The Writers' Helpers
Anonymous whispered:

i'm trying to write a romcom story but this genre is quite new to me and there's supposed to be a bit of an action in it too. do you have any advice on how to write this genre or how to describe an action scene without the words being too straight forward?

I love a good romcom, they can cause tears of laughter and tears of sadness within the span of a couple of pages. 

Romcom writing secrets

Elements of a romcom

Writing a Romantic Comedy

5 tips for writing a romcom

Chick lit is more commonly used to describe light hearted books about women, normally dealing with love. Romcom is more of a film term. 

Interview with Sophie Kinsella about chick lit

Writing action scenes

Everything we have on romance

Everything we have on action scenes

-S

Posted 7 months ago with 275 notes | Reblog

All about LURVEEE

do you have any tips for writing romance, or even just romantic attraction/crushes? i’m aromantic, and it’s really difficult to find advice about handling romance that isn’t written with the assumption that the person looking for advice understands it on a personal level. an explanation as to how it relates to the sexual side of things would be extremely helpful as well! -Anonymous

Much like the question I answered about friendships, this is a big area. We all have different kinds of romances in our lives. What I’ll do is go through some of the big ones for you and describe how they feel, typically advance and some of the problems/solutions your characters might find together. I’ll throw in how they can relate to sex, too. 

Bear in mind that these are mostly out of my own personal experience, so you may come across more ideas from other people.

Naive Love

Naive love is often the first kind of love that people experience. They become so blinded by attraction (usually physical or aesthetic - this is the stage where people are attracted to someone being ‘cute’ or their external persona as a bad boy or popular girl) that they fall in love with the idea of the person rather than the person themselves. This kind of love is often initially drawn out and involves a lot of obsessing, which heightens our desire because the object of our affection becomes unattainable in our own minds. When we have them, the combination of our long obsession and intense fantasising becomes the force that keeps us with them. 

In these relationships, we’re the most likely to change ourselves in order to please our partner. This is where you’ll hear girls asking if they should lose their virginity or smoke drugs in order to impress a boy, or boys pretending to be more masculine or exaggerate what the girl finds attractive in them. 

The problem with this kind of love for people/characters is that this isn’t a healthy development. It creates pressure to be something you’re not, because of the pressure to live up to the other person’s fantasy. When you inevitably can’t, the relationship breaks down and falls to pieces as disappointment and realisation sink in. 

This can be the most awkward sexual relationship possible. Since this kind of attraction is common in young people, sex becomes a way to impress the other person in order to keep them. There’s very rarely communication about it beyond ‘can I do this to you’, which risks damaging someone’s perspective on sex altogether. There’s little passion and a focus on getting the technique right, and when neither party will tell the other person that it’s not what they like or guide them as to how they do (for fear of losing them), sex can break down the relationship very quickly. 

In short, it’s aesthetic, it’s obsessive and it’s very, very fragile. Your characters would be frantic about making sure they present themselves in a certain way to their love interest and wouldn’t perceive sex as an intimate bond so much as a hooking mechanism. Losing them would be their ultimate fear, but their love is despite flaws that they refuse to see. Denial, making excuses for bad behaviour and constantly taking the blame in arguments are all characteristic of naive love. 

Mad Love

Mad love is probably the most destructive of all relationships. It’s almost the teenage sibling to naive love. In these relationships, the hook is the sex. The person becomes a fantasy that’s addictive to a person/character and/or enables them to feel powerful or sexy. 

These relationships usually come from an inexplicable attraction. You see someone and you can’t say what it is about them, but they make your throat dry and your heart race. Your fantasies of them are almost purely sexual, and when you finally talk to them, things develop quickly, if the attraction is mutual. There’s a lot of talking at the beginning of these relationships; staying up until 3am before work or staying up all night just to read their blog. Often, the foundation is an intense intellectual connection rather than an emotional one.

Once there’s a foundation of liking the person for a few of their traits, people in these relationships quickly move on to an impassioned sexual relationship. These are the people who say they’d rather stay in bed together all day than go out somewhere with one another. They become addicted to the physical relationship and mistake it for true love. 

These relationships turn destructive in several ways. The first is the likelihood of cheating, because if the relationship hits the point where the sex is slowly becoming less frequent, the addiction remains and one or both want to renew how it has made them feel. The second is violence; often people are so desperate to keep that connection that when something goes wrong, their passion comes out in entirely the wrong way. The third is simply that the relationship draws to a natural close. Sex and intellectual connection can only sustain relationships for so long before the lack of genuine emotional attachment creates arguments, resentment and anger. People who aren’t emotionally invested in one another are far less likely to go out of their way to help their partner or consider their feelings. 

