Here’s the sixth installment of my series on How to Write a Good Romance (or any story really) based on what not to do:
6: A rose may not be a rose
Romance is intrinsically different for every person. Because of this variety in human nature, it’s important to take the time to discover what romance means to your characters, as it might not be what would be romantic to you.
This individualization is what can give your characters depth and ultimately more interesting than stock characters out of a Cracker Jack box. If, like myself, you have written a number of romance stories, it’s important to distinguish your couples as individuals and not the same cookie cutter couple that you drop into a new situation in each book. Readers will quickly bore with this.
Your main characters should be as unique as your story.
If indeed your female protagonist is truly a different person than your last book, than what is romantic to her will be different as well. Where one woman will find a man doing the dishes romantic, another may find flowers or walks in the rain romantic.
- Fast cars or carriage rides?
- A hand written poem or karaoke solo?
- For me, a truly romantic gesture would be for a man to read all my books.
- A friend of mine said one of the most romantic things a man could do for her was to love her dog a well as her.
Discovering what romance means to your protagonists is key to a good story. In the end, if you write characters that your reader care about, your reader will appreciate the romance of the book if it’s romance that makes sense for the characters you created.
Jennifer Geoghan, author of:
- The Purity of Blood novel series
- If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story
- The Family History Quick Start Guide: Genealogy Made Easy
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