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I really like the discussion about comparing notes on what type of character they rooted for most. It's definitely interesting to think about what you enjoyed main characters, to help determine what to write. (Also, "grateful" connects to my character, so hopefully in on the right path!)

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I had an "aha" moment writing one of my books when I found a way to combine humor and suspense. The rom-coms make it look easy, but I never was deliberate about it. A story is not a bunch of unrelated elements. They must reinforce each other.

 

I had a scene where the heroine is lured by a secret admirer into a situation where she is promised a new perfume to help her woo the man she loves. I combined her vanity (one of her superhero weaknesses) with espionage. The perfume is one that the secret admirer loves but also knows the hero hates. It turns out that a spy on their ship used that same fragrance, and when the heroine doesn't smell it on board, they know that a crew member (the spy) must have jumped ship and it helps identify him. The fragrance became a crucial clue, as well as creating a rift between heroine and her mentor (the secret admirer). Getting humor, character flaws (vanity and jealousy), plot, and conflict to all work together can be tricky, but when it works, it makes a story come alive.

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