The second in my “3 Things” series about what writers can learn from various genres and today we’re onto romance. I’m not much of a romance reader specifically but as you’ll see romance informs a lot of books out there.
1) How to write relationships
Relationships are at the heart of romance books. Romantic ones obviously but all types of relationships can feature in romance novels. Most books, if not all, have some kind of romantic sub-plot, whether it be overt or just poodling along in the background. And relationships, good or bad, are the beating heart of any novel.
2) How to do believable twists
Two characters meet and fall in love, the end. That’s the overarching story-line behind any romance. But if that’s all that happened romantic tales would be very boring and short. So the writer must manufacture a variety of obstacles to get in the way of the budding romance and to build the relationship. But these must stay on the believable side. Go too far and you’ll loose your reader. It’s a tightrope, and a handy one to master in any genre.
3) What to leave unseen
Romance is about what you see and what you don’t. It’s about what’s unsaid as much as what is said. And it can, sometimes, lead to physical encounters. How much the writer shares with the reader can be a delicate topic. It might be better to show less, or you may want to go all the way. Any satisfying story involves of a bit of hide and seek.