Monday, June 30, 2014

The Art of Writing Friends to Lovers

by Shona Dowton

Photo by @gbanchio at

I love to read and write all types of genres and story plots. I have to admit though; writing about friends to lovers is a lot of fun. There are so many different scenarios that make it fun to write.

There are so many ways to bring the story alive. There is the sudden realization that he or she loves the other, the danger situation story, the funny meeting of the two, the girl at the coffee house, the ever so fun co-workers to more, to name a few.

It can be a sweet romance, one night of drunken sex, paranormal, YA/NA, fantasy, historical, and more. Whichever way, it is fun to write and read. 

Done right the enemy to friend to love story is also very fun. 

Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice is a great love story, Elizabeth dislike to like to realization that she is in love with Darcy is eye opening and thrilling to read each time. I always enjoy reading it and love the part when she visits his estate and the realization of how she feels starts to sink in.

How can we not love Darcy after he confronts Elizabeth on how much he loves her, but doesn’t want to admit it or be in love with her. 

“It is against his will.” How does one not sigh and think Elizabeth should say yes, but she is strong and stubborn of her own opinion. It is fun to see how he changes to be a better man and how she comes to realize that during her most unpleasant moments he is there for her. A friend without realizing it! No matter how many times I read the story I always fall madly in love with Darcy.

Jane Austen knew how to reach her readers. She took the basic stories and makes us love and root for the hero and heroin. Many of her books dealt with one of the friends realizing that they’re in love with the other.

The storyteller has to be careful to write the friendship to love in a way that carries the story all the way through without the reader being bored or not believing they are struggling with fantastic inner dialogs. We as readers want to be drawn into the story. We want to see them together, but also we are so drawn into their uncertainty that we keep reading to make sure they end up together. That is what makes me so excited to write about friends to lovers. Their inner dialogue is fun to write.

My current WIP explores the ups and downs of a friendship that wants more, but they’re afraid. Isn't that what is part of the experience? You like each other, but what if the other doesn't? The possibility that your best friend is the one your heart wants and they want you back just as much. It is a little terrifying and somewhat thrilling at the same time. 

Do you think the friends in this story have a chance?

Samantha  is standing next to her cool guy friend Luke. He leans against her in a friendly hey attitude. Samantha says hey back, but really she is thinking I wish he liked me. Her heart flutters when she looks at him, but, she puts on the just friend persona. She knows he doesn't feel the same way she does. Luke actions around her are the way he acts around his guy friends.

Luke is leaning against Samantha and just wants to be as close as he can to her. He's crazy for her. But how can she like an average guy like him? She is stylish, he is not. But she is the sweetest girl he has ever known. He sighs quietly, she will never notice him as more than a friend.

We all have had feelings for a friend at least once. Did yours know? Are you dating them now, married to them or did you never tell them? 

If you ended up with your friend how did it happen, who made the first move? 

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Shona Dowton lives in beautiful Northern California. She believes that change is a good thing and inspiration is everywhere. Her current muse is the band Thirty Seconds To Mars. She is working on getting her work published.


  1. Yep, yep, there is something very special about the friends to lovers relationship. I've never had it happen to me though. With me, it was mostly the other way around, had the crush, dated, but then remained friends after. I now consider my hubby my best friend though! :)

  2. Great post, Shona! I never had the friends to lovers thing either. And I haven't written it yet. I've had the tension of one friend liking the other "in that way", but they never get together. Hmmm, maybe I should. :)