The summary for this would be that the physical and intellectual aspects overrule everything else and are mistaken for love. The addiction becomes a madness that becomes destructive, and the relationship will eventually destroy itself. Characters in this kind of relationship are likely to experience severe highs and lows when their relationship is going well or terribly, and any hint of betrayal or losing that sexual/intellectual connection will cause immediate panic and overreaction. 

'Fixer' Love

This relationship involves two specific kinds of people/characters; the broken and the fixers. ‘Broken’ people/characters often endure very low self-esteem, fragile/problematic mental health, an over-reliance on others and a need to have somebody save them. ‘Fixers’ are people who take their satisfaction and fulfilment from being that saviour and making the broken person/character feel better. 

Sometimes, these relationships really work well. It requires the ‘broken’ person to be aware of the necessary equality in a relationship and to understand that the fixer is also a person who isn’t okay all of the time. It becomes problematic when gratefulness is mistaken for love or dependency is the only thing keeping them together. They will inevitably depend on one another for what they need, and these relationships can often last a long time on that fulfilled need alone. 

Sex in these relationships can be a tricky area. Sometimes the fixer takes on a very dominant role whilst trying to be sensitive to their partner’s needs, whilst in other situations, it doesn’t happen often. This relationship does not rely on sex to keep it going and sometimes it falls at the wayside next to the fulfilment of more emotionally vulnerable desires. It’s a relationship built on the foundations of feeling safe and needed. If sex is a a common part  of the relationship, the fixer is usually the one giving the majority of the attention (which can sometimes lead to resentment and sexual dissatisfaction). 

The things to define when looking at this kind of relationship is why they both need one another so much and where their need to fix/be fixed comes from. If the relationship breaks down, it will be extremely painful for both parties because there’s often a sense of ‘us against the world’ and a feeling of failure on the fixer’s part, or abandonment on the fixee’s part. 

The One True Love

People who have found ‘the one’ are renowned for saying ‘you just know’. I’m fortunate enough to believe I’ve done so, and I think I can explain why it feels different to other relationships a little more concisely than that. 

People often go through life trying out relationships that don’t work. They fail to fit into one another’s lives the right way, or there’s just something missing. When meeting ‘the right one’, they fill a void that you never realised was there to begin with, as though your life knew all along that nobody else was going to fit into it but them. Some people realise it immediately and some people realise three months later that they have no idea how they felt anywhere near whole without that person before. 

These relationships aren’t common and they are hugely defining moments. This is the love that people would gladly die for, the kind that creates words like ‘ya’aburnee’ in Levantine Arabic (which, literally translated, means ‘you bury me’, an indication that the person would rather die first because they can’t bear the idea of the pain). This bond is intrinsically permanent, two halves coming together and being unable to leave one another. 

That doesn’t mean it’s always harmony, though. Sometimes there are arguments and sometimes they hurt one another. Some people don’t realise someone is ‘the one’ until they’ve done something to hurt them and the threat of them leaving becomes real. These are the relationships that, when tested by fire, find a way to last. Their rarity makes it considered an idealistic cliché to write about it, but it does exist, and it can be written effectively if you know your characters. 

The sexual aspect of this kind of relationship is about intimacy and communication. These lovers feel so comfortable with each other that they can guide and instruct without fear of losing them, and their intimate expression of how they feel unified. Sex is an expression of something far deeper than a physical desire, but an emotional desire to be completely absorbed into one another. 

I hope that explains some of the ways your characters would be affected by love and how they might feel when they’re with someone. If it’s not sufficient, please feel free to contact me via the ask box on my blog, and I’ll be happy to talk through situational details with you. 

When it comes to the actual writing, concentrate on what a character does and says rather than trying to express precisely what’s going on in their heads. It’ll make it easier for you personally whilst conveying the intended meaning to your reader. People do crazy and illogical things when they’re in love (or think they are). Love is defined as something that makes you put others before yourself, and romantic love, real romantic love, is no different. 

