I saw the midnight showing of Snow White and the Huntsman. It was much better than I thought it would be, actually. There was a portion of the movie that interested me as a writer, and I thought I would share my personal thoughts on the subject. Just to be safe, I'm going to say there are spoilers for the movie so if you don't want to be spoiled, come back when you've seen the movie.
There's a love triangle in the movie. Let me give you a moment to get over your shock.
Are we good? Okay.
I liked all three characters - Snow White, The Huntsman, and William - and didn't have too much of a preference who she ended up with. Both men liked her, but interestingly enough, it was never clear who she preferred. At one point, she initiates a quick kiss with William but it's the Huntsman's kiss that awakens her after taking a bite of that poison apple.
I'm not sure about you, but if there's a love-triangle in a book, I hate when the heroine has two great, different guys but she's confused about which one to choose.
I hate it even more when the readers aren't sure who the heroine is interested in in the first place. The heroine is who the reader connects with. If your main character is going to end up with someone at the end of the book or the end of the trilogy, the readers need to be given clues about who that is. We also need to believe it.
There's a reason why there's a huge debate in The Hunger Game fandom about whether or not Katniss truly loved Peeta at the end of Mockingjay or if she was just settling because she felt she owed that much to him.
I'm not saying be obvious about it. Chemistry is tricky, especially in writing. But it's little things. Chemistry is subtle but it's the most important thing - in my mind - between two characters. As cliche as it is, I love when the hero looks at the heroine in a way she can't decipher. I also like when she notices things about the hero before the MC realizes she likes him (or her). For example, his collarbone or his long fingers or the way his Adam's apple bobs up and down when he swallows.
My favorite tactic? I love flaws. To me, it makes a face look lived in, experienced. So I make my heroine notice his flaws and notice them as flaws but still be attracted to them. Maybe it's a mole on his face or a thick brow, maybe it's thin lips or a long face, maybe it's a broken nose or a scar. It doesn't matter but it makes them who they are, makes them more well-rounded, and, to me, more attractive.
That's why chemistry is so important. I want to believe the heroine likes him. There are too many books where the hero is so hot and the heroine is immediately attracted and/or in love with him based solely on that.
Where's the chemistry? Where's the depth?
I still like the characters in Snow White. Maybe if I knew who she had feelings for, her character would have been more interesting to me. Then again, if she wasn't interested in either of them, that should have been more obvious too.