Rania Battany Talks on the Importance of Building Tension

This week we have author Rania Battany. She explains the importance of building tension in a story. 

Rania Battany lives with her husband and three children in the beautiful Yarra Ranges, Victoria, Australia. When she isn’t getting her hands dirty in the garden, frolicking with her chickens or dog, or chasing after her three young children, she is writing contemporary romance novels that tug at the heartstrings or curled up with a cup of tea and a book.

Rania Battany on the web:

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Over to Rania...

Writing Craft: The importance of building the tension and chemistry between your hero and heroine (or your hero and hero/heroine and heroine).

Romance books end with ‘Happily Ever After’, or, at the very least, ‘Happy For Now’. It’s what romance readers want. It's one of the main reasons we choose to read this genre. We don't want to reach the last page and discover a twist in the story, finding then that the hero dies and the heroine is grief-stricken. We want to finish the last page with warm fuzzy feelings.
Recently, a friend questioned whether I got bored with reading romance since, and I quote, “every book ends the same way”. I guess for a non-romance reader it can seem that way, especially considering I said above that every romance book ends with ‘Happily Ever After’. The truth is that while we know the story will end with the hero and heroine together, it’s the how we’re interested in. It’s watching how they overcome their hurdles, hardships and emotional baggage. In a paranormal romance, it may be discovering how they save the planet from an alien invasion. In a historical romance, it may be how the wealthy duchess finds a way to be with the poor groundskeeper. It’s the how that means so much to a romance reader, and that relies on one main thing: whether or not the reader believes in the connection between the hero and heroine.
As readers, we need to be emotionally invested in the hero and heroine’s relationship. We need to be rooting for them to find their way, to become whole heartedly invested in them overcoming all obstacles. The connection needs to be strong enough to keep us interested in their struggle to be together. If we don’t feel the connection between the hero and heroine, then their struggle towards happily ever after won’t seem worth the time or effort to keep reading.
Creating tension, desire and rapport between your hero and heroine is essential. Their attraction to each other can be either intellectual, emotional or physical, or all of the above. Either way, the connection needs to be believable. We need to be teased with glimpses of their growing affection. This may be in the form of secret glances in passing or their hands accidentally brushing. We need to feel the way their heart drums in their chest, or how their palms grow sweaty when they’re close to one another. Perhaps it’s more overt than that. Maybe it’s long conversations that establish a deeper connection or a traumatic incident that brings them closer together through understanding. Perhaps it’s a love/hate relationship, and we see them arguing passionately, only to feel the tension of their attraction burning beneath the surface, all the while begging to see how they finally come together.
If you build the connection well enough, then the reader becomes invested—and longs for—all the big moments: The first time they touch, kiss … make love. It also makes their conflict—the one thing that pulls them apart, whether this is physical, external or internal—all that more powerful. It will keep your reader turning the page, eager to see if they make it through whatever is trying to keep them from being together. And when they do finally make it to their happy ever after, it is what will make us exhale one long dreamy sigh of relief.

Fleeting Moments

Maya is floundering. She’s stuck in a dead-end job, is isolated from family and friends, and her father—the only person that ever truly understood her—has been gone four years. When her boyfriend leaves her for another woman, the rocky foundations of Maya’s life crumble to dust, and she sinks even further into the pit of grief and despair.

Until she meets him. Sam. The one with the animated smile and gentle eyes, who always sees the positive no matter how bad the negative. And the one who reignites Maya’s passion through his enthusiasm and zest, helping to rebuild her life, piece by piece. 

But when ghosts from Maya’s past resurface, her decisions almost destroy the few important relationships she has left, and the happiness she’s so recently found is threatened. She must overcome her demons and decide what matters most—the familiarity of the past, or the hope, love and possibilities of the future.

Buy on:

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