It's the most wonderful (read: anguished) time of the year for writers: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. For the non-initiated, NaNoWriMo is a 30-day challenge that encourages writers to complete a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. It's harder than it sounds. Luckily, Bustle will be providing NaNoWriMo tips and tricks all month long, and today, I have some knowledge for the romance writers among you. Five romance novelists sound off on a tricky writing question: how do you create conflict between characters in a love story?
Read below for their #1 piece of advice for creating tension between love interests. If you're looking for more stories on romance novels, urban fantasy, and women's fiction, visit XOXO After Dark.
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates and brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful Bastard and Wild Seasons series, Sublime, and The House.
"The trick here is always, always, always be true to your characters. In fact, many authors start with their protagonist(s) and let the plot and conflict build around them. Know them inside and out. Their conflicts will come about through a combination of their backgrounds, their present circumstances, and their blind spots. You are the puppeteer. Figure out who they are, what makes their lives easy, and throw a wrench right into the middle of that. In romance, it’s fun if the hero is the wrench."
New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.
"Drilling down into your characters’ psyche is vital. If you know their biggest shame, you know what they’re trying to hide from their lover. When you expose their secrets, it creates immediate and realistic conflict—either they will do anything, even break up a relationship, to keep the secret hidden, or the relationship grows through acceptance and forgiveness.'
New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin is the author of the Tracers series, the Alpha Crew series, the Moreno & Hart series and several other novels.
Jennifer Probst’s novels, novellas, and ebooks range from sexy contemporary romance to erotica. She is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author.
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