-House of Fantasists

Posted 8 months ago with 566 notes | Reblog
Anonymous whispered:

do you have any tips for writing romance, or even just romantic attraction/crushes? i'm aromantic, and it's really difficult to find advice about handling romance that isn't written with the assumption that the person looking for advice understands it on a personal level. an explanation as to how it relates to the sexual side of things would be extremely helpful as well!
Much like the question I answered about friendships, this is a big area. We all have different kinds of romances in our lives. What I’ll do is go through some of the big ones for you and describe how they feel, typically advance and some of the problems/solutions your characters might find together. I’ll throw in how they can relate to sex, too. 
Bear in mind that these are mostly out of my own personal experience, so you may come across more ideas from other people.
Naive Love
Naive love is often the first kind of love that people experience. They become so blinded by attraction (usually physical or aesthetic - this is the stage where people are attracted to someone being ‘cute’ or their external persona as a bad boy or popular girl) that they fall in love with the idea of the person rather than the person themselves. This kind of love is often initially drawn out and involves a lot of obsessing, which heightens our desire because the object of our affection becomes unattainable in our own minds. When we have them, the combination of our long obsession and intense fantasising becomes the force that keeps us with them. 
In these relationships, we’re the most likely to change ourselves in order to please our partner. This is where you’ll hear girls asking if they should lose their virginity or smoke drugs in order to impress a boy, or boys pretending to be more masculine or exaggerate what the girl finds attractive in them. 
The problem with this kind of love for people/characters is that this isn’t a healthy development. It creates pressure to be something you’re not, because of the pressure to live up to the other person’s fantasy. When you inevitably can’t, the relationship breaks down and falls to pieces as disappointment and realisation sink in. 
This can be the most awkward sexual relationship possible. Since this kind of attraction is common in young people, sex becomes a way to impress the other person in order to keep them. There’s very rarely communication about it beyond ‘can I do this to you’, which risks damaging someone’s perspective on sex altogether. There’s little passion and a focus on getting the technique right, and when neither party will tell the other person that it’s not what they like or guide them as to how they do (for fear of losing them), sex can break down the relationship very quickly. 
In short, it’s aesthetic, it’s obsessive and it’s very, very fragile. Your characters would be frantic about making sure they present themselves in a certain way to their love interest and wouldn’t perceive sex as an intimate bond so much as a hooking mechanism. Losing them would be their ultimate fear, but their love is despite flaws that they refuse to see. Denial, making excuses for bad behaviour and constantly taking the blame in arguments are all characteristic of naive love. 
Mad Love
Mad love is probably the most destructive of all relationships. It’s almost the teenage sibling to naive love. In these relationships, the hook is the sex. The person becomes a fantasy that’s addictive to a person/character and/or enables them to feel powerful or sexy. 
These relationships usually come from an inexplicable attraction. You see someone and you can’t say what it is about them, but they make your throat dry and your heart race. Your fantasies of them are almost purely sexual, and when you finally talk to them, things develop quickly, if the attraction is mutual. There’s a lot of talking at the beginning of these relationships; staying up until 3am before work or staying up all night just to read their blog. Often, the foundation is an intense intellectual connection rather than an emotional one.
Once there’s a foundation of liking the person for a few of their traits, people in these relationships quickly move on to an impassioned sexual relationship. These are the people who say they’d rather stay in bed together all day than go out somewhere with one another. They become addicted to the physical relationship and mistake it for true love. 
These relationships turn destructive in several ways. The first is the likelihood of cheating, because if the relationship hits the point where the sex is slowly becoming less frequent, the addiction remains and one or both want to renew how it has made them feel. The second is violence; often people are so desperate to keep that connection that when something goes wrong, their passion comes out in entirely the wrong way. The third is simply that the relationship draws to a natural close. Sex and intellectual connection can only sustain relationships for so long before the lack of genuine emotional attachment creates arguments, resentment and anger. People who aren’t emotionally invested in one another are far less likely to go out of their way to help their partner or consider their feelings. 
