Home » Writing » How you doin’? *eyebrow wiggle*

How you doin’? *eyebrow wiggle*

Attraction. We all feel it towards another. Mine is usually most keenly felt towards most of the cast of The Hobbit, and Bryan Greenberg because, well, they’re hot πŸ˜€

But more to the point, I’m thinking of that first moment of attraction, when characters meet and there is that first flush of liking the other due to physical looks.

I’m not a fan of instant-love, but I do like to be realistic, and let’s be honest, when someone is sexy, they’re sexy. You’re gonna notice!

But writing romance has made me realise the different levels and types of attraction that we can feel. I mean on the one hand there is the slight attraction, where you like the other person but not hugely but it’s nice to look at them or be around them. Then, there is the other end of the scale, where your body reacts without permission and you find yourself giggling manically at every word and blushing profusely if they even glance in your direction!

Having characters attracted to each other is great, but I do like the relationships in my books to feel real to the character. One female lead might react one way to finding a man (or woman) attractive, where as another one of my leads might act in a completely different way.

For example, my character in my current novella is in a bit of an awkward situation; her position means she can’t outwardly show that she likes the love interest, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel it. On first meeting, she can’t help but be drawn to this guy who is attractive and unlike any other man she’s met. In a real life situation, I’m figuring that her strong attraction and her want to show it is exactly what would happen, especially if she’s looking for a distraction from events that have already occurred.

It is a historical piece I am writing, and that also makes a difference due to social rules, etc. I mean a woman in Regency times would show her attraction in different ways to someone in, say, Medieval times.

So, it’s a careful balancing act of moving the romance forwards whilst also staying true to character, the events and the time it’s set, but showing the attraction between characters can create some great scenes and that just keep me writing until I’m completely drained with the amount of thudding hearts, butterfly-filled stomachs and fluttering of eyelashes πŸ˜€

Do you enjoy writing about the first attraction between characters? Do you like the first meeting? How do you get around showing attraction whilst also keeping to character?

Also, thanks to Catherine, Caffeinated and her incredible post and blog, I have managed to add a contact page under my header, should you ever need it. I figured it’s easier than the sidebar.

Progress Report

Word Count: 7228 (33,345 total word count).

Status of Third Manuscript: Writing first draft.

Match E-Book Review: 100% read. Review written.

65 thoughts on “How you doin’? *eyebrow wiggle*

  1. “Having characters attracted to each other is great, but I do like the relationships in my books to feel real to the character. One female lead might react one way to finding a man (or woman) attractive, where as another one of my leads might act in a completely different way.” <—- I love this. Feel the same way. ❀ : ) xoxoxo

    • Yeah, I think it’s definitely important to stick to character and tailor reactions to suit their personality in any events throughout a story πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting :

  2. Definitely. I do like to write about first meetings and also how things develop from there. My main character is pretty much in the exact same position as yours, but maybe for different reasons.

    In my case, the two main characters really try to do ‘the right thing’ and stay away from each other, but they just…gravitate towards each other, and end up in situation where things are bound to happen.

    I don’t think it’s very difficult to keep to the characters at this point, but I recently realized that I know so much about them, and occasionally I skip sharing info with the reader that I take for granted, but the readers obviously don’t. So I need to always remember to write based on what they know, not what I know with my profile sheets and the whole childhood etc etc that I keep in the background files.

    • I totally know what you mean, in my first novella after getting it back from the readers there were some bits I had just left out because I obviously knew what was going and forgot to actually write it in so as the reader knew too πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  3. Great post, but no, I don’t get much joy from this because it is a tough one for me. I know the feelings and have heard from others who have experienced that fluttery, oh, my feeling. Still, when I try to incorporate it in my writing, I always think it falls flat. 😦

    • Practice makes perfect, as they say πŸ˜€ Got to just keep writing, and one day, you’ll find it comes together perfectly. I think even those who’ve been writing for years haven’t perfected it.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, good luck with it all πŸ™‚

