Hi All –
It seemed only fitting, in this month of Valentines, to talk about romance. Take a quick look at these stories—Way of Kings (fantasy),The Lost Fleet (sci-fi), & Bourne Identity (action/thriller-film version).On the surface, they don’t have much in common, except one thing—they all contain an element of romance. Not all story lines or genres lend themselves to a touch of romance. But there are some good reasons, if it’s plausible, to add in a bit of romance.
Adding a romantic relationship to a novel in any genre often raises the stakes for the protagonist. They’re torn by wanting to protect the other person and fearing that the other person’s motives are suspect. It can also add emotional depth to the lead character. In the real world, people rarely live lives devoid of close relationships.
If your character seems flat, try adding in a touch of romance. Theromantic relationship can even be one in the past such as the boyfriend that died, or the wife who did him wrong. Or the relationship can be unattainable, like the woman he admires but can’t yet approach. These scenarios will affect how your MC acts and reacts to new situations.
A bit of romance can force your MC to act out of their comfort zone, and increases the level of story conflict.
In a series of any genre, with a romance subplot, there is no promise of a “happily ever after” at the end of book one, or two, or three. Theromance subplot can be carried through the series only finding a happy conclusion when the whole series ends.
Adding in a steamy flirty scene, or a tumble in bed James Bond style, does not make for a romantic element. It’s best if the romance, in a non-romance genre, helps to shape the MC’s inner motivation.
The romance character can be central to the story in other ways but is also usually the one who understands the hero, and sees your MC for how they truly are, and believes in the MC even when the MC doesn’t believe in themselves.
So, pull out the chocolates, pour yourself a glass of your favorite bubbly, sprinkle rose petals around your computer, and add a bit ofromance to your story.