The summary for this would be that the physical and intellectual aspects overrule everything else and are mistaken for love. The addiction becomes a madness that becomes destructive, and the relationship will eventually destroy itself. Characters in this kind of relationship are likely to experience severe highs and lows when their relationship is going well or terribly, and any hint of betrayal or losing that sexual/intellectual connection will cause immediate panic and overreaction. 
'Fixer' Love
This relationship involves two specific kinds of people/characters; the broken and the fixers. ‘Broken’ people/characters often endure very low self-esteem, fragile/problematic mental health, an over-reliance on others and a need to have somebody save them. ‘Fixers’ are people who take their satisfaction and fulfilment from being that saviour and making the broken person/character feel better. 
Sometimes, these relationships really work well. It requires the ‘broken’ person to be aware of the necessary equality in a relationship and to understand that the fixer is also a person who isn’t okay all of the time. It becomes problematic when gratefulness is mistaken for love or dependency is the only thing keeping them together. They will inevitably depend on one another for what they need, and these relationships can often last a long time on that fulfilled need alone. 
Sex in these relationships can be a tricky area. Sometimes the fixer takes on a very dominant role whilst trying to be sensitive to their partner’s needs, whilst in other situations, it doesn’t happen often. This relationship does not rely on sex to keep it going and sometimes it falls at the wayside next to the fulfilment of more emotionally vulnerable desires. It’s a relationship built on the foundations of feeling safe and needed. If sex is a a common part  of the relationship, the fixer is usually the one giving the majority of the attention (which can sometimes lead to resentment and sexual dissatisfaction). 
The things to define when looking at this kind of relationship is why they both need one another so much and where their need to fix/be fixed comes from. If the relationship breaks down, it will be extremely painful for both parties because there’s often a sense of ‘us against the world’ and a feeling of failure on the fixer’s part, or abandonment on the fixee’s part. 
The One True Love
People who have found ‘the one’ are renowned for saying ‘you just know’. I’m fortunate enough to believe I’ve done so, and I think I can explain why it feels different to other relationships a little more concisely than that. 
People often go through life trying out relationships that don’t work. They fail to fit into one another’s lives the right way, or there’s just something missing. When meeting ‘the right one’, they fill a void that you never realised was there to begin with, as though your life knew all along that nobody else was going to fit into it but them. Some people realise it immediately and some people realise three months later that they have no idea how they felt anywhere near whole without that person before. 
These relationships aren’t common and they are hugely defining moments. This is the love that people would gladly die for, the kind that creates words like ‘ya’aburnee’ in Levantine Arabic (which, literally translated, means ‘you bury me’, an indication that the person would rather die first because they can’t bear the idea of the pain). This bond is intrinsically permanent, two halves coming together and being unable to leave one another. 
That doesn’t mean it’s always harmony, though. Sometimes there are arguments and sometimes they hurt one another. Some people don’t realise someone is ‘the one’ until they’ve done something to hurt them and the threat of them leaving becomes real. These are the relationships that, when tested by fire, find a way to last. Their rarity makes it considered an idealistic cliché to write about it, but it does exist, and it can be written effectively if you know your characters. 
The sexual aspect of this kind of relationship is about intimacy and communication. These lovers feel so comfortable with each other that they can guide and instruct without fear of losing them, and their intimate expression of how they feel unified. Sex is an expression of something far deeper than a physical desire, but an emotional desire to be completely absorbed into one another. 
I hope that explains some of the ways your characters would be affected by love and how they might feel when they’re with someone. If it’s not sufficient, please feel free to contact me via the ask box on my blog, and I’ll be happy to talk through situational details with you. 
When it comes to the actual writing, concentrate on what a character does and says rather than trying to express precisely what’s going on in their heads. It’ll make it easier for you personally whilst conveying the intended meaning to your reader. People do crazy and illogical things when they’re in love (or think they are). Love is defined as something that makes you put others before yourself, and romantic love, real romantic love, is no different. 

