With Valentine's Day two days away, I've been seeing and hearing all sorts of commercials for florists, jewelers, and fancy chocolates. I shake my head and sigh. Is this what romance is built upon? Okay, I'm a chocolate lover, but they're not romantic in my eyes even if they come in a gigantic heart-shaped box. Most people I know agree that true romance is not represented by the stereotypes of Valentine's Day.
You need to consider this when writing romance. Are your characters traditional romantics? Or does something different sweep them off their feet? Find what romance is to your characters and you've discovered the core of their being.
It could be something silly she collects or tickets to a sporting game she enjoys. BUT most of the time it isn't about physical things. It's about actions, morals, and emotions. A dedication to family, the will to never break one's beliefs no matter what the enemy does to him, selfless acts, and loving someone for who she is no matter all her crazy little quirks.
For me, romance lives in the times my husband and I stay up late talking and laughing about silly things, and the moments we sit quietly in each other's company. Walks in the woods holding hands. When he stays home instead of going to do something he really wanted to do and takes care of our son so I can have a nap. A smile and a wink that still makes my stomach quiver even after 15 years.
What is romance to you?