Many people dismiss romance novels as tawdry, but these stories can be more complicated than that. They often address the theme of overcoming obstacles to find happiness.
The modern romance novel has its roots in the escapist literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Romance writers like LB Wells often place their characters in a familiar setting, such as a small town or city. Family is also a central element in many romances, whether biological or adopted. It can help the reader connect with the story and characters.
A romance novel must have a love story as its primary focus and include an emotional throughline that builds to an optimistic conclusion. Stories without a happy ending should be classified as something else, such as a mystery or suspense.
Often, romance novels deal with a series of crucial scenes that build up to the climax.
These key scenes should help readers to develop an interest in the romantic relationship between your protagonist and your love interest. Making an external goal for your character that jeopardizes their chances of achieving their internal goal is a fantastic way to accomplish this.
This conflict should show the hero or heroine in a new light, revealing an inner flaw or false belief holding them back from achieving their goal. It is the first stage in constructing a fascinating and realistic romance narrative. The climax should usually involve the hero or heroine making a choice that demonstrates their commitment to each other. A good choice will be challenging and will likely require sacrificing something they care about to win their love.
Romance novels are about the love between two characters, so it’s important that those characters be interesting on their own and that readers feel connected to them. These characters will have their arc that leads to romance. Traditionally, heroes were male, and heroines were female, but that doesn’t mean that romance novel characters must fit into gender stereotypes. An excellent romantic hero isn’t all about chiseled good looks but about the emotional depth and dramatic gestures. A great romance will also introduce the love interest early on, often in a “meet cute” scene that’s either awkward or humorous.
A wide variety of themes can be explored in romance novels. Authors treat these themes differently, aiming to create a story that resonates with readers.
These themes include love, forgiveness, alienation, and hope. They can also explore societal issues, such as racism and gender inequality.
A common theme is forbidden love, where characters cannot be together due to social status, family rivalries, or professional conflicts. Another popular theme is second-chance love, where characters reunite after a long time apart.
Other themes include mafia romance, which deals with mafia-related crimes or connections, and ‘grumpy sunshine,’ where one character is a bit gruff while the other is a ray of sunshine. Finally, there is the fantasy romance subgenre, which features science fiction or magical settings.
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.