-House of Fantasists

Posted 8 months ago with 149 notes | Reblog
Anonymous whispered:

I am working on a fantasy (with a hint of romance) story where one of the main character's is a POC and their bond with the other main character starts through indentured servitude (because of a debt, not race) I was wondering if this would be considered offensive? The other main character is white if that helps explain my concern.
Writing about anything that’s delicate like this is bound to offend someone. I write a lot about women and homosexuality, and I’m absolutely positive that somebody is going to point at me and yell, “Heathen!” at some point.
 
My personal view would be that it’s absolutely fine to write about it as long as the following criteria are met:
 
- You fully express the difficulties that a POC would endure in the society - if your society has issues with xenophobia (this helps to turn your readers’ perspective into one that understands that you’re expressing empathy and trying to understand that difficulty rather than saying, “POC are slaves.”).
 
- If you reversed the situation and the white person was the indentured servant, would the story be different? If yes, consider how it would be different and whether that’s a message you really want to send to people and be sure to treat it with the respect it deserves.
 
- Ensure that the POC has as much character development as the white person and isn’t just a catalyst.
 
- The white person doesn’t ‘save’ the POC entirely. You’re risking making it a metaphor for POC needing white guidance. Your POC should save themselves and prove their strengths as a person.
 
By the sounds of it, you have the right approach, or you wouldn’t be worrying about it at all. Be aware that you will probably get some kickback from it, because people think differently on this subject and always will. In my opinion, as long as you’ve treated all characters as equally as you would treat all people, there is no issue. Your POC is as much a bleeding human being as your white person, and if that’s what your romance aspect tells people, you’re on to a winner that’ll be difficult to criticise.
-House of Fantasists
Posted 8 months ago with 20 notes | Reblog

Suggestions from our followers regarding this question about writing a romance between two people who don’t speak the same language:

othersidhe answered: If it’s modern or futuristic then a cell phone language translator that always gets everything wrong in a comedic fashion?

lesmotsincompris answered: Perhaps there’s a third language they both speak? Oh, and don’t forget to check “Love Actually” :)

(I was trying to avoid Love Actually as a reference, but I entirely support viewing it to see lost-in-translation hilarity and adorableness. Colin Firth’s atrocious Portuguese is magic on screen.)

converseandclarinets answered: Use a language translation program that gets things horribly wrong {for comedic relief}

wordsleftquiet answered: Try looking at cultural differences and have them come to understand similarities and differences beyond just language.

halehouseparty answered: have then talk to each other anyways. it gives them an excuse to say things they wouldn’t normally if the other could understand

heyitstaytay answered: Body language is a good one. You could easily fall in love with the things someone DOES rather than the things someone SAYS.

obsidianmichi answered: Not being able to speak the same language is a great excuse for unintentional physical contact that can spark a romance. They get closer.

Good suggestions — hope they help!

- O

Posted 8 months ago with 16 notes | Reblog
sexualdean whispered:

Any tips on how to write a romance between two characters who don't speak the same language? Having them mime/draw things is becoming a little monotonous.

Ideas:

Have them start teaching each other. Basic communications in all languages, no matter how different, are still the easiest to pick up because of their relatability. The vast majority of the world understands: common rooms and objects in a home, food, currency, family, the senses, parts of the body, basic emotions — all these are things they can teach each other in their native language to start a basis for developing their language skills more.

Give them a date where they pick two movies, one each in their native language, and watch together — preferably with subtitles in the non-native language. Or dubbed. Dubbed could be fun.

How isolated are they? Is there someone they both know who can interpret between the two languages?

How different are the languages they speak? Because if it’s, say, French and Italian, there’s enough similarity that they should be able to pick up the basics of the others’ language fairly quickly. Any languages that have the same roots can usually be discerned faster over time by non-native speakers of the same root. That being said, if it’s like… Russian and Mandarin then see above ideas :)

- O


Anyone else have ideas?

Posted 8 months ago with 34 notes | Reblog
Anonymous whispered:

My whole plot revolves around a love triangle (FMC and MMC are divorced, she gets together with his best friend) but the FMC and MMC's interactions are all very will-they or won't-they. Do you have any tips on how to write that? Or any articles? I want it to be realistic and raw without giving away their motivation.

The key to writing love stories of any kind but especially triangles, is creating likable characters and really plotting out their motivations. What were your FMC and MMC’s initial reasons for breaking up? Try writing those out so you have them in front of you. Now consider the tension between those two characters. Do they remember why they broke up? Are those emotions going to overshadow their chance at reunion? Are those emotions the reason FMC finds herself attracted to another man, or did she always have a wandering eye? What makes the best friend think it would be all right to date his best friend’s ex? Is that a friendship based on trust? Hopefully unravelling those questions will unravel the big ball of yarn that is your characters’ motivation. If the question is about not giving everything away at once, however, go for a limited narrative perspective, or focus on one perspective at a time. Remember that people don’t carry all the information around at once in real life, and your characters shouldn’t either. Give them room to grow and express, and reveal things to both them and the audience as you go along.

-nextyearswords

Posted 1 year ago with 5 notes | Reblog

Genre Help: Romance

Whenever I’m about to make an article I always check to see what we already have on the subject. We already have quite a sizable amount on romance, so please take a look at that. A lot of it is in much more detail than this post is going to be. Click here!

We also have a previous Genre Help article (which I found after I started this one), I haven’t mentioned topics that were covered on the other post so it is worth checking it out.

