I've been tinkering around with my WIP lately (tinkering is much too fun), and after a rejection that called attention to the chemistry between my leads, I've been pondering ways to ramp that up. Which is why you all are getting a post on it today :) You can thank the agent for it if you really want.
So, here's the thing: I was kind of floored at this comment on my manuscript. Because my leads full of chemistry for one another in my head. But sometimes that doesn't transfer completely to the page. But how does one make chemistry happen for two characters, or at least intensify it? I mean, it's not something I can cook up in a lab. (Okay, really, you didn't think I was going to *not* make a science joke, did you?)
I have started thinking about things that convey attraction between characters. This doesn't always have to be romantic of course, but I'm sticking with that end of the spectrum. One of the things that I see in a lot of books is the "tingly touch" syndrome. A casual touch ripples through the whole person. IMHO, this one's been used to death, but it can be done well.
The other thing I often see used is the "eye lock" issue. Now, we've all had this happen, but who though to use the word "lock" in there? Seems a bit painful. Still, catching sight of one another and sharing a private look? That's does have some chemistry, even if it's also been used a lot.
Okay, another might be the private joke that only the two of the share. This is one I love. Who doesn't like two characters that can laugh at something only the two of them get? It shows that they have a similar sense of humor and some common ground.
The last one that that's coming to mind is the "we're going to die so you have to love me" chemistry. I think the name says it all. While this works in action movies and some books, I always walk away knowing that something built on the terror of a horrible situation is bound to fail.
Now that I've shared some of the silly and serious ways that character chemistry gets used, it's your turn. Tell me, what's your favorite chemistry-filled moment? It can be a scene, characters, an action, whatever! I'm just definitely curious :)
One more super fun thing for today!
Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction
Cover Design: Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25th 2015
A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.
In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.
But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…
In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.
The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.
In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.
Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.
The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.
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