Love is in the air—and on the pages! The romance genre has always been popular, and even the most curmudgeonly readers can’t resist a well-written romance story. At Writer’s Relief, our experts know it takes more than a few lingering glances and quick-beating hearts to ignite a great romance. Just like any good story, a romance should include conflict or risk for the characters involved. Your romantic storyline should intrigue readers and get them invested in how things will turn out between your characters. Here’s how to write a romance story readers will love.
How To Write A Great Romance Story Or Novel
Establish the main characters. Create solid, believable characters, and then use their relationships or romance to develop them further. Most people are not defined solely by their partners or the people they date. They each have unique passions and personalities, so your characters should follow suit. Your characters should have their own strengths and weaknesses. A solid backstory will follow, as well as interest from your readers.
Spark chemistry before romance. The best romances start with a slow burn. Show how your characters complement each other and have a good rapport before moving into a relationship. You can also focus on the differences that make your characters clash, and then show how they learn from each other. If your characters start out as enemies, be sure to reveal a spark of something. This will help readers care about their relationship and make your characters more believable. If you can show the chemistry in an established relationship, great! Just make sure you don’t sacrifice a good buildup.
Use romantic scenes to build character or plot. If you’re writing in the romance genre, your readers expect a love story. But romance can occur in any genre, from historical fiction to fantasy! Use the romance as a way to move your plot forward, shape your characters, or advance your theme. A romantic subplot can enhance the main storyline, whether that be a quest to another land or navigations through a dangerous political climate.
Set the stage. Many people read to escape, and this is especially true for romance. Spend some time on your worldbuilding to ensure your setting is descriptive and consistent. Delve deep into your world and build your magic system, or make a map of your fictional country. With a solid groundwork in place, your story—and the romance—will be more immersive.
In any good play, you not only need to create the stage props and backdrops, but you also need to cast players to fill your roles. The same goes for a good romance story. Make sure you build a world around them and fill it with characters who are important to the story: friends, family, colleagues, and even pets.
Embrace the expected tropes. Many writers are afraid of using tropes, because they fear their work might seem unoriginal or cliché. However, when it comes to the romance genre, your readers expect to see certain tropes—and will be disappointed if they don’t! Enemies to lovers, the Meet Cute, forbidden love, and trapped together are just a few of romance readers’ favorite tropes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own unique spin on the trope. Readers will be familiar enough with the trope to feel comfortable with your story, but will also enjoy your originality.
Show attraction and connection through your character’s POV. Show us what your main character finds attractive in the love interest, or what they find frustrating or confusing. If readers can see and understand your character’s feelings as they develop, they’ll be more invested in how the story plays out.
If you include erotica, make it plot relevant. If you want to include a steamy scene in your story, make sure it contributes something to the plot or character development. Don’t throw in an erotic scene just for the sake of it; every scene and development should add something to your plot or your characterization.
By following these writing tips, you’ll create a romance story that will tug at your readers’ heartstrings. And once your story is edited and proofread to perfection, the research experts at Writer’s Relief can help boost your odds of getting it published! We love helping writers! Learn more about our services and submit your writing sample today.
Question: What is your favorite romance story?