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Dear Story Nurse,
I’m doing Camp NaNo this month with a goal of 30K words which translate to about a thousand words a day. I’m writing a romance novel, but the problem is I’m having a hard time developing romantic tension. I’ve thrown my heroes in a perilous situation, so right now I’m filling the word count with them planning on their next move, and worrying about the situation back home. How do I develop the romantic angle when they have moments to breathe and aren’t running from danger?
To add a layer of complexity, Hero B has been badly burned in the past and is in denial about his growing feelings for Hero A because he doesn’t want to get hurt. How do I show rather than tell that?
Finally, do you know of any good examples of this romantic tension building that I can be inspired by?
Thank you for all you do!
—Hopefully Romantic (she/her)
Dear Hopefully Romantic,
I’m sorry I didn’t get to this letter during Camp NaNo, and I hope you found your way through and made your goal! But romantic tension is one of those things that’s often better managed during revisions, because it’s all about pacing, so I think this advice will still be relevant to you.