Romance – To Be, Or Not To Be
It used to be the norm to have romantic elements in classic literature. Even today, some people still love the stereotypical romance in film and in books. If they heard there was no love interest involved, they would instantly lose interest. Romance in literature is as alive as ever, although the sub-genres of literature today are being approached in different ways.
However, you don’t need to let this stereotype control you when it comes to your story. You’re writing this story because you want to, so tell the story you want to tell. Ultimately, you’re writing your story for you, but if you’re looking for success, you need to consider how your story will be received by readers. If you want no romance at all, then that’s fine, just make sure you substitute that element of the story with something else. Remember, a love interest in your story helps or hinders your main character in reaching his/her goal. The trick would be to put some other element in the story that pushes or pulls your main character/characters in a similar way.
If you do want love to be a feature in your story, consider these points:
- Is it going to be straightforward or rocky?
If your story is going to be dominated by a different plot line then it’s best to make love interest one small, straightforward part. A rocky relationship is generally a better option when it comes to a more in-depth approach to the romantic element. Readers won’t be interested if your main character finds love easily. It should be as in reality. Relationships don’t just run smoothly all the time. Making your character go through various obstacles to realize his/her love would make the climax of the romantic plot more entertaining, and more readers will sympathize with the plight.
- Does it last, or is there no hope?
This is one of the things you need to think about right away. If you’re going to make the relationship last, then making it difficult at first will help cement it in the story. You would have to have a good reason to make the relationship fail. In these cases, the characters end the relationship because they have realized something. Maybe they realized what they truly want out of a relationship and it’s not what they’re getting with their current partner. Or, they realize they were falling for someone else.
- Would the romantic plot be a part, or a whole?
If you’re going to have a fairly complicated romantic plot in the story, then you need to think carefully about what kind of story you’re writing. Some writers use romance as an additional element to the main plot line. Others use romance to support the plot. Alternatively, you could just write a romance novel, but that’s your choice.
Writing a good story can be extremely tricky. It helps when you know what basic elements go into it, because all stories need structure, but the best structures are so well put together that readers would have to study your book deeply to separate them. Romantic novels suffer the same fate as other sub-genres. If you want romance to be a welcome element in your book you have to ensure you have figured out how exactly how you will present it.
Written by David Hendricks
Image credit: Microsoft Images