July 20, 2011 | By: Tracy

Near Misses are HOT!

Let's face it, we all enjoy reading about a good snogging every now and again...maybe even like it when things get steamier. That's what romance in any good story is about right? The hugs, touches, kisses, intimacy.

But, in fiction, none of that is as much fun if the "near misses" aren't there. You know, those scenes where the hero and heroine are just about to break and give in to the attraction one--if not both of them--has been trying to deny. 



In that moment, they want it to happen. We want it to happen. Everyone wants it to happen.

But...it doesn't happen.

Something stops them before they're able to be fully swept away. Whether it's a pair of teenagers interrupted mid-makeout by a parent, or an adult couple sidetracked by some other force of life, they aren't allowed to cross the finish line.
 
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It's this dissruption--this sense of "Damn it! What would have happened if the phone hadn't rang just then?!?"--that drives us insane as readers and makes us root for the couple to get together even more. 

So while all the hand holding and stares of longing are great, and most of us don't mind reading about some good nookie once the couple gets together, it's the near misses that truly set the scene.

The better the near misses and frustration we feel as a result, the better the satisfaction when our heroes finally break through all their barriers. Make sure you don't skimp on this part while you're writing your story...the potential payoff is too great.

18 witty remarks:

Gina said...

Fully agree. My ms has two near misses and it drove my cp's crazy- in a good way. Love the Bella/Jacob pic!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

These are my fav kissing scenes to write. They drive me nuts as a reader, but they work. I'm so desperate to see the mc and her potential love interest kiss, that I have to keep reading. ;)

Matthew MacNish said...

This makes me think of the commercial for that new Justin Timberlake movie. The one where Mila Kunis says "I wonder what happens after the big kiss?"

And he says "porn."

GigglesandGuns said...

Love the tension of the near miss. Those Grrr moments!

Patti said...

Totally agree, they do wonders to build tension.

Misha said...

Hehehe near misses are awesome! Especially if there's a love triangle or something like that and the near miss means that the other guy (or girl) now has a chance. All depends on who's team you're on, of course.

;-P

Shelley Sly said...

Yes. I like near misses better than when they succeed and kiss. Because then the little back-and-forth game is over.

Beth said...

Yep. I think you got it exactly right.

alexia said...

Near misses are kind of like literary foreplay... it helps ratchet up the tension before the deed :)

Trisha said...

I completely agree that near misses are hot - however I must say that I find it excruciating in a bad way when characters have a near miss, then don't see each other for most of the book. I really HATE that. Especially if it spans over more than one book. LOL.

LTM said...

oh, yes yes yes!!! :D when I finally realized this, I almost used it too much. *snort* But it is a great trick, and it totally ups the tension. Good stuff, girl~ :o) <3

Drizel said...

well that keeps the tension going a tad longer....it is good:)

Andrea Franco Cook said...

Yup, gotta agree with you there. "Near misses" keep me turning pages.(: Great post.

Chris Phillips said...

Hope you are doing well and haven't died and stuff.

Lola X said...

Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

Lola x
http://lola-x.blogspot.com

Paul Tobin said...

Interesting post, I agree near misses help to build up the tension and make the characters more believable.

Misha said...

You are so right! And it gives me an idea for the next scene I have to write. :-)

Elaine AM Smith said...

Near misses, that don't seem to contrived, are the fuel that keep me reading. ;)

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