March 26th, 2010

chalice well

ESSAY: TV Romance - How Writers Won't or Will

(Second of a 3-Part Series on Television Romance).

See Part 1--in which we discuss the way a serial element changed prime-time television romance forever, and the illusory comfort of blaming a "Moonlighting Curse"--HERE

So Wait... There IS A Curse?   

 No. A problem? Yes. But the only "curse" for television characters who advance their relationship to the next stage rises from the deceptive ease of initiating that relationship. 

 See, almost anyone can write Unresolved Sexual Tension. Go ahead. Try it: 

 Jane looks across the room at John. John meets her gaze, holds it. Then he turns, too quickly, back to his work. 

 There ya' go. 

 If the actors have chemistry (and good actors can feign chemistry with a can of soda), the show will generate UST. Romance novels work similarly. If you want the quick-and-dirty method of sexual tension, you a) consistently show that the hero/heroine notice and admire each other, and b) keep interrupting their chances to discuss or act on those feelings for at least two hundred pages. 

 I don't necessarily recommend this, BTW. I'm just repeating what I've heard at countless writing conferences.Collapse )