I read a book recently that got me thinking about relationship depth. Or, ya know, lack thereof. In this book (which will remain nameless) the entire relationship was based on looks and sex appeal. After four hundred odd pages of ‘he looked like Adonis, leaning over me’ I was quite tired of it all. Not that there isn’t something appealing about Adonis, especially when he’s leaning over you. But that aside—isn’t there MORE?
Look at your favorite couple in any book and list a handful of things they love about each other? Is it a crooked smile, the unflinching loyalty, the stupid collection of action figures one collects? A sarcastic sense of humor or a running inside joke—any number of things can deepen a relationship between characters.
Or, for that matter look at your relationship—after the initial attraction, what is it that makes you love your significant other? Is it her quirky habit of always hanging a foot off the bed, or his off key singing in the shower and fear of your driving? Her dancing while she cooks—burns—dinner?
Here’s the crux of the matter—if ALL the character ever thinks when looking at the love interest is how bad he wants in her pants, or how sexy his butt is, then it gets boring quickly, and it doesn’t turn into a believable relationship. Sex appeal is lovely and all, but there needs to be more.
When writing today, look at your characters, and how they interact. What else do they have besides a physical attraction? Once past the lust, what makes them love each other?