Monday, 23 April 2012

Creating Chemistry In Your Characters

My first novel, Sign of the Times, a contemporary romantic drama, already available on Amazon - - only £1.53

Evening all. Today I wrote the start of one of the pivotal scenes where Gill meets one of her dates.  So, it's very appropriate that we are going to be talking about creating chemistry.  Now for me, chemistry is not only about romantic or sexual chemistry between two characters,but also platonic chemistry between any two individuals, whether it's two friends, siblings or work colleagues.  However, the scene I am in the middle of writing, is very definitely romantic chemistry.  Gill and Anton are both hoping for something more to develop from their date, but how does a writer convey on a page what the eye can see in person, hear in the tone or timbre of a voice, identify from someone's body language?  Partly through narration, partly through dialogue, is my answer.  Description of the way they behave in each other's company; the right adjectives and adverbs can be incredibly powerful here.
To heighten the effect,  it should be a gradual process, uncertainty and vulnerability on one or both sides being unveiled.  Subtlety is again key. Do they watch each other ?  What are their facial expressions?  How do they seem when the other's back is turned? Do they fidget? Do they feel ill at ease or relaxed?  Does she play with her hair? Does he lean forward when talking to her? Do they mirror each other's behaviour?  Are they keen to learn more about each other's lives? Can they be open with each other?  How much are they holding back?   Ultimately, are they a likely pairing? Could you imagine them together? If the answer is yes, I have written a good scene and matched two characters well.

When considering other types of chemistry, between siblings, friends etc, do the characters come alive?  If you have two rowing siblings, who are extreme opposites - show also when they get on, as the contrast makes it more potent.  Close friends who might have disagreements. albeit they are always there for each other. By showing that everything is not always rosy, you can demonstrate depth in the friendship. 
Platonic chemistry between two individuals, of which at least one is the victim of unrequited love, can also be wonderfully exciting to write and read. There is also the What If factor.

I have been asked by some of my Twitterati to elaborate on some of my travels.  Certainly I have been fortunate enough to visit many countries, probably around forty or fifty. I will include one or more tales of this in tomorrow's post alongside whatever unveils itself in the rest of the romantic scene I am still writing (this is my favourite scene so far)  It would be fair to say I have a large source of material to draw from, for ideas for future novels, from the countries I have visited and it's likely this will be seen in my writing.

 For the record, I am about 25% through writing the first draft of this novel, working title, The Dating Game
have a good evening, Sooz


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