Dear Editor…

Dear Editor,

I’ve always wanted to write a ‘friends to lovers’ story, but I’ve been told they’re notoriously difficult to get right! Any tips before I start?

Thanks,

Francesca

Hi Francesca,

You’re right that ‘friends to lovers’ stories can be really tricky to crack! If your hero and heroine like each other and know almost everything about each other, then you need to work really hard to create the sizzle between them, and make sure that all-important ‘will-they-won’t-they’ tension stays up at all times. But, ‘friends to lovers’ stories can be amazing, because your hero and heroine already have such a strong connection that seeing them taking the next step in their relationship can be immensely satisfying and truly heart-warming. Here are some key things to bear in mind as you start writing:

  1. For a relationship to really pop and keep readers on the edge of their seats, we need to feel there are significant barriers both your hero and heroine have to overcome before they can be together. So, even if they’ve been friends for years, your hero and heroine still need to have secrets and issues which they only share with the other as they get closer still in this story. Think about what they don’t know about each other in Chapter 1, and what revelations need to come before they can start truly letting their guards down with each other. This should help give an instant element of tension, and give your characters a clear emotional journey to go on over the course of the story.
  1. One of the toughest things to get right with a ‘friends to lovers’ story is creating believable, exciting, wipe-the-sweat-off-your-forehead chemistry between two characters who’ve known each other for years. If they’ve been friends for a long time but have never felt a spark, why is this? Has there been a specific reason they’ve never felt the attraction before now? If so, what has changed for them now? Or, has one or both of them always secretly harboured a crush but hasn’t been able to act on it until now? Whatever you decide here, readers do want to see that sizzle, so make sure it comes across from the very first moment we see your hero and heroine together (even if they’re not acknowledging it yet!)!
  1. It can be easy for ‘friends to lovers’ to slip into a cosy, domestic relationship very quickly. But, that isn’t what readers want to see – arguing over whose turn it is to do the washing up just isn’t the stuff of romance! So, think about how to get that level of aspiration and excitement into your story. Can your hero and heroine be taken somewhere new, out of their comfort zone? Has something happened to force them to interact in a way they never have before (boss/employee, forced to live together, brought together by a child etc)? And, with every scene, try to show exactly how your hero and heroine’s feelings for each other are changing. We want to feel that exhilaration of falling in love as we follow your characters’ story!

Happy writing, and good luck!

The Sold Editors x

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