Well no, in short. That’s the perception from a fair few that romance is one of these easiest genres to write.
Sounds pretty straightforward. Two people meet, bit of chemistry, build-up, they get together and BOOM there you go, that’s your story.
Well…it’s not as easy as that I’m afraid. This is coming from someone who used to think the same.
It wasn’t until I started regularly reading romance novels (I’m now an avid romance novel convert) and writing when I realised it’s actually far from the easiest thing to produce.
Obviously you need the essential archetypes: chemistry between your characters, the build-up, the moment where something does happen or it wouldn’t be romance. But getting through the intricacies and meanders of the plot to where the characters actually get to that point is where it gets a bit more tricky.
Here ar a few points I’ve learned (and am still learning!) on writing romance.
1. REMEMBER YOUR CONFLICT
What is it that’s keeping these two people from their happily ever after? Or is there no happily ever after at all?
Is one afraid of a new relationship after a bad experience? Does one’s family want them to be someone else and not the person they love? Or just a good old-fashioned fiery personality clash at the beginning?
Conflict is key, but keep it in balance. We don’t want these characters being constantly held back from having an iota of romance or having them hating each other throughout the whole story.
2. READ, READ, READ.
If you’re wanting to write romance, make sure you read plenty of the genre so you can get a feel for what’s on the market at the moment.
A great place to go is the centre of Romance novels themselves, Mills & Boon. Founded in 1908, they’ve been catering to romance lovers everywhere for a very long time, and today cover many different types of romance, from the very traditional to blush-inducingly steamy.
3. MAKE THE ARCHETYPE YOUR OWN
Even though majority of the time you will be working with popular archetypes I.e. the handsome billionaire, the high school sweethearts who reconnect after ten years, the shy, clumsy young woman etc. you need to put your own twist on your characters.
Really develop your characters so the reader will see them and relate to them as people and not just archetypes.
Talk to your characters (I know it sounds a bit wacky but trust me, it works!). Find out their likes and dislikes, what they like to do on the weekends, what their childhood was like etc.
Once you’ve done that, you can find some common ground the characters can bond over and along with the setting and conflict, you’ll have a basis to kick start your romantic story. Good luck! 🙂