Of course, that's the kind of book I want to write. I'm not sure if I succeeded, (I mean, I think I did, but who am I to say?) but I wanted romance to be just enough of THE TRAVELERS to make hearts melt, but not so much that it was the whole story.
As I was reading ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis, and I had a lightbulb moment - one of the most awesome devices in a romantic subplot is something I'm calling "The Disastrous Kiss."
Everyone loves a good near miss, but there are only so many times an author can pull that sucker before I start rolling my eyes and either flipping to the end of the book or wanting to throw it across the room. Probably the latter.
Because, here's the thing. You know that character 1 and character 2 are Meant to Be Together, you know they're going to hook up eventually, so how many near misses can you use as conflict to draw out the tension? Not that many.
But The Disastrous Kiss? That's pure gold. There's just something incredibly heartwrenching and exhilarating about it, because you know in your heart of hearts that these two are Supposed to Be Together, yet the disastrous kiss is so horrifically AWFUL that you really don't see how they're going to overcome this most romantic of obstacles.
I really can't explain it any further than that without showing you an examples, which you may consider spoilery. So, warning - a pretty disastrous excerpt from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE after the pic. (It's in bold, so you can scroll through it to the rest of the post if you want.)
|This kiss still could end in disaster.*|
From ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis:
And then - I'm not sure how it happens - but she takes a step closer and I take a step closer, and then we're both just entirely too close.
And there is nothing between us but rain.
Then there is nothing between us at all.
My lips melt into hers. A drop of rainwater slips around the edge of my mouth, and then her lips part, and so do mine. The raindrop falls on my tongue, and then it's lost on hers.
My body is drenched; I should be cold. But the warmth of her fills me.
My arms snake around her body, pulling her hard against me. I want to crush her into me.
I never want this to end.
And then -
-She's pulling away.
She's stepping back.
Her fingers are on her swollen lips.
Her eyes are wide and sparkling.
Raindrops drip down her cheeks, but it's not rain, and for the first time, I taste salt on my tongue.
"It's always in the rain," she murmurs. "With Jason, too."
And whoever this Jason is, I want to kill him.
"I'm sorry, she says, taking another step back. "I never meant to -
And no, no, it's not supposed to be like this.
See how that just - ? Oh my - excuse me - I'm a little breathless from my heart being torn out and thrown on the floor.
There's not really a Disastrous Kiss in THE TRAVELERS. (There's kind of a sad one, but it's not a disaster by any means.) But I learned my lesson. If I can throw a disastrous kiss into ONE anywhere, at all, I've gotta do it.
So...yeah. I already wrote one for ONE. And even though it's one of my darlings, it has to stay in that MS in some form or another. Critique Partners, you've been warned. I'm holding on to this baby with an iron grip.
What's your favorite Disastrous Kiss? Do you have one in your MS?
*Photo credit: www.atomicmonsters.com*