Read Lovely Books

Tips to Improve Your Storytelling

The romance genre has consistently remained one of the best-selling genres of all time and is currently

But if you’ve never written a love story, you might be wondering how to do it

Before we get down to the heart of the matter (see what I did there?), there’s

You need to read the genre to have a full grasp of reader expectations

Start with the best romance books of all time to get a broad sense of the genre

The setting is realistic and familiar, even if it takes place in a fictional town

Within contemporary romance you might find even more niches, like military romance, mafia romance, billionaire romance, and

” But I’m here to tell you that no bodice has to be ripped to write historical

Many historical romances take place in the Regency era, such as the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn

But romance has happened throughout time and space, so pick the era that feels right

Oh, my! Paranormal romance, often abbreviated to PNR by authors and fans, is any romance that involves

Typically, one or both of the main characters is/are a supernatural creature

If you prefer your love stories to occur in another world full of magic, then fantasy romance

If you’ve created an alternative world, you’re writing fantasy

Maas and Holly Black are two bestselling fantasy-romance authors

If you prefer your romance clean with a focus on spirituality, then religious romance might be the

The young adult (YA) genre is one of the most lucrative genres out there for writers

There’s just something about young love that everyone can relate to

Just look at Divergent by Veronica Roth or The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

As the publishing industry continues its push for diversity, queer romance is gaining in popularity

Rainbow Rowell is one of the bestselling queer romance authors

But in erotic romance, sex is one of the key points of the story, but the love

In erotica (different to erotic romance) sex is the focal point, and any romance or character development

You might have noticed some overlap with the genres listed above

Take genre expectations and mash them together for something completely unique

These books are both paranormal mysteries and paranormal romance

The stories don’t work without both the mystery and romance aspects

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is steeped in two different eras of history, but the author

As long as the love story is the most crucial component of the plot, it counts as

For a compelling romance, your story should be primarily character-driven

What sort of traits do you want your characters to have? Are you writing brooding heroes and

Your two love interests should have some conflicting personality traits

Also, make sure that your heroes and heroines fit the subgenre that you write in

How do you want your characters to grow together? How do you want their love to change

You might think you don’t need to focus on world-building if you aren’t writing a

But the world your story takes place in is important, even if it looks like our world

If you’re writing fantasy or paranormal romance, you’ll also need to define your mythology and

In religious romance, the world-building might show you the two different, conflicting belief systems and how they

In historical romance, you might find class or race differences are a great starting point for conflict

You might think all you need for a romance novel is love, right? Well, if you plan

He’s a playboy Hollywood exec who stops by her coffee shop

The meet cute is the term for the inciting incident in a romance

While it doesn’t have to be love at first sight—and probably shouldn’t be for

You could be writing an enemies-to-lovers story or have a grumpy love interest, but there should be

They might lean toward sarcastic banter or heated flirtations

Use description in a way that makes sense for the character’s point of view

Need help with description? Use ProWritingAid’s Sensory Report to help develop the sensory details associated with

It’s important to use all of the five senses and not rely too heavily on a

Some plot structures suggest that there should be a minimum of three scenes where they interact before

Through each scene, make their observations of one another deeper and more intimate

Hint at any emotional wounds or baggage, and show how falling in love might heal them

But your story will be very short and underdeveloped if your happily ever after comes too soon

A first kiss or a tryst is common for this first union in romance

Work within the confines of your world and story to determine what this will look like

The couple spends a night together, but then one is offered their dream job the next morning,

Something nefarious occurs after a kiss, and one of the love interests is kidnapped or is forced

One wakes up with guilt because of the nature of their relationship (not accepted by society, is

Are they able to meet in secret for months before they are discovered? Or is there just

You know how the fairy tales end: “and they all lived happily ever after

If there is one plot component that is expected by the vast majority of romance readers, it’

Nothing will tear them apart, and the worst of times are behind them

The first love interests of her main characters are never the endgame relationship

If you’re planning a series, a “happily for now” ending might work well

Some authors have had great success with tearjerker endings, like Nicholas Sparks

In other words, the ending should leave the reader satisfied with the culmination of the romantic relationship

There should still be a degree of happiness at the end of the book

If your story ends too much like a Shakespearean tragedy, your readers will lose trust in you

There is an endless number of romance tropes, and they stay popular because people love them

Figure out a way to freshen up some of these tropes and use them in a new,

Here are some well-known romance tropes that stand the test of time

The last major factor when planning and writing your romance novel is the point of view (POV)

Alternating POV between two or more lovers is a common occurrence

It’s okay to start a story in one point of view and realize it’s not

Romance readers are in it for the feelings—the angsty, the warm, the cozy, the heart-wrenching

They did just so and all the romance writers lived happily ever after