By Guest Blogger Samatha Harris
In the world of romance we love a good romantic gesture. We swoon and sigh when the hero/ heroine makes a that amazing declaration of love, but what makes a gesture romantic? What is it about doing something for your significant other, no matter how small, that makes them and us as readers fall to pieces?
My rule for these acts of love is simple, MAKE IT MEAN SOMETHING!
Some people think of romantic gestures have to be big and extravagant, but they don’t have to be. What makes the act romantic is the meaning behind it.
For example: I frequently tell people that the most romantic thing my husband has ever done for me is get a vasectomy. Now I know what you’re thinking it sounds like a joke, but I assure you it’s not. My husband and I both come from single parent households. As those of you who are single parents can understand money was usually tight and our parents time was often spread thin between work and taking care of us and our siblings, this left little time for extracurricular activities. I always wanted to learn to play an instrument or take dance classes. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t afford it and while we appreciated everything our parents did for us it was something I always wanted to do.
So as my husband and I were planning for our future we both decided that if we had a kid we wanted to only have one, so that we could ensure they would be able to do have the childhood we couldn’t afford. (So far it’s been Karate, Drum lessons, Cheerleading, Dance, Swimming, and the list just keeps on growing.)
After the birth of our daughter, he put our plan into action and went through with the procedure despite his own fears and reservations. To me this simple act of love ensured that our little family would stay little as we planned and it showed me the faith he has in us and our marriage. Now this example is one that is specific to me, but it goes to show you that there is no secret formula for the romantic gesture.
It is doing something that shows your love for another person.
Another example, in my novel SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, Drew Collins is in a tight spot. He’s head over heels in love with his best friend Alex, but terrified to lose her. He can’t tell her how he feels, so he has to show her, and he does so in small gestures throughout the book. Dancing her around their spot in the square to her favorite song, showing up to her office with her favorite flower even though her office was already full of flowers from someone else, and ignoring his own feelings to be the one thing she needed most in the world, a friend. Small acts with big meaning.
When writing a romantic gesture, think about your character’s relationship. Is there something that symbolizes their love? Do they have an inside joke? A song? Something personal to them, something that makes them unique as a couple. Big or small size doesn’t matter. (tee hee)
I can give you a million examples of romantic gestures big and small but the best advice I can give you is whether you are writing a gesture for your characters or planning one for someone you love, if you want to melt their heart make it personal and meaningful, no matter the size.
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