Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Romance Resource: The 5 Love Languages

So, not only did I miss yesterday's blog post, I also didn't meet my goal in completing my overhaul of BITE ME, YOUR GRACE. :( My friends and family had enough of me being Ms. Reclusive Writer and wanted me to be social this weekend, which was fine. I could get back to work on my WIP on Monday.

...But then I got heatstroke. Heatstroke! ME! I'm the one who turns blue under 70 degrees! I'm a lot better today, but I still have a splitting headache.

Anyway, on to the post.

My latest crit buddy pointed out a big issue in my MS: The hero seems to only express lust for the heroine. There was little to indicate any deep emotional connection. To deal with this, I found an awesome resource: The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman People express love in many different ways and this book breaks it down with convenient simplicity.

Here are the 5:

1.) Words of Affirmation: We all know that in most romances, the hero is often reluctant to say "I love you" until near the end of the story. Still, he could compliment her, not only on her beauty, but on her actions: i.e. "Your paintings are exquisite." "I can trust your reasoning in this matter," "Etc."

2.) Quality Time: Aside from romantic walks on the beach and sensual candlelit dinners, the hero and heroine could do some activity that is new to the other. In one of my favorite books, the heroine gets the hero to get up at the crack of dawn to go fishing. At first, he's all grumbly about it, but eventually they have a wonderful time.

3.) Receiving Gifts: To quote the book, "A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, "Look, he was thinking of me," or "She remembered me." Flowers and jewelry are often in romance novels, but it's the unique ones that resonate more. I got all melty when a hero from one of my stories presents the heroine with her favorite book.

4.) Acts of Service: In WRENCHING FATE, my heroine repairs the hero's car. Her justification is that she likes working on cars, but the pleasure she gets from his gratitude leads me to believe her intentions went deeper. Later, the hero gets her mentor a lawyer so he can get out on parole a little sooner than expected.

5.) Physical Touch: This is usually the most prominent Love Language in the romance genre, I know it's one in mine. But think how many non-sexual touches convey love. Anything from a friendly hug to holding hands can strengthen your characters' bond.

This book can be a priceless resource in your work.

What is your hero's "Love Language?" What is your heroine's. How do these conflict and how can they blend?

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