Christine Rains is here today to share with us some tips for writing romance. Take it away, Christine!
None of this sounds particularly romantic, does it? No, certainly not. How would we write romance stories if it was only about pretty baubles and good food? Romance is the most popular genre for a reason. It's about two people falling in love. It's about intense emotions and noble actions. It isn't an easy tale to write.
Here are four key things to remember when writing romance:
1. Sympathetic and realistic characters. Even if you're writing a love story about vampires, the reader has to be able to identify with the main characters. They must have human emotions and flaws, and they must tackle conflict realistically.
2. Conflict and common ground. Of course there has to be something or someone trying to prevent the couple from having their happily ever after. It might even be the protagonists themselves wrestling with inner turmoil. But for a relationship to be believable, they must find common ground somewhere. A goal, a belief, or a beloved hobby. Opposites do attract, but something other than lust and external conflict must bind them together.
3. The relationship must be central to the plot. If you could write the same story without the relationship, then it isn't a romance story. The romance must propel the story forward.
4. Sacrifice. The characters must be willing to give up everything to be with the person they love. In some stories, it's their own lives, but not every tale requires it. Yet it must feel like the ultimate sacrifice to the one giving whatever it is up.
We may be bombarded by the commercial aspects of Valentines Day, but we are celebrating loving another person despite their flaws and spending time with them doing something both of you enjoy. We realize that our lives wouldn't be the same without that person in it, and we'd be willing to sacrifice anything to make sure they stay.
Happy Valentines Day!