Giving Your Characters a First Date


I recently read a blog about how you should give your characters first dates, planning them with the precision of a real first date. The idea stopped me in my tracks. I began to think of all the interactions of my heroines with the heroes in my stories. I realized that I usually let them fall into the habit of seeing one another, become friends and then, of course, discover they want to be more. While it does seem natural, sometimes the heroine and hero just need to have an intentional first date to get the relationship moving forward.

3 Tips on Crafting a Great First Date:

1. Make it fun, romantic and memorable. When my husband, Dakota, planned our first date, he had us do something fun and a little bit crazy. To begin our date, we visited a 4-story treehouse in New Orleans built by hippies out of debris from Hurricane Katrina. Turns out, it was a slightly dangerous place, but it gave him the excuse to hold my hand “for protection.”

While there may not be any hippie treehouses for your Victorian heroine to visit, try to make the outing/location unique and romantic. Make her heart flutter and you will get your reader’s heart fluttering too!

2. It has to move your story along. Dates are about learning more about the other person. Have your hero and heroine bond through not only sharing a romantic and fun day, but also throw in some deeper conversation. Or, maybe it is light hearted conversation the heroine is needing. The point is that the characters have to grow along with your story.

Dakota discovered during our rickety treehouse adventure that although I love rock climbing, I’m scared to death of climbing 4-stories high without some kind of safety harness. So, it was fun and romantic, but I had to be honest about my fears to someone I was trying to impress and risk sounding like a scaredy cat…which I am.

3. And finally, ask yourself if the date captured your heroine’s attention? This first date will make or break your heroine’s decision if there will be a date two. If she decides on not seeing him again, the reasoning has to move the plot forward. Sure, her love life is now digressing as she has to start from scratch on another first date, but maybe this date helped her to know what she doesn’t want in a man.

To read the original post that inspired mine, click here. The author, Lisa Jordan, has some excellent tips!

Happy Writing!

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About Grace Hitchcock

Grace Hitchcock's first novella, The Widow of St. Charles Avenue, released in Barbour Publishing’s The Second Chance Brides Collection August 2017. Her second novella will release in Barbour Publishing’s The Southern Belle Brides Collection in 2018. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace is a Louisiana Southerner living in Colorado with her husband, Dakota, and newborn son.

2 thoughts on “Giving Your Characters a First Date

  1. Thanks, Grace!

    I’m working on a novel based in the late 1800s. This gives me a couple of great ideas for my main characters. They’re caught in a love triangle, and this approach could give one of the men an advantage.

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