How to Write Romance
When writing a romance story make sure to use age-appropriate behaviors and conversation. Many stories aimed toward the Young Adult category display intimacy that may lead teens to behaviors for which they aren’t yet emotionally mature enough to handle. Any sexual intimacy and conversations should be age appropriate and follow the norms of the time period in which the storyline occurs.
- The overall plot for a traditional romance such as gothic or historical should:
- Make sure there is a noble hero (usually a man) who is chivalrous, strong (of mind/body), and brave
- Create a setting far in the past
- Create a quest for the protagonist to fulfill
- Make use of research on relevant time periods; use accurate descriptions of eating utensils, foods, clothing, buildings, and ways of travel, they make the story appear more realistic
- Perhaps include a romantic interest in the story, but it should not be the focus.
- Create various adventures that will showcase the character traits of both the protagonist and antagonist
- Include a resolution that focuses on the protagonist’s success or failure in the quest.
- For a modern romance, the plot should:
- Include a conflict focusing on a love relationship; there may be other conflicts throughout the story, but they should affect or evolve from the love conflict
- Include a protagonist (male or female) that may have good or bad qualities (again, accuracy to the time period will give credibility and keep an interest in the storyline; modern romances can be from mid-1900s and on, so knowing that cell phones were not common until the late 1990s would be an important factor to remember when creating a modern romance
- Ideally, include will be a happy resolution.
When to Use Romance
Whenever you wish to create a plot line that contains relationship issues or focuses on a couple going through a conflict with each other, you can write a Romance. Or, write a romance whenever you wish to capture the values of a historic time period.
Deciding on the era of the romance – gothic, historic, or modern – would be the first step. However, blending these types could also make an interesting story. Nowadays, many genres blur lines. The actual conflict and resolution would determine if it’s a romance or not.