OK, so I have two characters, and they are very snappy to each other (as they are to everyone) and yet I'm planning a romance between them that hasn't emerged yet.

Here's a little bit of conversation between the two after the girl became sick and the boy is acting as her caretaker:

I woke up to Thomas staring at me from a chair across the room. "Go away, I'm fine," I snapped. He replied with "I'm sorry, do you have memory loss as well? Because last I checked, you couldn't stand," I glared at him. "Why are you still here anyway, I'm pretty sure all I've been so far is rude" I asked. He shrugged "I like being close to you," he said.

It's actually pretty far along in the story, and Thomas' statement "I like being close to you" comes dangerously close to exposing the truth. How do I tell when (now, a bit later, or much later) to bring it out into the open.

  • Reading your questions, I feel like some articles on this site could help you. The articles focus either on writting or roleplaying and some contain useful tips on writing both romance and lovable jerks. Jun 15 '16 at 7:17
  • Try researching classic couples like Beatrice and Benedick of Much Ado About Nothing and Maddie and David of Moonlighting. Also see TVTropes (WARNING): tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/… Jun 15 '16 at 10:07
  • You might find answers to this question useful: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/20303/… Jun 22 '16 at 16:39
  • I've put this question on-hold, because it isn't clear to me what you're asking. You're writing a romance between two snappy characters - great! What, exactly, are you having trouble with? When you try to write the scenes and develop the romance - what isn't going smoothly? You ask us how to write it "correctly," but can you explain what, in your current drafts, feels to you "incorrect"?
    – Standback
    Jun 22 '16 at 17:49
  • 1
    @Standback: I have hopefully clarified the question and nominate it for reopening in its current form.
    – Tom Au
    Jun 25 '16 at 4:33

You can indicate attraction with nothing more than intense interest. If your characters are secretly attracted to one another, they will watch each other very closely. They will remember each other's likes and dislikes, even when mentioned in passing, and they may use this information to needle each other.

Your POV character will think about Thomas a lot. She may make observations to herself about how Thomas looks, moves, and smells. She will be very aware of him physically. He may exasperate her but he will be on her mind.

An observation: "I like being close to you," clearly signifies interest and doesn't sound snappish at all. You may want to dial that back if you're still in the beginning stages of their romance.

  • +1 I was going to write my own answer, but I think this one covers the topic very nicely. Readers tend to like to see characters get together, so you don't necessarily need to go overboard to signal romance. Jun 22 '16 at 16:42
  • @Manda it's quite far in the story, so I felt the need to put that in.
    – DJFluffy
    Jun 23 '16 at 19:33

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