Friends or Enemies?

There’s this part in Vampire Diaries (stay with me here) where this slightly evil character named Catherine professes her love for one of the good guys (seriously, stay with me) and he says, “The problem, Catherine, is that I hate you.”

Then Catherine stabs him (of course) and says, “That sounds like the beginning of a love story, Stefan. Not the end of one.”

How true is this quote?

People say the opposite of love is not hate. People say the opposite of love is apathy. Because hate….hate is such a strong emotion. Hate means you care. And love means you care. So hate and love? It really is a fine line.

I’ve noticed there are two types of romances.

The kind where the hero and heroine start off as friends.
Right away, they care about one another. They are on the same side. They’re working together to reach a common goal. This is the friends-turn-into-romantic-couple story.

On this side, you have Joey and Dawson, or Joey and Pacey. (Who’s having flashbacks?)

Then there’s the other type.

The kind where the hero and heroine start off as enemies. 
They don’t like each other. They rub each other the wrong way. They have opposite goals. This is the enemies-turn-into-romantic-couple story.

On this side, you have Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.

I have to tell you, I’m a sucker for the second type. Only because it lends itself to so much conflict and conflict keeps me glued. I love the chemistry that emerges when a hero and heroine can’t stand each other. I like watching as the author finds ways to bring the two “enemies” together.

Let’s Talk: Which type of story do you prefer? Why? Which type describes your own personal love story?

Last Friday’s post didn’t show up in the blogger dashboard because I messed up when publishing it. So if you didn’t get a chance to read it, it’s all about romantic gestures. People shared some really romantic ones in the comment section!removetweetmeme

21 thoughts on “Friends or Enemies?

  1. Carol J. Garvin

    Interesting questions, Katie. Conflict that creates anger and fighting always makes me wonder what two people have in common, and whether a romance between them is really credible. (Someone is bound to jump in here and tell me that's exactly what sparked their own successful relationship, so I'll admit it apparently *does* happen.) I prefer a romance that develops between people who genuinely like each other, and the conflict comes from an outside source.

  2. Keli Gwyn

    I like tension, but I prefer stories where there's obvious attraction early on and the couple must fight it. I'm not a fan of stories where the hero and heroine fight with each other all the time.

  3. Sally Hepworth

    I'm with you Katie. I like the enemies becoming lovers. In fact, my latest ms. is this kind of love story. The old love hate thing just oozes sexual tension.

  4. Heather Sunseri

    I didn't make it much past the part where you mentioned Vampire Diaries. When will it ever start up again?!!??

    In all seriousness, b/c romance is super serious, I like both situations pretty equally! But there has to be conflict somewhere, right? As long as conflict has me worried whether they'll actually end up together in the end, I'm in.

  5. Ginny Baker

    I can't stand novels where the hero and heroine hate each other's guts throughout the entire book, they're mean and nasty to each other throughout, but then at the very end – all of a sudden – they realize that they actually love each other! It just doesn't ring true to me. I think you have to make the "hate" believable. There have to be really believable reasons why the couple change their opinions of each other and fall in love.

    Have to say I love the whole Damon and Elena thing because of the sparks! But if Elena didn't see any redeeming qualities in Damon, it wouldn't be believable to me that she could love him.

    I really love novels where there's a lot of push and pull between the couple. Where they come together, then push each other away, then come together, then push each other away, in that whole crazy dance of love thing that couples often do! Where even if they really like each other, they still spar with each other on things – because sparring causes sparks, and sparks are essential! That's the kind of romance I'm currently writing. They start off as friends, but they still spar plenty. πŸ˜‰

    Love your blog Katie! Been lurking for a while. πŸ˜‰

  6. Pam Hillman

    Enemies! Always! lol

  7. Marji Laine

    I can get in to both types. P&P is my favorite romance novel, but my own love story was the friends to romance type.

    Both can build into great stories, but I must say, I'm a sucker for the chemistry of conflict and would tend to lean to that side a little more.

  8. Jaime Wright

    My husband and I WERE Mister Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. I watch it and feel like I just spent 4 hrs watching my husband. Abhor is too light a word for how we felt about each other. (not now mind you, but then!)

  9. Ru

    You had me at Vampire Diaries. πŸ™‚

    You know, I think both types are solid and can be interesting. The one thing I'm kind of over (and maybe this is just me) is the "love triangle" where the girl is already with Type 1 and is going to end up with Type 2 by the end. I put "love triangle" in quote marks because it seems like in this setup, there is never any doubt that she's going to end up with the bad boy and healing his secret pain, haha. πŸ™‚

  10. Sherrinda

    Oh definitely the enemies first! I love the conflict and the tension. LOVE it!

  11. Jill Kemerer

    It depends on how the author handles it. I'm reading Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones right now, and she handles the enemies at first issue fantastically! But I also have been blown away by romances where they are friends first.

    Have a great weekend, Katie!

  12. Kelley

    Ooo, Joshua Jackson. Total flashback. πŸ™‚

    I like when the two characters don't have an immediate emotional connection, because really… how often does that happen?

    So, whether they start off as enemies, or just don't care about the other, or they might be a little cautious, that's my type of romance πŸ™‚

  13. Lacie Nezbeth

    Totally laughing over here! I'm not a viewer of VD but the scene you just described seriously has me curious.

    Pacey! What a name! Flashback indeed! LOL

  14. K. Victoria Chase

    I'm with you Katie! And now I'm reminded of how long of a wait we have until the new season of VD.

    I love it when the hero and heroine are enemies. More tension, conflict, and when they finally overcome it, the fall into love is just that much sweeter (MUHAHAHAHA). You know they are doomed and reading their battle against destiny is a fun ride.


  15. Wendy Paine Miller

    #2 for reading.
    #1 I lived.

    I like me a good fight scene that ends in a kiss (that is when I actually read romance). πŸ˜‰

    Happy weekend!
    ~ Wendy

  16. Julie Jarnagin

    I like writing enemies better! Fun stuff!

  17. Jessica R. Patch

    I am having flashbacks! And singing Edwin McCain's theme song. I tend to lean toward haters!

  18. Jennifer K. Hale

    *Dreamy sigh*
    I'm totally with you, sista. The "I hate your guts" beginning of a romance is the best. This is the kind I prefer, but not always the kind I write. Although, the manuscript I've been working on the past few weeks falls into this category.

    This is why the tension between Damon and Elena is my fave. πŸ™‚ Sept. 15th can't come soon enough.

  19. Naomi Rawlings

    Enemies. Only and always enemies. πŸ™‚

    I got in trouble with this in my story that just sold. Both my agent and editor told me I needed to tone back the fighting a bit.

    The tension between the hero and heroine is my favorite aspect of a romance novel. I don't necessarily want the characters to be on the same side. I'd rather have a chemistry that sparks and sizzles.

    That said, if the only thing the hero and heroine do is fight, then the story gets old fast. So I suppose, like all things in writing, a balance is needed.

  20. KC

    I like when they start off as enemies …makes the story more interesting for me πŸ™‚

  21. Laura Pauling

    I like both but enemies turned into romance offers a bit more conflict.


Comments are closed.