Definition of Romance: The Romance novel is a literary genre. Novels in this genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” [x]

Sub-Genres of Romance

Now I don’t write a lot of Romance, so it’s not really ‘my thing’. So I’ve done research and I found there were far more sub-genres of romance than I imagined. So I’m only including the larger sub-genres but I encourage you to have a look at some of the other sub-genres.

  • Contemporary Romance- Any novel set after the second world war is considered to be a ‘contemporary romance’. This is the largest sub-genre of romance with a huge portion of the sales in this genre. These are set in the time they are written. Most of these types of novels also contain some mention of the date or something that can date the novel. (Such as mentioning who the prime minister is.)

  • Historical Romance- Any novel set before the second world war is a ‘historical romance.’ This is a combination of the ‘historical’ genre and the ‘romance’ genre. Books that are still a commercial success that were written before world war II can also be considered to be a historical romance. This includes books by Jane Austen.

  • Romantic Suspense- are novels that has the protagonists trying to solve a mystery such as a crime together and during which begin to fall in love. Like all romance, their relationship is the focus of the novel and affects all decisions made by the characters.

  • Erotic Romance- Also called ‘romantica’ is a combination of erotica and romance. Contains SEX. No seriously has strong sexual content. Also normally includes another sub-genre

    [x]

The ‘Love Triangle’

The love triangle is romances bread and butter.What is a conflict in a romance novel like another woman/man? That is always going to throw a spanner in the works! A lot of these books will contain love triangles and this isn’t a bad thing. Not at all, when done well a love triangle can be an amazing plot point.

However, perhaps you can change it up. Add your own spin to a very popular plot device. Try to write your love triangle realistically as well. I for one wouldn’t want another woman sniffing around my man and I wouldn’t be impressed if he seemed torn between us. In fact I would be insulted. So think of how your character would react, would they leave? Would they ignore it? Would they get jealous?

Romance- The deal with triangles.

Writing a quality love triangle

In defense of love triangles

Writing 101- love triangles

The problem with love triangles

So yes, have a love triangle! But don’t be boring and predictable, make it your own. As we have said before clichés are clichés because they work.

Writing realistic relationships.

I’ve touched on this in previous posts, but I think it is very important that relationships ring true. Relationships aren’t easy and I think if it’s easy in your novel it becomes boring.

So what makes a realistic relationship?

  • The couple isn’t perfect
  • The couple have arguments/disagreements
  • Things about the other person annoys them (toilet seat up!)
  • Love grows over time
  • Lust at first sight, not love.

The progression of a relationship is really interesting and makes us fall in love with the characters. No one can meet each other and suddenly know everything about the other person. This is something that grows over time and as time passes love grows and develops into something completely different.

But realistic relationships are boring!

I once posted the statistics for relationships failing and got slated. Realistic relationships aren’t boring, in fact they are far more interesting than the ‘perfect relationship’. If your protagonists never argue or have difficulties what is your conflict going to be? You need them to struggle and fight to stay together because relationships are fucking hard.

So write them realistically and your reader is more likely to care! To fall in love with your story and your characters.

Writing realistic love relationships

How to write strong character relationships

Realistic romance

Writing romance

Other useful links

Everything Writeworld has on romance

The basics of romance

How to write a romance novel: The keys to conflict

Using real psychology in your writing

Romance resources 

I hope this has helped you to get a better idea about the romance genre and encouraged you to perhaps venture into this field?

-S

Posted 1 year ago with 213 notes | Reblog

Genre Help: Romance (The basics)

thewritershelpers:

Hey, guys! I’m J, and I’ll be helping contribute to The Writers’ Helpers during the onslaught of NaNoWriMo this month!

Right now, I’ll be posting a series of links / helpful advice related to specific GENRES. Today, we’ll be covering ROMANCE. (Wiki article definition)

(REMEMBER: These are suggestions/advice. You’re not required to follow any instructions to the ‘T’ - this is your story and belongs to no one else! Write what you want to write! :D)

Sub-Genres of Romance

Mika Lo’s Formula For Writing A Romance Story

Different Story Structures of Romance

TVTropes Links:

Romance Novel Plots

Romance Arcs

Love Interests

Love Tropes - Plethora of links on the right side of the page (Beware! You may spend a lot of time on here!)

Writing World: Romance

NOTE: This site covers tons of things regarding romance in novels, including Writing Romantic DialogueWriting Emotional Scenes Without Melodrama, Character Professions in Romance, tips on writing Love Scenes, and covers many of the subgenres, including Fantasy, Time-Travel, and Comedy

Also includes interviews!

