HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE
Confession: I’m not really into romances. And here’s the reason why. Most of them aren’t believable, and we as the stupid readership are left to finish reading in horror. Others of them are just painful, like Wuthering Heights. You just feel bad for the guy.
Here’s what I mean. In The Wedding Planner, with Jennifer Lopez, I’m forced to believe that Matthew saves her life by pushing her out of the way of a car, and then he somehow lands on top of her. And she somehow isn’t about to pee her pants because she almost gets killed.
No. She’s swept up momentarily into the eyes of her soon-to-be. BULL!
Romance writers have it easy because their plots don’t have to be good. But the love story just needs to be felt. I say hats off to the writers of Hitch and The Notebook.
So here’s what a good romance needs.
1. Guy & Girl
2. Break ups
3. Happy ending
These are the 3 elements that people are looking for these days whenever they are reading this genre. Of course you need two people to fall in love, so the first one is self-explanatory.
There has to be some way that they get together, and then they need to break-up. The break-up or the separation is important. In The Notebook, the break-up isn’t an actual break-up. But the woman’s mental state has caused their separation. This is important because the reader is asking the question: “Are they ever going to get together?” We all know that they will, but we still keep reading because we all like a good story.
Nowadays, it’s important for love stories to end happily. People don’t want the tragic Romeo & Juliet romances as much anymore. Can it be done? Yes. Is it advisable. Not really. If you choose to go that route, you may be entering a genre that I’d refer to as a dark romance. If that’s the direction you want to go, except it and make it dark. Try not to teeter between a real romance and a dark romance.