Questions tagged [romance]

This tag should be used for questions that deal with the genre "romance", either the historical version that is mainly concerned with heroic prose and verse narrative or the modern genre that is concerned with the romantic relationship between characters. Please use the [relationships] tag when asking a question about showing romance between characters as part of their development.

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29
votes
16answers
6k views

How do you write boy & girl protagonists without turning them into a love story?

I've played with the idea of a multi-book fantasy story for years, where a female and male protagonists' lives intertwine with one another, the series running from 12-22 years old for them. There ...
27
votes
11answers
8k views

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

So I'm writing a short story based in a WW2 American military base camp stationed in Germany. It's about A Jewish Soviet soldier that, with the help of an American soldier and a series of coincidences,...
27
votes
14answers
5k views

Non-trope happy ending?

This is in the idea stage, but I was wondering... In stories involving multiple protagonists (4 or more) that make and end relationships, date each other, etc. during the course of the story, the ...
25
votes
11answers
8k views

How to prevent “they're falling in love” trope

I have two characters, the male being sort of a jerk, but lightening up later in the story, and the female is...very hateful. But a person who read the first chapter asked me if they were going to get ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is young adult romance now being written primarily in the first person?

My recollection is that when I started reading romance novels in the 1980s, the majority (perhaps 60%) were written in the third person. This included some "young adult" romances with characters in ...
15
votes
10answers
8k views

Choosing between two people in a romance?

So, my dilemma is as follows. I have a romance project with the MC trying to choose between two women who he cares for very much. Each has broken his heart, but are willing to make amends and provided ...
13
votes
8answers
11k views

How do I write LGBTQ+ characters for a romance story, as a non-LGBTQ+ person, without using potentially offensive stereotypes

So today, some of my friends challenged me to write a short story and gave me a number of prompts from which to write, most of which were admittedly not great. There was one, however, which worked ...
12
votes
6answers
526 views

How do I write a romance that doesn't look obvious

I'm writing a story, it's not focused on romance, but that's an important part as well. The point is that I have two characters and I ended up ("accidentally") seeing chemistry between them, they have ...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

How do I write sexual tension between two characters?

So. This is one of my first projects, so I have to ask this. The story takes place in a dystopian future, where a young man and a young woman meet each other. They then try to overthrow the tyrannical ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to tease a romance without a cat and mouse chase?

So, my story doesn't have a romance subplot until way later in the series, but I think that there are elements of the romance very early on. A little background info: The story is set in a ...
11
votes
2answers
22k views

How do I write a believable romance subplot?

Sexuality is a large part of who we are as persons and it influences many decisions we make. Sadly, I don't know how to make a romance subplot believable. Are there any good guidelines to creating ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I handle an unequal romantic pairing in a world with superpowers?

I am writing a story that revolves around a number of characters that have superhuman abilities living amongst normal people, akin to they myriad superhero comics or many urban fantasies out there (e....
8
votes
3answers
552 views

How explicit should a YA novel be?

For a romance YA novel, how explicit can it be? Are there certain descriptions or words that shouldn't be used?
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Do men fall “in love” (romantic, sensual or desire) with fictional characters?

I was having a discussion over coffee with an aspiring author friend of mine and we had an interestingly productive but annoying argument about in-novel crushes. He said that he had never had ...
7
votes
7answers
4k views

Do romances need to have a happy ending?

Is a book labelled "romance" expected to a have a happy ending? I've heard advice that "romance" novels are meant to satisfy, well, a desire for romance, and so an ending without a "happily ever ...
7
votes
5answers
336 views

How do I write from a girl's POV? [duplicate]

Ok, I know this question might seem a little bit weird. But I really need to know. How do I write from a girl's POV? I'm a 13 year old boy and I'm trying to become an author. I'm currently working on ...
7
votes
4answers
385 views

How to write about a homosexual relationship when I haven't experienced one?

I have two female characters, one who is lesbian, and the other bisexual. However, I am male. So not only am I to write the opposite gender, which I actually feel more comfortable doing, for some odd ...
7
votes
3answers
885 views

Outlining Structures for Romance Novels

I'm familiar with the 12 step outline process for heroic fantasy novels, but is there an equivalent outline structure for Romance novels? By this I mean novels like those produced by Nicholas Sparks, ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

How do you make two characters fall in love?

I'm writing a high school romance story. My story centers around two characters falling in love, but I can't find a way to make their romance seem real and believable. Here is the backstory: The main ...
6
votes
5answers
139 views

I keep setting aside WIPs I don't think are good enough

I have started and stopped at least a dozen erotic romance novels because "I" don't think they are good enough and never finish them. How do I put my own doubt aside so I can finish what I started?
6
votes
2answers
568 views

How to write romantic scenes that aren't cringy?

I know this question is inherently subjective, but I'm asking it in the case that there are universal traits of a romantic scene that makes it cringy. Now, I guess this question can be applied to all ...
5
votes
7answers
5k views

How crucial is a waifu game storyline?

So, with the recent craze in waifu games, I've decided to try my hand at making one. I have a semi-intricate plot with twists, and some events planned with their own snippet of story. Problem is, I ...
5
votes
4answers
679 views

Characterization: is there any guidance for writing “the romantic interest”?

I've recently been researching and discussing characters and character roles, mostly off the back of feedback on a romance story that described the "love interest" (if that is the correct literary ...
5
votes
3answers
241 views

Is it possible for “weakness” to be a “virtue” in context?

