Today’s critique session left me scratching my head.
In my story, the love story is secondary to the main plot though it doesn’t mean it’s not important. So far I thought I left some good implied clues that these characters would make a cute couple but nothing happened yet. They’re just friends. That happen to live together.
In chapter 12, the pov character for the first time internally acknowledges that he’s into the other. We’ve got the equivalent of the butterflies in the stomach, etc. Nothing happens between them other than being really cute (they end up dancing under the stars) and they talk. He starts to open up a bit about himself but then talks himself out of explicitly saying “I like you.” So, as it stands, they’re still just friends.
Plot-wise, these characters have known each other for 4 days.
Feedback I got on this chapter confused me because they said it felt too sudden because there were no butterflies in his stomach in any of the earlier chapters. They wanted the character to either acknowledge the attraction in an earlier chapter or acknowledge it here but move the character opening up to the other to a later chapter.
And that just gives me a head scratcher. Is it really a problem that a character would think that he likes the other and then NOT do anything about it in the same chapter?
This feedback would make sense if in the same chapter he would internally acknowledge attraction and then profess undying love. Yes, that would be too sudden.
But nothing happens other than this character has just gained a new motive and he might have dropped some hints to the other character that he’s interested but they’re very vague hints so they don’t change much between them.
If it was one critique, I could easily ignore it but it was both of my writing friends saying that. One is into slow burns - took her two books just to get her characters to the first kiss. The other had the characters passionately kiss in public after talking for five minutes. So I’ve got writers with these extreme tastes agree that it felt too sudden.
They agreed that they liked the chapter and thought it was cute so it’s not that they hated it or something. And this chapter is f$#@$ng adorable so that’s an expected reaction.
I don’t know, is it because potential romance has only been implied so far and maybe they enjoyed it better as implied? Is it a case of romantic tension that works better when it’s never pointed out?
Well, too bad. Few chapters later things get hotter. We’re not leaving it at the unsatisfied tension.
But it makes me wonder if I should take their feedback seriously and add some preliminary attraction in earlier chapters. I thought I did, I’ve had this character reflect on the other’s body, but it looks like it was too subtle.
Also, sorry that this topic got this long. Maybe I needed a good vent.