Chemistry between two people is often inexplicable, created by intangible factors that can’t really be put into words. So… how do you put it into words?
If you’re writing a novel or short story with any sort of love or relationship plot, you know that a crucial part of making it work is convincing the reader of the attraction between the characters. But guess what? That’s really hard to do – or maybe I should say, really easy to get wrong. After all, the chemistry between two people is often inexplicable, created by intangible factors that can’t really be put into words. So… how do you put it into words?
Each of my three novels has contained some pretty significant romantic longing, so let me share what I’ve learned. Conveniently enough, some of the craft tools you’ll need to perfect are also widely applicable to character development in general.
In this seminar, we’ll go over a couple examples of fiction where this really, really works, and then I’ll share some tips and tricks for making your own writing simmer. We’ll do a couple exercises either based on characters you’re already working with or new ones created on the spot. Everyone will leave with a bit of new writing, and some ideas of how to make our readers feel what we want them to feel: convinced of our characters, and in love with what they’ve read.
Amy Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is the Ocean From Here. Her third novel, Unseen City, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2020. She has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, and currently lives in Brooklyn. You can find her at amyshearnwrites.com or @amyshearn.