A Valentine’s Day Writing Tip


One way to get insane romantic tension in a story, whether for teens, new adults, or full adults, is to let your characters hook up early in the story rather than keep them apart. The nature of that “hook up” depends on your story’s steam level and your audience, of course, but the strategy is the same for all of them: Give your characters a taste for the lovin’, get them to crave more… then tease ‘e m along by REFUSING to let them hook up again for a good, long while. Sure, they can get in a quick kiss here and there, make a promise or toss innuendos or even make a date, but don’t allow them to fully hook up again until they’re ready to burst. That kind of physical tension is electric. Every touch and conversation makes them crazier for each other, so when they do finally get together again, it’s an explosion. So that’s my Valentine’s Day tip: Let them DO it, then FORBID it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Editor

The Editor, Deborah Halverson, has been editing books for over 25 years and specializes in Middle Grade/Young Adult fiction and nonfiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books. For her editorial guidance in making your manuscript ready for submission to agents and publishers or for self-publishing, click Editorial services. Learn more in her books: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies and Writing New Adult Fiction.


  1. Do, then forbid! Love it.
    We’ve been watching Outlander. Talk about 3 years of “doing it” and then 20 years and two seasons of “forbidding” it. Whoa! Fireworks. Sorry for the spoilers!

    Thanks for the tip, Deborah. Happy Valentines Day to you too!

    • Always great to hear from you, MaryAnn! I’m so glad you find the posts helpful. It’s my hope that even on the days when the post isn’t new information to a reader, it’s a reminder at just the time they need it.

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