Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Writing Physical Attraction

How do you write one person being attracted to another?

One way could be:

Bill's eyes open wide as he beholds her natural beauty.

To me that sounds like it's leaning a bit towards Mills and Boon, and this is a screenplay, not a novel. Another way is:

Bill is clearly attracted to her.

But I've seen so many readers warn against writing 'clearly'. I can't do the 'Bill blushes', or make bill babble is words nervously as he isn't that type of character, but I must make it clear that Bill is attracted to 'her'.

I may go with the my first example for now, but please comment, or point me at other articles that discuss this.

Thanks in advance

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

7 comment(s):

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter) said...


Just picked up my copy of Writing the Romantic Comedy, by Billy Mernit, and it fell open at 'Character Chemistry'

I think I know how to do what I want now, and it isn't accomplished with a single line. How amateurish do I sound in this blog post. I'll leave it up there to teach myself a lesson :)

All the same, please feel free to comment if you wish.

ditty said...

Hm. I'd probably lean toward the second version myself because the first version could be taken as directing the actor.

But perhaps you could get a mixture of the two by going with something like, "Bill is awestruck by her beauty," which gives me a different feeling than "is attracted to her." It also gets rid of the pesky "clearly."

I'll be interested to see what other people think, as I struggle with this myself.

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter) said...

Thanks for the tip.

I've found a way of giving myself exactly what I want by building it up as the scene goes on.

A bit Woody Allen, but it works well :)

ditty said...

Care to share? :-) I'm curious.

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter) said...

Bill is a confident, direct character, so I can't have him blush, or babble his words.

What I'm going to do is have a brief first passing encounter, and then after she starts to leave, he stops her with some unnecessary random comment or question to prolong the conversation.

He is still confident, and keeps up his front, but the attempt to keep the conversation going with random nothingness (hopefully) shows his desire to keep the encounter going, and show the reader a glimpse of his feelings towards her.

I'll let you know how it turns out and may even be brave enough to post the scene.

ditty said...

Ah, yes. I like it. :-)

harada57 said...
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