Light a Fire Under Your Characters

Posted by August 11th, 2012

Book Country Twitter Chat (August 11, 2011)

Find out what bestselling author Karen Hawkins and “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” blogger Sarah Wendell have to say about chemistry between characters.

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 One of the main things that draws a reader into a romance novel–or any novel really!–is the chemistry between the characters. Whether it’s a hero and a heroine, a protagonist and an antagonist, or a main character and a secondary character, the sparks should fly off the page. But it’s not as simple as it sounds to achieve! So how do you create that tension, that fire? And what even constitutes chemistry really?

Book Country turned to the pros for some wise and entertaining answers: Karen Hawkins(@theKarenHawkins) and Sarah Wendell (@smartbitches).

Karen is the New York Times bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance novels. Her characters, no matter what the time period, always sizzle and burn white hot!

Sarah is a reviewer, blogger, and author who runs the popular romance blogSmart Bitches, Trashy Books. Her taste is impeccable and she can smell the fire between characters from miles away. These ladies know their stuff!

Just check out these highlights:

@SmartBitches: Examples of no chemistry: People who end up together simply because they are the hero and heroine. YAWNNNN.

@TheKarenHawkins: You should thread the evidence of this chemistry through the book, and not dump in one place.

@Chumplet: Instant attraction doesn’t fly these days. Readers want to see deeper nuances than merely the physical.

@mamajalapa: tension will always exist in some form even after h/h are together. It’s human nature. How they deal w/it makse chemistry.

@SmartBitches: My fave: “I don’t want to like you, I don’t want to like you, I can’t stop thinking about your hair DAMMIT!” That’s chemistry.

@TheKarenHawkins: Villains w/depth – a real person – means they can be redeemed and that true chemistry is about POSSIBILITIES.

@anneholly2010: The ones that can’t live without each other are unrealistic and creepy. Co-dependence is not sweet.

@younglibrarian: clue #1 your story has gone off rails: your mc’s have more chemistry w/secondary characters than bet each other

If you missed the chat or want to remind yourself, we’ve posted the entire transcript as a PDF document here. The PDF will open in your browser and you’ll be able to save it to your computer if you like. You can also get to know your fellow genre fiction lovers by clicking directly on their Twitter handles.

Please note that the chat appears from newest to oldest tweets, so start at the bottom and work your way up.

Thanks to all who made this chat such a great success!

REMEMBER: Book Country Twitter chats occur every other Thursday night from 9-10 pm EST. Just use the hashtag #bookcountry to participate or follow along. Topics are announced in advance in the Book Country Discussion forums, so be sure to take a look!

 

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