Archive | March, 2012

The Dating Scene

15 Mar

My two upcoming releases, Random Acts and Too Close to Home, are both romantic suspense novels. The main characters grow closer and eventually fall in love while the villain does his best to cause them all sorts of havoc. After I submitted my latest project to my agent, I decided to try my hand at writing a contemporary romance.  No bad guys. No cops. No speeding cars. How am I going to fill all those blank pages?

Then I remembered some writing advice I had received early in my career and was recently reminded of during a fantastic online course by Donna Alward called Blasting through Blah! offered through Savvy Authors.

If a scene is not working, try changing the location.

Sure your characters can fall in love while having dinner at the big chain restaurant, but it probably won’t make for exciting reading. Think of some of the movies you may have seen. In The Wedding Planner, Mary (Jennifer Lopez’s character) gets to know the handsome doctor (Matthew McConaughey’s character) at one of the wedding venues. Remember the scene when the stone statue breaks and Mary whips out her super glue only to have “the part” get  stuck to the handsome doctor’s hand? Or what about How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson’s character) and Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey’s character ~ have you noticed a trend here? :)) have fallen madly in love with one another. Barry invites Andie to a corporate party with his biggest advertising client, DeLauer Diamonds. (“Frost yourself with diamonds.”)  Anyway, the black moment occurs when Andie realizes Benjamin started dating her due to a bet. (Watch the movie to see  she has secrets of her own.) At the corporate party, they have a huge blow out including a Karaoke-esque scene where they duke it/sing it out in front of everyone. This scene was more entertaining than if they had fought in private.

Where are some other interesting locations to bring a date?

  • A picnic on a beach (I love the beach ~ note photo of me and my hubby at the beach.)
  • A rowboat on a pond
  • An amusement park
  • Camping
  • A dance
  • A drive-in movie

Besides simply changing the scenery, varying the type of interaction between your hero/heroine can reveal something about their characters. How would your heroine react in a rowboat if she didn’t know how to swim? How would your hero behave if he had never been camping? This all breathes life into the story and creates a lot of ideas to fill the blank pages.

Okay, what are some fun dating ideas?  Have you ever gone out on a date that revealed something about your date? About you? I’d love to hear from you.

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