I'm working on a teen romance. The event is the high school play, the "Sound of Music," in which there are two main contestants for the role of Liesl. They are designated "A" and "B," because those ...
5
votes
1answer
520 views

Intensity scale for romance novels?

I've been looking about on #MSWL on Twitter, and I see editors using some kind of informal scale for the intensity of the sexual content in a romance novel. For example: "sweet to hot," "erotic," "hot ...
4
votes
3answers
335 views

Points to keep in mind while writing a romantic novel

So I'm currently working on a story that kinda is a romantic novel. But I need some starters, like what exactly to keep in mind while writing a romantic novel? (From the reader's point of view) the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Things To Remember When Writing Harem Stories? [closed]

Whether or not it develops to sex with some or all of them, what should you remember to do when writing a harem-type scenario where multiple girls are interested in the same guy. I know some of the ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

Relationship Problems

In my plot, there are these 2 characters who were originally close to each other. However, they had an argument and broke up. In the end of the book, though, they get back together again. What I need ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

Seeking advice on establishing the emotional impact of backstory

I am drafting a novel outline. The interesting part (and thus the part I should be writing) would come with several characters with preexisting romantic relationships. The choices they make will have ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

How do you convey that two characters have a crush on each other?

I have a romance arc as one of the major series-long plots of my story. In the first major story arc, the two romantic leads aren't actively together as a couple, this part of the story focuses on ...
4
votes
4answers
612 views

Who is the perfect rival to the right-person-wrong-time character in a love triangle?

I'm looking for a well balanced love triangle. The thought of a wrong-person-right-time rival seems to be weak because readers are most likely not to root for the him/her if the wrongness is obvious.
4
votes
1answer
387 views

What are good books on writing romance/erotica?

I've seen writing books on characterization, plot, world-building, conflict and probably 1000 other topics. But are there any good books that focus on how to write good erotica or romance? If it's a ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

How can I get my romance through a two-year breakup?

My story calls for the main characters to break up for at least two years, before getting back together. (In this particular case, the breakup is for ethical reasons - the relationship began when the ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

How long is a single-title romance novel supposed to be?

My friend is a literary agent who mostly works with YA novels, but she told me recently that I should aim for about 75,000 words for my book, which I'm currently speccing out as a romance novel or ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Romance without cliche?

My school is doing a romance writing competition and there is no cliche allowed. But that is the only way I know how to write romance. I mean, I haven't read a single book that hasn't had a bit of ...
3
votes
3answers
737 views

How can I gradually grow the romance between the two main characters? [closed]

What are some ways to increase the romance between two stubborn, but very different characters? Thank you!
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I end my story with a happy or sad ending? [duplicate]

I am writing a romantic short story and I don't know which type of ending suits my story better. Currently my characters fall in love but one ends up "cheating" (they were never dating or anything) ...
3
votes
6answers
318 views

Is it possible to combine clichés/tropes to make it not a cliché?

I have read a couple romance books at most and so don’t claim to have very much experience with romance and clichés. But here are the ones I can think of: Something happens to make them hate each ...
3
votes
2answers
320 views

How to write from a rich “bad boy's” perspective?

I am currently writing a story that alternates perspectives between the hero and heroine every other chapter. I have gotten a lot of work done with the heroine's chapters, but I have been trouble ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

When Is a Relationship Too Antagonistic?

A story I'm working on features a "slow burn" type romance with a long build-up. The arc begins with (what's mean to be) obvious attraction, and proceeds through a long period in which the female ...
3
votes
3answers
413 views

Writing romance when I have little experience in it [duplicate]

I'm in high school, and have had few romantic relationships. The few that I have had were very unhealthy. I have pretty much no good experience with romance. How can I write romance when I don't ...
3
votes
4answers
227 views

Idea overflow in plotting?

I've been working on a paranormal/romance/mystery kind of novel for over 4 years now and still haven't finished it. It all started out as a fanfiction but I decided that it had too much potential (at ...
3
votes
2answers
209 views

How to write a character who is falling in love, but doesn't know?

So I have been trying to write a character that is oblivious to romantic advances because they mistake them for normal, platonic reactions. I know how they act in my mind, but I can't convey it enough ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

How to handle writing a romantic subplot when the main plot is very different?

So let's say the story is about a ''anti-hero'' who uses harsh methods to kill/expose corrupt politicians and banksters. Now let's say that I'd want to write a romantic subplot happening between him ...
2
votes
7answers
212 views

Is it okay to kill a main character?

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. I started this book with a light bulb idea late one night while reading Peter Pan. I didn’t know anything about writing, but I ADORE reading, so I pulled ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

How to start an argument between characters

My problem here is that I have two main characters, who, in the future, will end up dating. I’m trying to create friction between them at the beginning of my series so that they gradually fall in love....
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I slowly get two characters to fall for each other?

I know many stories have characters unexpectedly fall in love, so how can I do the same? In some stories it's quite obvious, like the boy annoys the girl, they eventually fall for each other. How can ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

How to make a romantic subplot without dragging it out?

So, I have my MC and her love interest. One is a prince who is a fugitive of his kingdom, the other a street urchin who has a scarred past. Despite this, the MC falls in love with the love interest ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What are common writing tropes in dark romance? [closed]

What are common writing tropes in dark romance? What do readers expect from a dark romance? For those of you who don’t know what “dark romance” is, here is a list of examples https://www.goodreads....
1
vote
3answers
271 views

Anthropomorphic animals in romantic relationships with other species

Basically I’m wondering whether it’s totally weird or if people wouldn’t give much thought to it. I’ll use Zootopia as an example. If the main characters (a fox and a rabbit) were in a relationship, ...