  4. I love writing the beginning stages of attraction for characters. In my first novel there are several reasons the main character can’t show his affection for the girl. I had a blast working through his struggles and naturally unfolding how these characters come together. Staying true to the character just takes consistency in their action, like staying focused on the characters goal. At least for my novel my character pursuing this girl would destroy his chances of achieving his goal. And that was fun, watching him sweat and sacrifice everything! Great post:)

    • I do like the stories where there’s a period of time when the two can’t get together, adds tension and I’m a sucker for that kind of thing πŸ˜€

      But yeah, it’s about sticking to the character to drive the story along and make it feel like it is flowing well.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  5. Absolutely! I often think that writing historicals must be so difficult. They don’t just speak differently, they act differently. Like you say, a woman couldn’t do then what we do today. And yet, she has to do something in order for the story to move forward…So tricky!

  6. It must be difficult not only getting a relationship believable in terms of characterisation but also authentic in terms of historical setting. Plenty to keep you busy! πŸ™‚

    I like writing first meetings between characters, whether they are romantically attracted to each other or not as you can really establish the dynamic between them. I also love when very different characters meet as the contrast allows you to reveal interesting aspects of their personalities through the way they interact πŸ™‚

    • It’s nice in first meetings, when things are revealed and you have that first impression kind of moment, it’s enjoyable to write πŸ˜€ Especially, as you say, when characters are different, that’s when the real fun begins!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  7. In my short stories & my novel, a consistent comment was that the women fell too fast & acted too quickly. I’ve learned to slow it down but it told me something about myself – LOL!

    • Yeah, I guess we all add a bit of ourselves to the characters, lol. I don’t mind characters acting fast when it comes to attraction, because in real life people act on desire, but I like when deeper connection between them unfolds throughout the story πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  8. Romance is difficult for me to write about, which is probably why I write thrillers. I’ve researched it, taken notes, and experimented, which probably destroyed the essential element of spontaneity. Oh well…

  9. The big meet-cute, as I’ve heard it called, is a fabulous time in my writing, but my meet-cutes are usually meet-weirds because my characters usually meet during odd or inconsequential times. There aren’t any big moments of “TA-DA!” when they meet, and one half is usually frustrated at the other until they get to know them. So when they first meet, it’s funny and awkward and down-to-earth. But my silly romantic heart likes to read books with meet-cutes that actually are cute with instant attraction. So I guess I’m divided on the subject. Loved your post, BTW!

    • Meet-cute… I like that!

      Though meet-weird sounds pretty awesome too, I must say. I like when the couples get off on the wrong foot, and have to work through it and find out that actually they really like each other. Generally I’m just a fan of romance in any situation πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  10. I had an independent, high spirited, Bohemian type woman/character who was okay with casual sex and minimal romance. I kept her true to her character but had a reader who was very bothered by the fact that she and her love interest (a man she had to see secretly) had only met three or four times before they were ready to have a sexual interlude. Some people take things very personally when it violates their own morals.

    • Very true, you can’t please everyone as they say! πŸ˜€ Everyone is different and individual, including characters, that’s what makes people special. Just because a character does something, doesn’t mean you have to do it too, or that it is true for you as a reader!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  11. I grinned when I saw this post because I was talking about this topic with a fellow roleplayer, one with whom I write most, just last night. I can’t always say that it’s the first meeting that always makes most sense, especially as sometimes I like writing characters who are already in relationship at the start of the book, or who have known each other for a long while before they eventually get together in the actual story. I like exploring all types of possibilities, from finding someone sexy really early, and possibly acting upon it if it’s mutual, or have characters who take years of friendship and going through a lot before falling into each other’s arms. I think that one thing that is always important is the intellectual/emotional chemistry besides the physical one. If the characters have nothing to say to each other, I don’t see the point of making them be together.

    • True, I like the instant attraction of the physical-type, but anything more has to be built up over time. Instant-love isn’t really my kind of thing, but chemistry on the first meeting is always fun πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting, glad it was on topic for you at the moment! πŸ™‚

  12. In the otherwise good novel ‘Heat and Dust’ the female narrator gets in the sack with a weird backpacker (in India) with unhygienic habits, but she doesn’t really say why – I found it irritating. She should have explained the attraction.

