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My current work in progress is a slow burn romance between two characters who do not believe in love in their own way. MC simply does not believe in it due to bad experiences being proven, and LI (Love Interest) has sworn off any romance relation.

I've gone through multiple stages of writing grief, causing me to edit—add, subtract, split—many chapters. And honestly, I've found my peace space with previous ones. But flaw is, current chapter seems to have sped up too quickly. Other chapters don't signify any romance, but this one suddenly does. This is because I noticed that I wasn't sure how to introduce the two characters getting along. But if I were to remove and replace this chapter, I feel stuck. What are ways to slow down a plot?

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Subplots. Subplots, an excellent way to slow a story's main plot down, but also give your readers a sense of progress. Does your main character have a job? Have something happen at the job, or something else that is related.

A word of warning, try to work it in and not make it obvious that it's filler, because no one likes that.

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I would say there's two major things that can be done to slow down the pace generally speaking. One, spend the time exploring the inner thoughts and emotions of your main characters. By showing their vulnerabilities, fears, and desires, it will help slow the pacing of the story and also allow your readers to connect with them.

Two, you should start off the romance really slow and not rush it at all. You should start with a hint of chemistry between the characters and allow their relationship to evolve slowly. You can sprinkle little moments of intimacy here and there.

If you need to rewrite certain parts of your story in order to achieve these two, you should, there's no other way around it. So like I said remove the chapter, rewrite some chapters and sprinkle them with some moments of intimacy and show the inner thoughts of your characters and show a gradual progression (it shouldn't be abrupt).

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The other answers here, rightly suggest subplots. Maybe subplots which actively disrupt the ability of the relationship to develop because of time, geographical location, family, friends or job commitments, travel and so forth.

However, there's a lot of other stuff that could naturally slow down a romance. People's past experiences, fear of getting hurt, awkwardness, vulnerability, secrets, insecurities about our characters or our bodies or our families, personal histories, religions and so forth. And then there's whether both characters feel secure or positive enough to do anything about their romantic inclinations at the same time. A time when one of them is feeling optimistic about things might be when the other is feeling insecure.

And then, of course, there are misunderstandings. There may also be genuine disagreements, personal differences and arguments. People may have different political, moral, religious, family values. Or serious differences in taste, when it comes to music, art, lifestyle.

And all of this potentially before they even share a kiss, or any romance at all.

So much to choose from!

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