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The last couple of stories I've taken to critique have gotten the same comment from one of my cps. She asks, "I don't see what attracts these two to each other."

And I don't have an answer.

In Hot Shot, it's trust and healing, right? I mean, she's getting over her husband's death with a man she swore she'd never love because of his dangerous job, and he's learning to trust women again.

In DLB, it's healing and trust. He was the man who rescued her all those years ago, and so he knows all about the past she's worked to overcome, and how can she overcome it if he's always there as a reminder?

In Beneath the Surface, it's trust.

Am I understanding what she's asking? She's asking, isn't she, that the hero and heroine are The Only One for the other.

But in Vanished, the one where the woman is missing and her best friend and her brother team up to find her, I don't have that, I guess. She's full of life, he's a fuddy duddy, but that's not enough.

And in Breaking Dawn, which admittedly I haven't given a lot of attention, he resents her for using her charms to make her way through the world because she reminds him of his abusive mother. He thinks he wants someone he can protect, not someone who can make her way through whatever means necessary.

How do you make your hero and heroine The One?

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Stacy Dawn said...

Wow, I never thought of it like that either. Hmmm. I'll be checking back to see the answers

Cindy Taylor said...

Okay, I'll take a shot at this one.

My Character w/ Most at Stake: Hero
Internal Baggage: Responsibility of others is a four letter word. i.e. My baby I just found out about will pull me down just like my emotionally dependant mother did when my deadbeat old man walked out on us.
His Lesson: That love and trust overrule responsibility. i.e. through his baby and the heroine (baby's aunt) he learns that love means sticking it out through the diffucut times in life.
The Heroine for Him: A woman who has also been abandoned in her own right, but comes out of it with an appreciation for family and love. A woman who will sacrifice many things in her life for the happiness and wellbeing of her niece.

Now, without kowing anything about your Characters in Vanished, let me see if I can try this.

Your Character w/ Most at Stake: The Hero (because he's the fuddy duddy)
Internal Baggage: Something in his past which made him into a fuddy duddy. i.e. losing his parents and having to be the parent. Or maybe losing another sibling and he was the one who picked up the pieces of his family. Something to tie into his current agony of his sister missing.
His Lesson: That life doesn't have to be as hard as he makes it. i.e. my parents/sibling's death was not my fault and I don't have to be a pillar for everyone else.
The Heroine for Him: A woman whose also had her share of tragedy, maybe one who didn't have anyone to lean on. One who is able to show him that life is what you make of it, and the most important thing is to enjoy those loved ones around you (she could show this through talking about her relationship with his sister).

I might be way off here, but that's the best suggestion I can come up with right now.

Sorry if I highjacked your post. ;)

Kelly Boyce said...

I usually try to find a part of each character that speaks to the other. For instance in Outlaw Bride, Kate lost the security of a loving family as a child and has been looking for it ever since. Connor in turn is a stable, responsibile man who shows her the true meaning of family. In reverse, Connor lost is trust in women and his own sense of judgment when he was betrayed. Kate forces him to trust again, even when it appears on the surface he shouldn't. Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

My hero and heroine know that while they can stand on their own two feet just fine alone, they are less apart from one another than they are when they are together. When they are together, they create something beautiful.


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Mary, I think it's kind of impossible to guess what your cp is getting at and what's missing in your book without seeing the book. There can be a million reasons why the connection isn't conveying itself to the reader.

I think that "attraction" can't necessarily be described in a pat manner. It's definitely one of those "show, don't tell" things, and has to be an action/reaction escalation. Like, the hero does or says something that affects the heroine emotionally and changes how she sees him, and vice versa, slowly deepening their relationship.

Does that make ANY sense?

Dixie Belle said...

I've been reading your posts. I've been away from blogging for a while. I want you to know that if I were an editor, I would buy Hot Shot just because after all the crap you've been through with it, you deserve to sell it!!

KATZ said...

When deciding on which story idea to start writing next, which one I think can become a full book, I look at the conflict between H/h.
Something about them has to be diametrically opposed to the other one - they are after the same goal for different motives, for example. Or huge personality differences, based on issues in their past...which it sounds like you've got!!

Because they are different, they force each other to grow...and as they grow, they realize it's OF COURSE because that person was the Only One that could bring out the best in them...

That's the utopian dream in how I would write/plan a story, anyway! :)

And, strong, hot attraction is a GREAT starting point - that this person attracts them unlike anyone else ever has before them...

Sorry for the long post! I'm sure you're there in your story...maybe your CP just saw some simple, tweakable "unheroic" traits in your characters that made her unable to sympathize/fall in love with them?? :)

MJFredrick said...

Stacy, it's eye opening, isn't it?

WOW, Cindy, that was awesome!!! What a great system! And your book sounds fabulous.

Kelly, makes perfect sense. That's actually a lot like Hot Shot, come to think of it....

Joanna, how do you get them to that point, though?

Natalie, yes, that makes sense. I guess I need to find a way to tell it in the sucknopsis, though. I think that's where she's having the trouble and is thinking an editor will as well.

Bless you, Dixie, and welcome back!

Sarah, I think my stories work that way, too. Usually I have them working toward the same goal (which is usually getting out of the jungle alive ;) ) but once they've reached that goal they realize something is still missing, and it's the other person. I need to convey this in the synopsis, I guess.

Ugh, I have to go to the grocery store. Blech.


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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