Separation of the couple during story

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autumnjoy

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Hi there :)

I was hoping to get opinions on the couple being separated for a time (what amounts to less than two hours story time but 3 chapters/over 7,000 words). It occurs more than 75% into novel. There's been an emotional blow up with the male MC, so this separation has a feeling of downtime while the female MC (POV char), grapples with feelings, has conversation with other characters, etc. She is eventually thrust into life or death action. During the action, she is still apart from the male MC for a while.

I'm wondering if my current separation so far into the story is okay because by that time the reader is more invested in characters and story and willing to read on, waiting for the reunion. I wouldn't want them to feel impatient and start skipping to get there though.

I can reduce their time apart if needed. I'll see what betas say, but was also curious about other people's thoughts on couple separation in a romance novel.

Some other info: the couple also had a separation in the beginning after the "meet" that lasted around 6,000 words, but betas did not have complaints - maybe because there was a lot of action. Also, after they are reunited in this later part of the story mentioned above, they will be together in all scenes to the end.

Thanks anyone who responds. :)
 

LJD

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Well, I think there is often a separation around that point in the story, after the black moment. Just checked my WIP, and it's about 7000 words, too. *shrugs* I sort of plot using Gwen Hayes's Romancing the Beat, and this would be the Dark Night of the Soul and Wake Up! Smell the Coffee! beats in my ms, and I think the MCs are typically apart in these beats.
 

ElaineA

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+1...#3?

I just finished a MS with a separation black moment. My only issue with this tactic is when there's an easily resolved misunderstanding that causes one to leave, but then that's true for me of easily resolved misunderstandings anywhere in the story. :tongue
 

George Trigiris

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I do that a lot in my books. Sometimes it happens a little after the halfway mark, but mostly, it's after 70%.

I've never had any complaints, but they have to break up for good reason.
 

writerfrenzy

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I think it should 100% be fine! Do it for as long as the story needs. Quick question: are the male MC and the female already in a relationship or no?
 

Laer Carroll

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...they have to break up for good reason.
BREAK UP may be extreme. It's OK, but there are other ways to separate a couple. Maybe he (or she) has to go help a friend, or care for a sick relative, or be called to duty in the military or government or whatever. All produce a separation.
 

eqb

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I've read quite a few romances where the couple breaks up for a chapter or so. Courtney Milan's The Suffragette Scandal has them separated for a while, but writing letters. Another book in that same series, The Heiress Effect, has the couple break up because he believes he needs a "more socially acceptable" woman for a wife. Both times, the break happens later in the book.
 

GreenGrape

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I don’t feel there will be many issues with this. I’ve read of lot of books where this has happen med and so long as it keeps the pace I’ll keep going!
 

ConnorTheAuthor

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7000 words isn't all that much in real terms. So long as they don't split for a ridiculously small reason (a pet hate of mine is when authors separate characters just because they can), and it adds to their relationship later on in the novel I'm very happy to read on.
 

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