Seven Tips on How To Start A Romance Novel - Also a good source for novels without romance.

Imagine Your OTP - A good tumblr blog for ideas involving your romantic couple! Involves fluff, NSFW situations, and even sad scenarios. Trigger warnings marked as well.

These are just a few of many more. If anyone wants to share any links / suggestions, do please submit~!

-J

Posted 1 year ago with 1,245 notes | Reblog | via: writeworld / origin: thewritershelpersdeactivated

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Relationships.

hello there, I love your blog! Do you have any “don’t ‘s” when it comes to fictional relationships. I am writing a romantic relationship that was formed in an zombie apocalypse, any tips? - Anonymous

Hi, first of all thanks! 

I thought quite a bit about this and I think I’m going to give you a list of do’s and don’ts. Now take everything I say with a pinch of salt, remember this isn’t ALWAYS the case and I’m basing some of these from bad fanfiction…

Disclaimer: These are my opinions.

Dos.

  • Have instant physical attraction (if that’s your thing)
  • Have your characters get to know each other. 
  • Show the progression of the relationship.
  • Still mention other characters in your story.
  • Make the relationship realistic
  • Have arguments (no relationship is perfect)
  • Have things about the other person that annoys them (you left the seat up- AGAIN).

Don’ts.

  • Have them love each other instantly. It takes time to love each other and love grows as the relationship progresses. 
  • Have instant trust. (this may work for some, but I don’t think it’s realistic.)
  • Make the relationship perfect
  • Forget the other characters
  • Only focus on the physical attraction (unless it’s not about love)
  • Be sickly with their love. It turns me off, and I’m sure it turns others off.
  • Make them have sex every five minutes. 
I hope this helps, also keep in mind that if yours is set after a zombie apocalypse there may be very different reasons for your characters to get together than for most characters. So think of their reasons for wanting to be together. Are they clinging to the only person left? Forced together through circumstance? 
Some links for you as well: 

Writing realistic love relationships

How to write strong character relationships

Writeworld

FYCD

Nicholas Sparks’ DOs & DON’Ts for writing a love story

Thanks for the question!

-S

Posted 1 year ago with 1,439 notes | Reblog

Romance: The Deal With Triangles

ghostflowerdreams:

Triangles have been a common plot device for as long as people have been writing fiction. One man or woman is loved by two other men or women who compete for his or her affection. They can be further complicated by the characters’ society, their culture and whatever issues they’re currently facing. 

Love triangles can make the story exciting but there are times where they are used as a gimmick, a very pointless one at that. What writers should avoid doing is introducing a new character just to add some drama into the growing relationship between the main characters. It’s predictable, especially when the character is introduced as attractive and obviously interested in one of the characters.

It’s not going to impress the readers when they already know what the character’s purpose is for; which is to cause problems and advance the relationship between the other two characters. Once the new character accomplishes that they’ll be discarded like trash when the characters finally get together.

That isn’t a proper love triangle at all. A triangle, at least by my personal definition, is one in which the main character is equally torn between two love interests. It shouldn’t be a triangle with a third character having unrequited feelings or just there to tempt the other. The third character should actually be a threat to the main romance, the main pairing. By threat, I mean that they have the potential to be the main romance instead of what the writer originally intended. 

Now, you might be wondering how can the writer create a believable triangle, especially with a decent third character. It’s actually not that hard to do. They have to treat that character like they would with their main characters. They need to develop them and have them grow throughout the story. Writers shouldn’t just throw them in because they wanted to cause some romance drama (even if that was the character’s whole reason to exist—to be created in the first place).

The trick is to be subtle about it and let the attraction between all the characters develop over time. For example, what if the third character is in love with their sibling’s love interest? The readers didn’t realize it because the character wasn’t so obvious about it. If the readers went back and read the story again they would be able to pick up the hidden meaning behind their actions and words.

The character has unrequited feelings but that doesn’t mean it will stay one-sided. At some point their feelings will be reciprocate by the one they want. That to me, would make a proper love triangle because triangles are suppose to contain a character that is torn between two others because they have feelings for the both of them. 

Love triangles should be slowly weaved into the story and build up over time, not added in as a after thought. Nor should the triangle subplot take over the main plot completely. When that happens it disappoints the readers because the story turns into something they didn’t ask for. They don’t want the book they’re reading to suddenly go from saving the world to figuring out which of these two attractive characters can ultimately win the main character’s heart (more so when the story isn’t advertise as a romance).

