Grand Gestures Do Not Have to Be Grand – Romance Writing from A to Z

Lana PecherczykWriting0 Comments

This week I welcome author J.C. Harroway to Author Zoo as she speaks about one of my favourite (especially in a romantic comedy) elements of a romance – The Grand Gesture. I absolutely love her points below, especially how the GG doesn’t have to be big or by the hero to make an impact. Read more about the author at the end of the article. Thanks J.C. for taking the time to share your tips.

The Grand Gesture

So what is the grand gesture and why do we need it? Clichéd over the top romantic rubbish or often the moment that stays with the reader long after ‘The End’, producing the book hangover we readers love so much.

The grand gesture represents that moment in the story when the hero or heroine realise that their flaws have been holding them back from the happiness they crave, propelling them to harness what they’ve learned along their journey to confront their deepest fear, for love.

Traditionally the grand gesture is often:

  • Made by the hero
  • Action not words
  • Costs the hero something
  • Shows the growth of the character
  • Not a clichéd sticky plaster to right a wrong

Remember Hugh Grant’s character in Love Actually? The Christmas card from Natalie propels him off the sofa at Number 10, out into the wintry night to traipse the ‘longest street in the world’ in search of his heroine. What’s more, he goes on to risk being recognised at the school concert and even kisses Natalie for the first time on the stage for the world to see. ‘Smile. And wave.’

But does the grand gesture always have to BIG? A dash across town? A room full of 10,000 roses? A message written across the sky? And does it always have to come from the hero?

If the character that’s learned the biggest lesson and had the biggest flaw to confront makes the grand gesture, then often this is the heroine.

recoveryIn my contemporary romance, Recovery, the heroine, Sophia makes the grand gesture. Her fears have held her back from fully committing to the hero, Nathan, whom she has fallen in love with. She believes she’s too late. She believes he’s moved on. She’s been terrified of the kind of media interest that follows Nathan’s every move her whole adult life. But, she confronts all of these demons to show him how she feels.

And she does it with a simple note.

Of course, Nathan too, has battled his own flaws and unbeknownst to Sophia, has a gesture or two up his sleeve.

Whatever the gesture and whoever makes it, it’s often the highlight of the story, the pinnacle of the romance, not in it’s grandness, but because it is that achingly beautiful moment in romance stories where, for the first time, we know the characters are going to make it to their happy ending.

About the Author

jcWriting is a far cry from the medical career she once had, but it provides an endless source of inspiration to JC Harroway. From her home in New Zealand, and inspired by her travels and Welsh roots, she creates stories with strong, independent heroines and the compelling, three-dimensional heroes worthy of them. Stitched is her first novel. You can follow her at  and

Recovery, a stand alone contemporary romance is released August 15th by Escape Publishing. Click on the cover image above to view more.

View all articles in the A to Z of Romance series.

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