    Glad I’ve had the chance to vent my displeasure here.

    • I guess sometimes characters are like real people, in that they do stuff they can’t explain sometimes? πŸ˜€ But yeah, in a book the motives should have been made clear, or it just feels odd.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  13. I actually tried really hard to avoid this in Asylum. My writing partner (and girlfriend) used to do a lot of one offs where X meets Y, chemistry BOOM and just right to the fun stuff,’ cause that’s what we were in the mood to write. When Asylum took off, Naj was hinting to me very strongly that he was falling in love with Nica, and I told him to stop that foolishness right now because it was so obvious and easy and I didn’t want to go there. But Nica kept insisting the same to her author, and eventually I’d stopped writing true to character just to keep from being cliche – no bueno. So I gave in and let Naj kiss her, and that led to a great big plot thingie I never would have seen coming otherwise. So that’s fun.

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  15. In a couple of my books I have a fast romance build, and yes, they are not always the easiest to write. But occasionally, you may find a way to have your character go outside the box of what her normal character traits might dictate. Like perhaps she has a girlfriend who encourages her to approach him or something. That might help it be more achievable for her. πŸ™‚

    • True, and good point. It’s always nice to change thins up a bit. I mean, most of my female characters I’ve just realised are quite self-confident (hopefully, not annoyingly so!), so they don’t mind going for what they want when they realise they want it. Would be fun to write a shier character, who doesn’t.

      You’ve inspired me! πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  16. It’s difficult to make it seem real without being corny. I usually find the best relationships in stories are ones where the two people don’t get along at first – it makes you ‘want them’ to get along and when they do – YAY πŸ˜‰

  17. You are so on target. Navigating the complexity of the layered emotions of a first attraction and how it impacts the evolution of a relationship is one of the fun bits and challenges of writing romance. And is difference for every character, every couple. That’s what allows us to keep writing new stories, finding the fresh spin on so much that happens in literally moments of time.

    • It is nice to find new ways to write about relationships and characters, all different based on their personalities and how they will react. Characters can make a story that much better, and I do love to write about how they first react to each other, it can create some great moments! πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  18. You make a good point here. It is a lot of fun as an author to play around with different character’s attraction to each other, the awkwardness and the wonderful realisation that their feelings are reciprocated. Or that the other person doesn’t feel the same which can make for high drama. Great post! :)l

    • Glad you enjoyed it πŸ˜€ It’s nice to think of things like this sometimes, and find out how other writers approach it.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  19. It seems to come naturally for me to base reactions and interactions very specifically on character. For example, if I have a shy girl, I’d never make her slip a guy her phone number, you know? She’d be more likely to eye him up discreetly, through rows of library books a safe distance away. She might confide in her one and only friend, who just happens to be a lot more outgoing than she, and who, of course, feels compelled to try and bring them together in some creative, non-embarrassing way. Cliche, right? LOL.

    Food for thought…thanks for this post!

  20. I like it best when the characters don’t realize they are attracted to each other at first. It’s fun and builds anticipation for the audience. πŸ˜‰

    • I do like it too, when characters eventually like each other but don’t say because they don’t know how the other will react, that’s always a bit of fun πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  21. I really like this topic. Writing about attraction that occurs when characters first meet is something I have not challenged myself to do yet. Usually my stories begin with the characters already in a relationship or the attraction is one sided, where one character is attracted to the other, but the other is not. I also like how you mention the importance of time and place and how characters will react or behave based on that. Definitely helpful information to remember in my future stories!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, it’s nice when writers can share what they learn with others, you never know who it might help or inspire πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  22. Ah, the ‘love at first sight’ thing! When I get round to re-writing The Novel again, I need to feel confident about at tackling that one head on. My character is a mixed up, boffy 18 year old, headstrong and sure she is right about everything, who falls for a well fit Polish carpenter. He is also attracted to her. When I did the first draft, I think I could have done the ‘love at first sight’ thing much better. As well as a ‘profile page’, I need to write a list of physical and emotional reactions, I think.

