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Monthly Discussion Folder > February 2014: What is 'good' chemistry to you?

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message 1: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
You ever watch a movie or TV show where the couple strike sparks off each other, set the screen on fire, and had you fanning yourself? How about in a book? What makes for that sizzling chemistry for you, and what doesn't?

What's a chemistry killer for you?

Feel free to list some sizzling onscreen pairs (don't have to be IR) and books with great tension.


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Things that instantly set off fireworks for me:

- if he makes me laugh in a good way
- eye contact and that fluttery feeling it gives you, love that
- nicely shaped lips
- intelligence...a man who speaks well and isn't cocky about his intelligence is a definite turn-on.

Buzz Kills?
- ignorance -- a stupid man with antiquated or misogynistic ideas will turn me off no matter how physically attractive he may be
- arrogance - nope, never does it for me.
- bad personal hygiene - especially nose-picking--which I sadly see on a daily basis here in Sweden. Gorgeous men who totally kill the moment by picking their nose in public. Thank God my hubby does not do this.

Great pairings with instant chemistry on screen and in books?

- Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes in "Last Night"
- Michael Fassbender and Nicole Beharie in "Shame"
- Clive Owen and Natalie Portman in "Closer"
- Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander in "A Royal Affair"
- Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan in "Something New"
- Jude Law and Nia Long in "Alfie"
- Jude Law and Rachel Wiesz in "Enemy at the Gates"
- Thandie Newton and Jon Bon Jovi in "The Leading Man"
- Nicole Beharie and Ken Duken in "My Last Day Without You"


message 3: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 335 comments I've been enchanted with the onscreen chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie on the Sleepy Hollow TV show. Their role is friends rather than lovers but you can sense a hot spark just below the surface every time they're together. The way they tease each other, the way he smiles at her. I probably wouldn't be aware of this in a book, but he's so much taller than her that she has to look up with those long lashes to talk to him. At first I didn't like that, because I thought it was too girly for someone as tough as Abby. But it's grown on me because she is not intimidated by him in any way. He's so open to her and respectful.

That's what I like in a romantic couple. I don't particularly like this "Wham, bam, love of my life! Let's jump in bed!" the instant they meet. I like for them to be friends, to respect one another, show devotion, be willing to sacrifice for one another in some way. Both should be intelligent and working toward a common goal even if they have very differing backgrounds. Something besides lust has to hold them together.


message 4: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments I know what you mean, Andrea. I like when you can see the friendship building. Sometimes, though, I really like reading about (or seeing in a film) a love that is instantaneous and intense. When they have that instant attraction and it leads them to be reckless, and then they have to learn to know each other. Sometimes that whole process can be incredily enticing.


message 5: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 335 comments It's good when a friendship builds later. It's a pet peeve of mine though, when there's just NO reason for them to stay together by the end of the book.


message 6: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
For me, good chemistry is instant. Its a feeling that goes beyond physical attraction. One book that I read a few years ago where the main couple had that was The Bronze Horseman (Tatiana and Alexander, #1) by Paullina Simons . When the main couple saw each other, and the author described the chemistry I was hooked for the next 700+ pages.


message 7: by Ren (new)

Ren | 291 comments Good Chemistry comes in many different forms and it is just up to the writer whether it is a television show or novel to make it work.

Yes instant attraction is good but sometimes it is overkill. Every other book is an instant attraction and in reality sometimes its not that great instant attraction but something that builds slowly. Or even the hate/love attraction that some people feel can be sssoooo good. The only problem with that is to execute it correctly without making readers annoyed. It plays very well on screen but in a book it is harder to pull off.

I remember I started a series and in the first book these two characters hated each other....always bickering. I could not wait to get to that third book because reading it you just knew those two coming together would be great. Unfortunately the author completely messed up the series between the first and the second. So they ended up being the best part of the series.

Another book I enjoyed was Beast by Pepper Pace for me this was just slow build up. I loved that they were not instantly attracted and that being friends and working through their issues made them fall in love.


message 8: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Ren wrote: "Good Chemistry comes in many different forms and it is just up to the writer whether it is a television show or novel to make it work.

Yes instant attraction is good but sometimes it is overkill. ..."


I loved the chemistry between the main couple in Beast. It was sweet, slow, and steady. I may have to re-read that one!


message 9: by Nadine (new)

Nadine (peanutsmom) | 81 comments I love instant attraction with a slow build, what I don't like is instant love.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Geneva Riley (lisag22) | 82 comments I absolutely adore an intelligent man. A man who has passion for his work is also a turn on. Witty men do it for me as well, and if he can make me laugh...my God, I'm his. Most of those things constitute chemistry for me. Also,a man in a neat, finely cut suit automatically makes me think he looks like he smells good, and boy oh boy, I'm hooked.

I think the best chemistry I've seen on screen was between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith". If I hadn't known by the time I watched it that the two of them had something going, I would have figured it out by the last scene.

Lisa


message 11: by Marcus (last edited Feb 20, 2014 08:17AM) (new)

Marcus Chatman (marc123) | 8 comments My verbs became more active , in helping me get my point across,

my adjectives polished my nouns, giving my sentences a brighter gloss.

The tension began to dwindle, and I seemed to be on the right path,

your silence became conversation, and your smirk became a laugh.

