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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Guest post: CHRISTOPHER DRAVEN, author of HUNTED!

Today we have an awesome guest post from Christopher Draven, author of Hunted, and the upcoming Confessions!

A Male Author’s Method of adding in convincing Romantic Themes / Storylines

Without a doubt, writing romantic elements into my novels is a challenge. While I wouldn’t say I’m a complete failure in the romance department, it is the hardest stuff for me to write. It can take me an entire day to write one scene of dialogue between two ‘entangled’ characters. In comparison, the words teleport onto the screen when I’m writing an action scene or some aphoristic dialogue that drips with snarky humor.

Building romantic elements in an Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller is a core component to creating three-dimensional characters. Relationships like those between Karin and Harry, and Merry and her harem of male sidhe, are not plotlines I’m eager to read. Getting to the good stuff – the action, magic, and defeating the villain – are delayed when we are forced to deal with some new lover’s spat.

However, my journey into authorhood has taught me those ups and downs are a vital component of the story. Without the ‘entanglement of feelings’ between Karin and Harry, there is no payoff in her saving him, or him saving her. If there is no connection, then the drama of the story stays stagnant – if the person being saved is always a stranger.

With the relationship moving between ups and downs, the stakes of the game change. That adds complexity and layers to the character’s motivations. The characters transform into someone worth relating to on a deeper level.

Developing this aspect of my craft has been a challenge. In writing the Jonathan Harker novels, I received positive feedback from readers about the relationship between Jonathan and Clover. The credit for this success goes to a fool-proof way of writing convincing romance themes and/or storylines. It is an approach that relies heavily on other people to help keep me in line.

Here is my approach:

•    The first step is understanding the progression in the relationship. As an author, I spend a lot of time outlining the story, what scenes are coming up, and what surprises I have for readers along the way. The relationships between your characters need to be part of that outline.

You need to take the time to figure out how the action would impact the relationship(s). This ensures your characters don’t  stagnate.

Karin loved Harry from the start, but he did a lot of things that scared her. She never left his side, but the love factor rose and fell based on her experiences with Harry.

•    When writing the scene, channel the physicality into something emotional.

In Hunted, I included a scene where Jonathan is leaning on Clover. He feels her against him, but it isn’t only her physical body that feels good. He discovers he can rely on her. He can give in and let her help him. An awareness the hero could let someone else be in charge, even if for that moment, began as physical stimulus but ended as emotional.

•    There are a lot of senses attached to romance. Remember that showing your readers is preferable to telling. By engaging more senses, you are pulling them in and painting a more romantic picture.

Touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound are the usual standby senses writers use. However, think about other options – we humans are reported to have over twenty different senses.

Try using some of these other options to spice it up:
Emotions, Time, Pressure, Heat, or Balance.

•    Finally, and this should just be a standard part of your process, ask for feedback. I’m lucky enough to have two very accomplished editors. No matter how good you are, every author needs an editor who gives tough love. Far too many writers have fallen by the sword of their own ego. If only they had asked someone for feedback before publishing.

Writing romance full-time is not in my future. It is a genre that requires a lot of study and finesse to do well. However, I do feel that any author should consider the human element when writing in Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller. It’s easy to focus on saving the day, but sometimes it’s nice to add a few lines on who makes it worth saving.

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn't Easy 

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described "Kitchen Witch" named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic - and come out alive on the other side.

Get your copy from Amazon.com today!

Got my start as a technical manual and instructional material designer for Corporate America.

Eventually they gave me a team to manage. One day I had enough, reclaimed my soul, and left to follow my passion.



Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

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