seems somehow wrong.

My advice about writing romance.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, keep it personal to the couple, watch the POV and show the reader, invite them in don’t just say “that’s romantic”.

Want to play? Give the three lines a try, and post a comment below with what you come up with for: (You can only use this dialogue.)
“That’s how I know.”
“Know what?”
“That you’re worth the effort.”


The Ole Switcheroo

But I hate that

Desperately procrastinating

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved


31 thoughts on “Isn’t it romantic?

  1. As if Lynn’s day couldn’t get even worse, now she has to struggle finding the right key to her house amid floods of tears and pouring rain. Ivan, standing behind her with an umbrella shielding them both sensed there was more than just a broken heel, but it gave him the chance he’d wished for to pour out his heart to her. “That’s how i know”. Defeated, she turned around to look at him. “Know what?” her voice trembled slightly. “That you’re worth the effort”. He dappled his hanky gently over her eyes before planting his lips over to hers and she surprised herself by reciprocating.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A little glimpse at Tyler and Lily for your game…

    I stopped in the open doorway of the tiny bungalow she was moving into and took in the chaos. Boxes were stacked in the centre of the room along with the furniture covered in drop cloths while the room got a fresh coat of paint. She had her back to me as she worked a roller and swayed her hips to the music playing on the radio. I could see paint smeared down her leg and cobwebs in her hair, such a beautiful mess. I cleared my throat and she spun, the look of caution on her face morphing into delighted surprise in an instant.
    I took the few steps across the room to her and lifted my hand to wipe paint from her cheek as she smiled up at me, the welcome in her eyes heating my blood. “That’s how I know.”
    “Know what?” she said, as usual unaware of the effect she had on me.
    I brushed her lips with a teasing kiss, meaning to keep it light, but she opened to me and with a groan I fell into her. We broke apart a minute later and her hand was in my hair while mine were on her hips holding her close. I heard a soft splatting noise and looked down to see paint dripping from the roller onto my boot. I shook my head at her sheepish expression, couldn’t do anything but grin and say, “That you’re worth the effort.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Their first Christmas in the new house filled Sarah with anticipation and excitement. Then Aaron brought in a massive twelve-foot tree he’d cut from the back yard that nearly took up the entire living room. Her face fell while his glowed. Instantly he knew she wasn’t seeing the full picture and the doubt that clouded her eyes worried him at first. She was crestfallen. He continued playing with the tree, adding branches into slots he’d drilled and soon it had taken shape and evened out full and lush. Aaron had so wanted this to be special for her. When he was done, even Sarah was impressed. Together they decorated the tree, teasing, laughing, joking. Aaron wrapped her in his arms and kissed her eyelids then here cheeks and her lips. She lifted her arms and encircled his neck and looked lovingly into his rich brown eyes. “You made this very special. I’m touched.”
    “That makes me happy. I knew you didn’t understand at first and I was hoping it would be very special.”
    “It is because you made every effort to make it special, and it is.” Sarah caressed his jaw with the tips of her fingers then he danced her around the room. It was special, more than special. It was perfect. They were together, in love, and he cared deeply. It showed in every movement, every look and Sarah felt on top of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It had been an hour now. Jason was sitting, nursing his now cold cup of tea, on the floor amid the debris of the IKEA bed. He could hear Sally downstairs, stomping around the kitchen with the full orchestra of plates, bowls and pans, along with the talented vocals of muttering and an argument with her mother. He stared at the instructions, the shifting mass of pictograms and nonsense, then sighed and picked up the screwdriver. Time to get to work.

    There was a knock at the door. Jason grunted as the door opened, then stood up to admire his handiwork. A cup of tea, nestled in a slender hand made its way through the crook in his arm as the other one snaked its way around his waist. “That’s how I know.” Sally said, standing on tiptoes to kiss the back of his neck.

    “Know what?” Jason took a long draught from his tea, made to perfection. You could practically taste the terror in the milk as the mug had been threatened with its presence.

    “That you’re worth the effort.” She said. He coughed, spluttering his tea back into the mug. He just caught her evil grin as she disappeared back through the door, then sighed. Placing his tea carefully back on the cardboard box, he chased after her to squeals of delight.

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  5. It had been a hard couple of months for both of them, Mark knew. He hated being away from Katie for so long, but life didn’t seem to care. Even now, with the two of them alone in the forest, it didn’t feel like a real date.
    Katie’s hair was sticking up on end, with leaves and twigs poking out here and there. Her face and clothes were covered in mud, and she smelled like sweat. Mark knew he didn’t look much better, especially since he kept wiping his face off with his mud-covered hands. But Katie looked at peace in the woods, away from everything, and Mark felt at peace with her. Even as cold and dark and creepy as the woods felt, as much as his body kept telling him to go back to the campus, he didn’t want to leave.
    She was looking at him with those intense blue eyes, like she was reading his mind, when she said “That’s how I know.”
    “Know what?” Mark asked.
    “That you’re worth the effort.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Happy Valentines Day | I wrote a book. Now what?

  7. Pingback: Isn’t it romantic? — I wrote a book. Now what? | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

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