What was once a stranger, had suddenly become a friend,

our conversation was priceless, and we didn't want it to end.

Every word was genuine, and we didn't have to pretend,

we picked up on things, that others wouldn't notice or comprehend.


That's the best description I can offer on chemistry


message 12: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments I remember when I saw the first episode of Scandal. I had no idea that Liv and Fitz were supposed to be/have been lovers. I was just happy to have a lead black actress on a primetime drama.

So when they get to the scene at the end of the first episode where Liv and Fitz are in the Oval and he is all in her space and they are just looking at each other. I just about fell out of my chair. That scene is a master class in Chemistry. It was completely silent and they just looked at each other. And I became a Ride-or-Die Olitz fan in that moment.

Now, for books it is so much harder to describe how chemistry works. If we were to ask ten different writers to write that Olitz scene in a romance novel, it would be interesting to see who could make that type of chemistry leap off the page the way the actors made it leap off the screen.

To me, chemistry in a book is how the writer makes me feel about the characters connecting. It doesn't necessarily have to be a slow burn or have a specific time table, but it does need to make me feel like I want these characters to be together no matter what.

Som IR examples for me include:
Sam & Alyssa. They sparked right from the beginning
Addison and Shane from Strange Little Band. Again, sparks.
Mitch and Starr in Judith Smith Levin's Starr DuVall series.
Gia and Flynn in Sunday

Some non IR examples:
Wulf and Christine in Slightly Dangerous
Tack and Tyra in Motorcycle Man
Violet and Martin in Her Best Worst Mistake


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Blue (themelissablue) | 66 comments Oh, that's a tough one, because chemistry is different with every character. It is very much more than the physical. When these two people enter into each other's space the air just crackles. Unlike Tina I totally caught that vibe the first time Fitz and Olivia were on the screen. It's was the moment when he stopped and looked her dead in the eye was like you know me.

So there's sexual chemistry and friendship chemistry. It's why community is a huge thing in both books and movies. People love ensemble casts. That again goes back to chemistry. You do just want to see these people together.

Obviously what kills is for me is when it feels forced. I'm supposed to like these people because the creator said so. Chemistry is undefinable to me. Either it's there or it's not.


message 14: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dee (bonniedee) | 16 comments "Obviously what kills is for me is when it feels forced. I'm supposed to like these people because the creator said so. Chemistry is undefinable to me. Either it's there or it's not."
YES! What's bad is when they cast a pair of characters meant to be the main love interest on the show and the indefinable sizzle simply isn't there.


message 15: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Blue (themelissablue) | 66 comments Bonnie wrote: ""Obviously what kills is for me is when it feels forced. I'm supposed to like these people because the creator said so. Chemistry is undefinable to me. Either it's there or it's not."
YES! What's b..."


Yes. I recently took a nostalgic trip down Dawson's Creek. This was so my show when I was a teen. Being an adult now Dawson and Jo just bored me to tears. It was so much longing and no sizzle. All the crackle was between Jo and Pacey. Even when they were insulting each other. Sigh.


message 16: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte | 52 comments Andrea wrote: "I've been enchanted with the onscreen chemistry between Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie on the Sleepy Hollow TV show. Their role is friends rather than lovers but you can sense a hot spark just below ..."

I completely agree with your thoughts regarding the development of the relationship. That is truly a big part of any story for me. I don't relate to the instant love or 2 "great" people coming together with no struggles or issues in life. There has to be something more than lust and the physical aspect of a relationship to make it work.


message 17: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dee (bonniedee) | 16 comments "I don't relate to the instant love or 2 "great" people coming together with no struggles or issues in life."
Definitely boring when a couple is obviously pushed from day one as THE couple you're supposed to root for. And with many (especially teen)shows they bring the couple together too soon then have to throw up stupid unbelievable roadblocks to tear them apart over and over again. Much better to bring on a sloooow, hot sizzle. I love the Sleepy Hollow pair. They can remain friends only to the end of the series and it would still be great, but, naturally being a romance lover, I'd like to see them eventually hook up.
As for Pacey and Joey versus Joey and Duh-son, that's exactly who I was thinking of while I wrote that. I honestly don't know anyone who wanted them together, except perhaps the creator. And even he had to cave to popular opinion at the end.


message 18: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Black (cassandra_black_author) | 52 comments Memorable Chemistry: A smart, independent woman who gets all wobbly in the knees when she meets "the one." For example, in the movie Baby Boom, starring Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard ... that scene where he changes her car tire on side of road. Also the scene in library where she's just beside herself, dropping papers all over the place. They WERE those characters ... incredible chemistry.)

Chemistry Killer: Can't explain it, but if the chemistry's not there, the characters just aren't memorable.


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (JeSsIcA-write-a-lot) | 42 comments Chemistry for me falls into two categories.
1. There's that instantaneous spark
2. There's that slow development of characters being friends -or maybe even enemies- first before it blossoms into something more.

I personally enjoy writing, reading and watching both of these types of chemistry.

What kills chemistry for me is when it's just a physical attraction keeping the characters together. I think the story is more true-to-life when characters are more attracted to the personality traits of their love interest. Sure, maybe it's physical at first, and I'll buy it for a little while, but the characters have to develop or the chemistry will die.


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