I’m starting my second story on Episode, and I’m trying to learn how to write better romance stories without the dreaded “insta-romance” (cough Which I’m guilty of…). I’m finding it really difficult to introduce conflict without external elements, so I’m curious if anyone here has any advice for writing conflict in slow-burn romances?
The conflict doesn’t have to come from the relationship, the two of them might need to work together on something, they might misunderstand each other, think that the other one isn’t interested…
@Writers ~ any tips?
Hmmm conflict in slow burns…
It’s hard to do well. I’d say make sure there’s something else in the plot that drives them. Something that they can solve together.
@Talu is amazing at slow burns!
Let them get to know each other. And this lets the auidence get to know them and root for them.
Small moments add up immensly even if they seem trivial.
Your character has a favorite shop they go to then have a small moment of their relationship be Character A eventually showing it to B. Let A open up about a happy memory from said place and B add something or even be happy they are getting said character to open( or both)
Character B notices little mannerisms of character A (and vice versa)
Through those little mannerisms character B notices A is worryful and asks about it. Becauuse A opened up about their favorite shop and happy memory they got trust to open up about their problem…and goes from there
Each character gives and takes a lil they get to know each other and build up trust and an actual relationship(not this insta love BS) they dont learn to love they learn to understand why they were drawn to each other in the 1st place and what crush started just grows deeper and deeper
In terms of conflict theres internal conflict which ppl alway forget. Maybe B feels they are not worth As love and distances themselves. Maybe they are both insecure about something and distance themselves. This CAN worm into external conflict BECAUSE those internal struggles.(i.e. someone or an event makes character 1 even more doubtful of 2s intentions becuase insecurity is already there and the root problem)
They both grow(work on their insecurites)
change(overcome them or work as best they can through them)
support one another (because they love each other)
Conflict can come from not feeling worth anything
Conflict can come from mental illness(not in a romance cures it but them seeking help and finding strength to do so)(thts internal and external)
Conflict can come from feeling like your competeing with yourself to keep up with them(or vice versa)
Conflict can come from them not being ready for something serious or feeling like it(and needing to grow into a suitable partner)
Conflict can come from fear of intimacy(NOT s3x =_=) fear of getting close opening up and showing the ugliest parts of you.
Annnnd thts all I got ‘__’
This is insanely helpful; my goodness thank you so much!
Welcome glad to be of help
Conflict can also come from seeing the ugly of the person and not accepting it cuz it doesnt fit the image character A had. Character Bs fears are realized(tht their ugly parts are unloved and they withdraw further) character A introspects and realizes with all Bs flaws thts why they love them while realizing they have flaws of their own.
Your advice is incredibly insightful; thank you so much! I’ve never been fantastic with dialogue (I’m pretty introverted myself, so conversation is NOT my strong suit ), but I know that those small exchanges are where a lot of romance (if not the vast majority) lives in these stories, and I really want to do my best to do this story justice. Really, this is so so helpful. Thank you!
Welcome n////n ha…ur kind >///<
Last piece of advice…Dialouge isnt always necessary.(to me) Especially introvert relationships comfortable silences count for a lot(to me anyways)
She sat in his room as he working on the computer. The tapping of keys being pressed echoed about filling the silence. Her eyes darted to him watching his face focused on his work. A strange feeling of contentness filled the air as she grabbed his handheld gaming console and started a new game. He stared at her unknowningly the light of the game reflected in her (insert color) eyes and her shocked expression upon almost dying made him chuckle. The boy went back to typing the sooner hed finish the sooner he could join her.
Ppl forget Actions are romance anyone can say sweet words but its not about saying they are in love its about showing they are in love. To have a deep connection where words arent always necessary.
Acts of love include
Cooking for or together
Seeing something and thinking of their lover(even when they are not there)
Listening to them vent/rant
Sarcafice small things or gifting small things
Standing up for them(even when they arent around to see it)
Sudden unexpexted kisses or random affection(quick ones not full make outs)
Motivating them when they are down
Calming them when angry(or upset not raging)
Sorry >< I know im ramblimg
Please don’t apologize! Everything you’re sending to me is super helpful; I really appreciate it!
Thats all I have
v.v ha…glad I could be of help
I LOVE SLOWBURN!!! I’m eagerly waiting for your story (Hoping it’s in INK cuz I can’t stand LL)
Let the characters get to know one another and don’t base their interactions and relationship of sexual attraction. There is nothing wrong with the characters being attractive but perhaps make it more personal e.g. instead of the nerd falling for the bad boy who is completely out of her league and is asshole and not her type, maybe we have a masters student that might fall for a small businessman who is attractive to her and not every person that is into men… Beauty is subjective not everyone is going to find the same person attractive so making the attractiveness personal is a good start.
Let them have their own spot light. Slow burn is a great trope because it lets the readers connect and immerse with the characters because they actually have a life that doesn’t revolve around the LI. Develop both characters and let them have their own interests and hobbies and friends, this way we can get to know them and root for them. You need to love yourself first before we love someone else.
Make the small interactions matter. It’s not all about the sweet words that anyone can say. Show how much they love one another. Examples;
Let the characters notice certain features or quirks about them (biting nails when nervous, eye twitches when lying etc)
Sacrificing things to make the other one happy
Doing thoughtful things for them to make them happy (maybe without even telling them)
listening to them when they vent
sharing personal things with one another
Slow burn relies on internal conflict that then leads to an external conflict.
The internal conflict is just desire vs fear.
What does your character desire the most? What would bring them true happiness?
What is your character’s fear? This doesn’t have to be a legit fear but some kind of obstacle that stops them from achieving their desire.
Once this is created, your characters will be faced with situations and they will have to make a choice and obviously like most humans we make the safest choice which helps us get what we want and not have to face our fears right? This choice is what brings the external conflict.
e.g . character A desire is to become an FBI agent but their drug addiction prevents them from doing so (Fear). CHaracter A works in a theatre and gets the role of an FBI agent but during shoot he has to leave due to an emergency, he leaves the place in his costume and his childhood crushes family sees him and mistakes him for an FBI agent. They arrive at his place and propose an arranged marriage proposal. He’s been desperate to get her back and so he agrees and keeps the charade up because he struggles with his drug addiction so he can’t even go for a FBI training. His childhood sweetheart finds out the truth and despises and they have to work through their differences.
Hope this helped
I meant the author yeah! I LOVE THE TROPE SOOOO MUCH!! in the process of writing my own slow burn on wattpad.
That’s what I thought. Just wanting to make sure!
In my novel I am writing one too!
Awesome! Is your story published anywhere?
No. It isn’t it is a novel. So it will be published as one thing!
This is insanely helpful; thank you SO MUCH!!