The battle is won and the hero and heroine kiss. Satisfying. To little boys, it’s gross. They don’t want to see the hero getting all mushy and emotional. He’s supposed to be stoic and forever alone, unattached and wandering from victory to victory. Sure, there’s some appeal to that kind of character, but he isn’t completely satisfying. When I was a boy, I didn’t shy away from the hero and heroine showing their feelings for each other. It completed the story for me.
Now that I’m a man and a writer creating those stories, having that emotional aspect is critical to creating the drama. My first novella, TAKEN TO THE LIMIT, is a Sci-fi romance. It’s the introduction to the Limit War between the Core Army and the world-destroying Dusk. The story begins on Earth, where an unwitting Dr. Korina Antonakis is swept into the conflict by an elite space commando, Sergeant Morrow. I could’ve written it as a straight up Sci-fi. Highlight the action and the technology and the world-building. The emotional story would just be there to give a little motor, a bit of tension when the hero or heroine was in jeopardy. But that would only be half the story.
Being married to a romance author, Zoë Archer, I’ve learned a lot about the genre. If you ever see us walking in the neighborhood, you can bet we’re talking about some aspect of writing (either that or we’re planning our next meal). The romance genre has great appeal for me. There’s incredible latitude in the kinds of stories that can be told in various subgenres. And all the while, the core of the narrative is the emotional journey of the hero and heroine.
Romance stories feel complete to me. I didn’t decide to make TAKEN TO THE LIMIT a romance because I thought it would sell better that way. There isn’t any other way to tell the story of Korina and Sergeant Morrow. I need their attraction to be real and foregrounded. For me, it would be much less dramatic if we didn’t live through the emotional struggles of these two on their way to their final victory.
Because it’s Sci-fi, I made the obstacles for them to overcome dramatic and very challenging. It’s a great stage for Morrow to be a larger-than-life space commando, and for Korina to step up and fight past her fear to battle the Dusk. And we get to see how much in love they really are. Their developing love is literally and figuratively the heart of the story.
That’s another reason the romance genre is so appealing: it’s inherently positive. Even if the stories involve something as dangerous as the Limit War, or delve into dark paranormal corners, the love the characters have for each other creates hope at the end. Not only do we get to ride along with the adventure of the story, but we also get the vicarious satisfaction from the completed bond between the hero and heroine.
So let them kiss. Yes, let them battle the evil aliens together to save the Earth. But let them show their love for each other with that kiss. What better way to end a story is there?
QUESTION: Are there any stories you’d like to have the romance highlighted, rather than taking a back seat to the action?
Thanks again to Nico for stopping by! He has also offered up an e-copy of his novella, Taken to the Limit to one lucky reader! All you have to do is answer his question above.
E.R. Doctor Korina Antonakis thinks she has mastered the chaos of her work and life. In a flash of light, everything changes. A man appears, a soldier from another world. Sergeant Morrow is a Nightfighter, an elite soldier who always battles alone. But he needs an ally on Earth, a doctor. In the dark of night, he opens Korina's eyes to The Limit War. And Earth is on the front lines.
More amazing than the interstellar war, is the soldier before her. He is strong and stoic, a veteran, but beneath the armor, Korina finds the heart of a man. And in Korina, Sergeant Morrow finds the soul of a warrior to match his own. Their lives had started light-years apart, but the attraction between them pulls like destiny. Their desire is real, but the enemy needs to be driven from Earth.
Can Korina and Sergeant Morrow's passion survive in the Limit War?
Must answer the question at the end of the guest post.
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Contest ends at midnight on Friday 17th.
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