Monday, October 16, 2006

Pregnant Pause

I've been absent from blogging lately due to the birth of my second child, a beautiful boy, last week. I suppose I'll continue to be fairly erratic until I get into some sort of routine. But please, keep checking back for the next exciting instalment!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ramping up the Tension

For my birthday last week, my husband gave me a DVD box set of The Avengers. Anyone remember this British television series? I wasn't born when it first came to television in the '60s, but I watched the reruns. Emma Peel, played by the beautiful and talented Diana Rigg, is one of my favourite heroines of all time--possessing intelligence, beauty, wit and a mean karate chop. The mystery plots were rather silly and very dated now, but I loved the banter between Mrs Peel and Steed, the mildly flirtatious to and fro--the will they? won't they? wish they would! feeling you get with all great TV couples. But the writers of that show were smart: Peel and Steed never got together at all. In fact, at the end of her stint on the show, Emma Peel is collected by her long-absent husband, who looks suspiciously like Steed from a distance.

In romance novels, the reader knows the destination, that the hero and heroine will be together at the end. What we, as writers, have to do, is make the journey worthwhile. That means stringing the reader along, increasing the tension between the hero and heroine, delaying the happily ever after for as long as we can, making it seem impossible that these two can ever work out their problems and be happy. The more tension we can build throughout the story, the more satisfying the pay-off will be at the end. Have you ever read a story where the hero and heroine resolve their differences too early?