From your favorite authors of the romance genre, Jane Austen to Nicholas Sparks, their novels spark that emotion, passion, and different nature of love in every love story.
No matter how the love story progresses, there are a few essential elements every romance novel has in common. From strong characters, predictable/unpredictable plot twists, and steamy scenes that ignite the emotions, love stories are a great way to reach the emotional side of the readers.
In this article, we are going to share with you the essential elements to be included in your love story so that you can build a successful and engaging romance novel.
1. Building your Plot on the Genre
Romance as a genre is wider than you think. Most of the writers who are writing romance can lie within the broad spectrum. But the base plot of the author can be something else. For example, the authors who are passionate about the horror genre, then you can write about paranormal romance.
If you are passionate about the mystery/thriller genre, you can build the romance between the antagonist and the heroine and let the hero fight for the purpose of the story to keep the plot suspenseful and engaging. The baseline is to write the love story keeping the passion for your genre alive.
2. Focus on the Character Building
Romance needs the building of strong characters. The love story must be built around not only the main couple but also the people around them.
The influence of the other characters who directly or indirectly influence your main characters needs to be built as well. Along with that, the events, locations, the overall setting should be taken into consideration while building your characters.
The main point here is to describe the setting by being as specific as possible. Creating a memorable setting with minute details can capture your readers’ imagination and this will, in turn, keep them hooked till the end.
According to one of our readers and an eminent writer Parth Lakhani, there should also be an element of enchantment while writing a love story. He says, “An element of enchantment should be there. A point where a person feels imprinted but doesn’t understand it fully, figuring out his own feelings and then acting on it.“
3. Keeping the Drama Alive
Usually, romance is a genre that is somewhat predictable. The story seems to follow a specific formula most of the time. This makes the plot dull in some places.
In order to keep your readers engaged and make your romance novel a page-turner, you need to keep that element of drama alive at every step.
One of the best ways to keep the story flowing and engaging the readers is to include yourself in the story. Yes, you can either imagine yourself, playing a character in your story or writing a love story on your own life itself.
We have seen that right? We all remember 2 States from Chetan Bhagat which is the story of the author himself and his marriage. The best part of this practice is that you don’t miss the minute details that can spark an emotion among your readers.
We asked this question on our Instagram handle @storizenmag to which one of our favorite readers and our contributor, Stuti Gogia replied with a comment “Me“.
Another take on this topic by one of our readers and contributors is from the author Ankita Srivastava. She says “Main element of a love story is that the protagonist has an understanding of his/her own personality as a whole with the flaws included and he/she is able to have a daily conversation with their heart!” This can be best done if you become one of the characters in your own story, isn’t it so?
If you plan to write a romance regardless of the base plot, you should consider including yourself as a part of the love story, you are free to choose the character you would like to play or look at the story from any of your existing characters’ viewpoint. It will greatly influence your love story, most probably enhancing it.
An element of enchantment should be there. A point where a person feels imprinted but doesn’t understand it fully, figuring out his own feelings and then acting on it.– Parth Lakhani
4. Using Love scenes to further your plot
For an experienced writer, writing love scenes isn’t going to be that much difficult. As an amateur writer, it may be a difficult task. Regardless of your writing style, if you are writing intimate scenes in your love story and they turn out to be overt, it may leave your readers alienated, and on the other hand, if your write love scenes that are too tame, you will end up disappointing your readers!
The bottom line is that the purpose of writing intimate scenes in your romance novel is to progress your plot further or to use them in character development. This will not only keep your readers engaged but will also make your love story a successful one!
5. Making use of Romance Tropes
You know that romance stories are based on a specific formula. Usually, the love stories revolve around one of the following common settings – best friends becoming lovers, separation based on class, society or family afflictions, etc. But as readers, the readers are past the same old family saga plots, and can easily predict the plot when a similar formula is used again, leaving them bored and disappointed.
The idea is to use romance tropes that are not used before and to use your creativity and imagination to subvert them while writing your love story.
Main element of a love story is that the protagonist has an understanding of his/her own personality as a whole with the flaws included and he/she is able to have a daily conversation with their heart!– Ankita Srivastava
The idea is to understand the expectations of your readers and to give them something different. For example, if they are expecting a classic ending, you can change it to something that is not in their scope of imagination.
This way, you will be always a step ahead of your readers and your romance novel will be a page-turner for sure. These tips will help you in writing your next successful romance novel.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you incorporate these tips in your writing stories or have some other tips for the writers out there? Do share with us in the comments section below.
- Illuminating the Characters – Building the Character Sketch
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- Driving the Plot – Protagonist Vs. Antagonist
- The Ultimate Face Switch – Hero or Villain?
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