In my serialised fictional podcast – The Diary of Roxy Collins, the main character Roxy has flown to Greece to persuade her hell-raising cousin Maggie to return home. The big question is whether there will be some romance for Roxy out in Greece?
I am a BIG fan of holiday romances in films, fiction and in real life too (pre wedlock days obviously). Holiday romances can be both life changing and memorable.
So, as a writer I thought it would be good to capture the key ingredients for bringing your characters together romantically, in a magical and faraway place.
After some extensive research for this blog post (which involved quizzing friends about their holiday romances – very tough!) I have drawn up the five stages for the standard holiday romance.
- Holiday Excitement / Go wild. This is the stage where your character realises that they are on holiday and free from the drudgery of normal life. It is an amazing feeling to be stepping onto a golden beach, looking out across a crystal clear blue sea and hearing that little voice inside you whisper “oh my goodness I am on holiday!”. Suddenly you get this powerful urge to go wild! Cue an excited shriek and a leap into the air, quickly followed by an energetic swim, a variety of fancy cocktails, a bit of a dance and topped off with some stinging sunburn and a sore head. Your character needs to let their fictional hair down and start to enjoy themselves. In Roxy’s case she’s rocking her brand new string bikini, ignoring some nagging doubts about those wobbly bits on her thighs, drinking cocktails and dancing on tables. Sigh!
- Unexpected Meeting of Potential Holiday Love. This is the stage where your main character will have an unexpected and unplanned meeting with their holiday love. These situations are even more magical when your character has not gone looking for love, as they might have other stuff to do or have more pressing things on their mind. Love needs to take your characters by surprise! In Roxy’s case she’s rescued a couple of times by a handsome stranger, who she initially finds annoying. I love romantic unions which start off with mild irritation.
- Holiday Romance. Holiday romances usually start two days before the other person has to fly home, so you have to jam pack – moonlight walks on the beach, kissing over cocktails, reading romantic poetry on a sun lounger and playing endless games of Travel Chess into a cheeky forty eight hours. By the time a holiday romance comes to an end you are normally in need of another holiday to recover…after all that Travel Chess! Sigh! So, during this stage you want to be coming up with an array of romantic activities to keep your reader and characters engaged.
- Delusion. This is the stage there you are in the middle of your holiday romance (normally around 6 hrs in!) and delusion strikes! Your holiday love will live 300 miles away from you back home and might even work at a different time of day or night to you. This does not stop your imagination from running wild and visualising an idyllic future for you both. Your brain will cleverly miss out the arduous five hour journey to see each other every second weekend, the lonely nights and the stab of jealousy when you see them enjoying a party back at home. So, as your characters both sip cocktails and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes they need to be thinking about how this holiday romance will definitely work back home and how much they adore long distance love.
- Heartbreak. Even if you decide to carry on the holiday romance back home there is always heartbreak at the airport. You are both tear stained and clinging onto each other like its your last day on Earth. They promise to write and call you everyday. In my experience your holiday love flies home days before you and the rest of your holiday goes downhill as you can’t face life without them. You end up consoling yourself over a few cheeky cocktails and
then falling into the arms of some elseand crying into your pillow. The heartbreak continues as they NEVER contact you again, despite you showering them with letters, poetry and voice mail messages – sigh! So for a realistic holiday romance you need to be capturing this final stage of heartbreak for your characters. I love a tearful goodbye at an airport. Make your characters fall apart emotionally as they wave farewell to their holiday love.
Please let me know whether your holiday romance carried on back home or were you like me writing War & Peace every week and not hearing a thing? Obviously this was back in the day when we sent handwritten letters – sigh.
I hope these handy tips on writing a holiday romance have been useful. I do like to share my own experiences in my blog posts.
Please support a blonde writer and tune into the latest Roxy podcast episode – ten minutes of holiday romance fun!
Start with the ‘The Hero’ Episode which lays the foundations for a holiday romance and then nip into ‘Cocktails, Hangovers and Ankles’ where emotions really run wild.
iTunes – please click here.
Have a wonderful day folks!