So, my agency sibling, Daniel Bensen is celebrating a book release this month. I wanted to give him some space here to pimp Groom of the Tyrannosaur Queen, a time-travel romance with dinosaurs available now as a kindle book. Former soldier Andrea Herrera isn’t happy with where her life’s taken her. Specifically, to Hell Creek, Montana, 65 million years before the present. As far as careers go, making sure the dinosaurs don’t eat her paleontologist clients comes in a pretty dismal second choice to serving her country. But when their time machine malfunctions, Andrea and her team are trapped in a timeline that shouldn’t exist with something a hell of a lot more dangerous than terrible lizards: other humans.
To get the party started, I asked him the question you've all been asking: How can dinosaurs fix your marriage? Daniel, take it away.
My agent gave me a wonderful rule for romantic plots: "Make sure the partners in the relationship deserve each other."
Unless your book is very short, your lovers don't get together immediately. They might like or be attracted to each other from their first meeting, but there has to be a reason why there's a whole book between "A meets B" and "they lived happily every after."
The barriers might be external, like two warring families, or a war, or, like, a big wall between the two people? (what a stupid idea!) but I wanted to go the other route. If your characters' relationship problems are internal, then fixing them also counts as character development, and I am always looking for ways to kill two birds with one stone. Birds are a kind of dinosaur, so that's good too.
The problem with time traveling ex-soldier Andrea Herrera is that she doesn't believe the triceratops-riding nomads she's fallen in with are actually people. Trals Scarback, on the other hand, is a sociopath who is constantly holding himself back from murdering everyone in the area. At first, Andrea would gladly vaporize Trals with her particle cannon, and Trals would happily use her to kill his enemies. Neither will allow the other to have their way, and the middle path compromise they work out is a lot better than death or slavery: marriage.
These are two people who have built their personalities about being good at something (Andrea) or fulfilling a quest (Trals), and neither one has put much work into actually being a likable or decent human being. For them, it's all about action. Until they realize that in order to get what they want, they have to cooperate. In order to cooperate, they have to be (eugh) nice to each other. And it turns out that when the partners in marriage are nice to each other, everything goes a lot more smoothly. Even tyrannosaur-riding.