The best thing a writer can do is know whether or not they are going to use the triangle subplot in their story. If they are going to use it, it would help that they plan out how the romance develops throughout the story from each of the characters.

Posted 1 year ago with 228 notes | Reblog | via: ghostflowerdreams
Anonymous whispered:

I'm writing a contemporary romance, but with the current popularity of supernatural novels and urban fantasies, I'm worried my novel would seem boring by comparison. What are some ways I can give my story a magical/enchanted feeling without introducing magic or supernatural elements?

Woah Woah Woah.

YES there is a lot of that type of novel, that doesn’t mean YOURS has to be about that!!!! 

You write what you want, by the time you publish the trends will be completely different. DO NOT TRY TO PREDICT OR COPY TRENDS.

Just make your novel interesting, make sure your plot is engaging and hooks the reader. Do this by making it so the readeer wants to or has to find out what happens next. It’s hard to do this but it becomes easier whilst you are writing. Keep the readers reading. 

Don’t fret my anon friend, it will be fine. 

Hope this has given you a prod in the right direction. 

-S

Posted 1 year ago with 7 notes | Reblog
g2-lpi whispered:

(this got deleted in the Accidental Ask Purge) Prophetic-card-reading vagrant learns he's meant to be with a mountain village girl who's promised to someone else (he doesn't know this 'til later). She likes him, but he's only in the village for a week for 4 springs, & I'm stuck as to how to get them to run away together. I don't like love at first sight, but I'm terrible with romance, so for all I know that's the only option with such little time. Any thoughts to either convince or talk me down?

Oooh, I really like this premise! You get cookies =]

Love at first sight has been done to death, so I think it’s a good idea to avoid it if at all possible. It seems to me that the main issue here is getting Mountain Village Girl to run away with Card-Reading Guy, and that doesn’t have to be a purely romantic move. For example, maybe she runs away with him because she hates her betrothed (although this one has been done so many times before I’d avoid it as well), or maybe he’s really really persuasive and she likes him anyway so thinks ‘what the hell’, maybe she’s always been the adventurous type and wants to see the world, maybe she hates her father who’s forcing her into this marriage or something, maybe she’s superstitious and believes Card-Reading Guy when he says they’re meant to be… Or maybe a combination of a few of those.

What I’d suggest here is thinking laterally about what her motivation could be to leave her home with him, rather than trying to squeeze a believable romance into such a short space of time. Then, once they’ve run off, you can take the whole rest of the book for them to fall in love if needs be. But I think you’re right to avoid quick romances, because they usually burn themselves out pretty fast, plus it wouldn’t give the reader enough time to care about the characters or the romance. Then again, if you handle it carefully enough, you could play up the fact that it’s a quick romance that probably won’t last, and then start building up the more longstanding relationship after they’ve run off together (think Romeo and Juliet).

Really, there are a whole load of options. Finding another motivation to leave is probably the safest and easiest to accomplish, though that’s by no means the only one. Have a think, and get back to us if you need any more help =]

-M

Posted 1 year ago with 11 notes | Reblog
Anonymous whispered:

(this was sent awhile back before your messages got deleted) I was wondering if you could help me tell the difference between fluff and romance

I remember seeing that one!

Fluff: 

fanfic which the story has no plot. Only humourous or romantic nonsense. [x]
Fluff doesn’t usually have a plot and is normally in fanfictions than actual novels. Fluff is normally cute and nice but nothing of any great importance happens to advance the plot.
Romance: 
can be defined as a genre wherein the plot revolves around the love between two protagonists. This genre usually has a theme that explores an issue within love, including but not limited to: love at first sight, forbidden love, love triangles, and sacrificial love. [x]

Romance has plot and is it’s own genre. Fluff kind of gets put into any genre. Romance I think is more serious and has a purpose usually. Romance can be happy, sad, tragic, angsty and DOOMED.

Fluff is just happy. Like a fluffy marshmallow, all cuddly and yummy but not as filling as an actual meal. 

If this makes sense? I’m tired and rambling. If I haven’t explained well, send another ask.

:)

-S  

EDIT: C SAVES YOU FROM MY RAMBLING. HERE IS A LINK TO THEIR RESPONSE TO A SIMILAR QUESTION. 

Posted 1 year ago with 8 notes | Reblog

How to write those pesky flirty scenes.

Posted 1 year ago with 287 notes | Reblog
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