    • It doesn’t have to be love at first sight, I try to write it as the characters finding each other attractive straight away, but the feelings developing at a later time. Though love at first sight would be a good challenge to try and get it right πŸ˜€ Always got to flex those writing muscles!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  23. Man, I can’t even right good attraction when I try. I’ve had a couple times where I set out with the intention of having two characters fall in wuvs eventually, only for it to never happens because I wasn’t feeling it in a realistic way.

    • You got to feel it, I guess πŸ˜€ I try to get in the headspace of the characters and see how they’d react, I guess all those years of roleplaying are finally paying off!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

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  25. I guess having to write about romance between couple is far more exciting for a writer than seeing it in films. To start with you have to think about more interesting ways to bring the couple together and show their love interest otherwise it could become predictable in all your books. I don’t write romance so I haven’t written any love scene yet. Great posting, I enjoyed reading it and it got me thinking about problems of love making through the ages.

    • One ting you don’t want is predictable! πŸ˜€ It is fun to come up with different ways to throw love interests together for their first meetings.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  26. I love writing that first meeting. It’s always different, depending on the characters – sometimes the attraction is mutual, sometimes it’s one-sided, sometimes the character doesn’t realize how attracted they are at first! The project I’m working on right now starts when he and she have known each other and been “friends with complications” (don’t know how else to describe it) for ten years. It was fun to do a flashback to show the initial meeting and why their relationship turned so difficult and then work out all the complications through the rest of the book to get to the happy ending πŸ™‚

    Every couple is different, every meeting is different, and every path through all the difficulties to the happy ending is different. That’s one of the things I love about writing romance. I actually write fantasy, but there has to be a strong romantic storyline between the two main characters. The romance is as important as the fantasy storyline, and I don’t think I could write a novel without it! πŸ˜€

    • I love romance, I just so enjoy seeing that aspect of characters and how it’s different for each one. I think it adds a lot to a story, no matter the genre, but then that’s just me πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  27. Thanks for the fun post. I love writing about the first time characters meet. There is so much going on, at all different levels and it can be extremely character revealing to watch how someone either fights against it, falls head over heels, or maybe even goes into denial, repressing their lust with dislike because they’re afraid of intimacy. Just thinking about this makes me want to start another story, but I’m supposed to be finishing the one that’s sitting in front of me!

    • I know what you mean, characters can inspire so much and thinking of how they’d react is great to write πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  28. I think you have to know a character inside out to be able to intuit how they would react. That’s one of the most exciting parts about writing that first glimpse of an attraction. If you hand over the reins and allow them to be themselves it can be very rewarding.

    Great post, which created excellent discussion.

    • Yeah, knowing the characters really well is a must, as getting them to react so as it suits their personality can be tricky but fun to do πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I do enjoy when posts create discussion and get people thinking!

  29. Hello! Great article! I’m not a romance writer, but I do enjoy adding elements of romance to my stories. It is a challenge to get my characters to react according to their personality. Whether I’m writing a fantasy, suspense or horror I do want my romantic scenes to read true to character, natural and real. πŸ˜€

    • Yeah, everyone experience romance and love in different ways, so it should be the same for our characters πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  30. First meetings often determine the slant of the story. I’m writing a new book beginning when the characters are in high school. The attraction is strong and continues through the years. War complicates and separates them. Much later on they will meet. I’m excited but then I always feel this way while writing a new story. An adventure, a journey.
    Thanks for the comment and like, my lovely friend.

    • It is exciting starting out writing a new story, taking n new characters and seeing where they go πŸ˜€

      Your new book sounds exciting! I do like romances where they continue to meet over the years.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  31. I loved your post. I am not a big fsn of instsa love eithet but there are times those stories hit tbe spot like a decadent indulgence. Your story sounds great

    • Glad you enjoyed it πŸ˜€ Yeah, insta-love is not my kind of story but sometimes that attraction just hits my characters hard!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • They would, I try not to make my characters too attractive (though I can’t help myself sometimes!), I try to make them- especially my main female- a little plainer, so as they are indeed forced to look beneath the prettiness on top πŸ˜€

      Great comment, thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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