by Robyn Rychards
For me, writing a romance about friends who fall in love and live happily ever after is hard, mostly because I’m more drawn to the mystery and romance of meeting someone you never knew and discovering they’re the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Maybe it’s because the idea of ‘love at first sight’ appeals to me so much! Therefore, it can be a real challenge to turn someone your characters view as a friend into someone with romantic appeal. The first time I saw this done, that I can remember, was in the made-for-TV mini-series version of The Thorn Birds. Maybe I remember it because it sparked the idea for my novel, Her Man From Shilo. It made me want to write a story where the hero and heroine meet when they’re young and are instantly drawn to each other, because when that happens at a young age, it’s not about sex, it’s all about the person. That germ of an idea grew and expanded in my head until, after twenty-some years, it became a full-length story that wouldn’t leave me alone until I put it in writing.
There’s something so intrinsically romantic about connecting with someone as a child, becoming friends with them and that friendship turning into a bond that lasts a lifetime. I think most of us have people we connected with when we were young who we remember years, even decades, later as someone special no matter the length of time we spent with them. Some of us manage to maintain that friendship over many years, though most of those people have left our lives due to circumstance. So how special a relationship is it, when someone we connected with when we were young becomes the person we end up spending our whole lives with? It’s a bond of a lifetime that most of us would love to have and few find. No wonder it makes for such a terrific love story!
But that’s not the only kind of Friends to Lovers story out there. The classic film When Harry Met Sally uses a different take on the theme and makes the trope more challenging because you have two people who meet as adults but aren’t romantically interested in each other. Therefore the focus of the journey is more on what happens to make them see each other in a romantic light.
It can get even more complicated when the story line does something like the movie Life As We Know It. In that movie the hero and heroine start out hating each other, become friends when a tragedy throws them together, and end up falling in love because they are forced by circumstance to look at each other in a whole new way.
All in all, though writing a book about friends becoming lovers is a real challenge, it can make for an epically romantic story if you handle it right!
Passion and tension erupt as these two finally resolve a lifetime of love.