1. Sophie-Jane94
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    Sophie-Jane94 New Member

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    What kind of romance storylines do you enjoy?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sophie-Jane94, Mar 30, 2012.

    I want to write a simple love story but am fairly inexperienced in the genre, I often prefer more complex matters.

    But regardless, what sort of love stories do you enjoy reading so I can get a feel for the genre and ideas for my writing?
    Do you like fantasy romance? Something more gritty or historical? Love triangles etc?

    Would be nice to hear a few suggestions of existing works so I can read up on the genre.

    Many thanks, Sophie :)
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you should turn it around and make the question to yourself: what do you like when you read romance? Chances are a lot of other people like that as well and it makes it easier for you to stick with it in the long run if you're creating something you would like to read yourself. Just my advice.
     
  3. Cyrus
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    Cyrus Member

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    Couldn't agree more with Tesoro. It's always better to write from personal experience. I would be surprised if I discovered someone above age of 14 that didn't have a romantic experience. Not saying you should start transcribing your conquests or anything, but drawing from personal experiences automatically authenticates your story...especially in romance.

    One of my favorite phrases is.

    "Nobody fell in love without taking risks"

    And with risks come stories.

    Also I want to be productive for you, so I will answer your question. I don't read romantic stories, but I consume plenty of content that has romance in it. I want to assert though that it's not really about the setting or the theme. It's all about you're central characters, their history, their chemistry and what their journey together.

    I find myself particularly effected by characters that are brought to together by turmoil and strife. It speeds up the process, because characters age and develop quicker in danger situations. So you can get years worth of mileage in their relationships in the space of a couple of chapters and the audience can really commit to it.

    I hope that helps.

    Cyrus
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just choose any storyline. By all means, read romance novels for research. Vary the authors, for exxposure to different writing styles.

    But particularly in romance, it;'s the appeal of the characters that makes or breaks the story, not the storyline.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Cogito and Cyrus when they say that it's the chemistry between the characters and not the plot itself. That holds true for me too. That is why it's difficult to give a precise answer to your question. in most of the best romance stories I've read it's the characters I remember and the feeling I get when reading about them, the plot is secondary.
     
  6. Mordred
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    Mordred Member

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    My cousin authored three fairly popular romance novels back in the late 80's-early 90's. They were set against a WWII background. She had to do a lot of research into the era to get the correct feeling and detail so her story was believable. She told me it was exhausting to write and more difficult than she thought it would be. The titles are "Liaisons", "Blood and Wine", and "A Moment in Paradise."

    She's stated that romance novels take a lot out of the author since it deals with so many emotions. You have to be very comfortable writing love scenes to draw the reader in and hold their interest and make sure that the characters are ones you care about. Personally, I'd rather be writing an epic fantasy with political intrigue, swords and sorcery. Cogito is right too that the appeal of the characters is important over the actual storyline since most people that read romance want to be swept away into a "lover's arms."

    Good luck!

    ~Mordred
     
  7. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    I'm in my late teens and beyond books, I have no romantic experience. I don't know why it would surprise anyone if someone over 14 didn't have any romantic experience.

    Like other have already said, write what you want. At the end of the day, it is your story and no-one elses! Though research is always good! 'The Irish Trilogy' by Nora Roberts is good (in my opinion) - there's 'Jewels of the Sun', 'Tears of the Moon' and 'Heart of the Sea'. I also enjoyd 'The Vampire Diaries' by L.J Smith. It deepens on what you want to go for - realistic, Fantasy, supernatural etc.
     
  8. Cyrus
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    Cyrus Member

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    That depends I suppose what you consider to be a romantic experience. You don't have to be in relationship with someone to have feelings for someone. In fact the former half of most romance books are all that exact situation.
     
  9. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Oh. Oops. No feelings here.

    But to the OP, you are the one who are going to write, so you should be the one to think of your favorites storylines, no? Though I, personally, would avoid the: "they soooo hated each other at first that is so painfully obvious they will end up together" storyline. I think it's cliché and overused... And sometimes when people hate each other, they just... Hate each other. Yeah.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The difficulty with romance is that you probably want to keep a light, optimistic tone overall (although that isn't the ONLY way to go), but a good story requires conflict.

    The source of the conflict can be external or internal, or a combination of both, but you don't want it to break the mood.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The difficulty with romance is that you probably want to keep a light, optimistic tone overall (although that isn't the ONLY way to go), but a good story requires conflict.

    The source of the conflict can be external or internal, or a combination of both, but you don't want it to break the mood.
     
  12. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    That is true. If I pick up a romance novel, I'm expect to feel good while reading it. Too much conflict makes things too tense. Sometimes, you can tell a writer included conflict just because that's the rule. It can be unappealing. There's nothing wrong with letting the couple have their moments once in a while.
     
  13. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    "Feeling good" only goes so far. Many romance novels draw their plot from conflict between love interests.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was advised several years ago that there tend to be about three key moments in a romance when (what seems to be) an insummountable obstacle arises to prevent the couple being together. One of these obstacles can be an outside force, but the other two occasions should develop from their basic characters--flaws, fears, conflicting values, etc etc.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then your first task is clearly to do your homework and get familiar with it... until you do, how can you expect to write a successful story/novel in that genre?

    you're asking for examples, but first we have to know are you intending to write a short story, or a novel?... and for what market?... YA or adult?... a mainstream novel like 'bridges of madison county'?... or the kind of pb romance put out by silhouette and harlequin?... or a historical romance a la barbara cartland?
     
  16. terrwyn
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    terrwyn Member

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    If I read a book that is mainly romance, I usually go for historical romance, or the idea where the main character likes/dates someone who is a jerk and blows off the nice guy at first, then eventually realizes maybe the less attractive, yet caring person is actually worth going after.

    I'm writing a fantasy book where I created the world myself. The main character holds anger against her ex-friend because of something he did in the past, but he doesn't leave her alone. Eventually, she opens up and they become a couple. I want the romance in my book to add to the story and excitement, rather than take away from the main plot of what's most important in the book. Their relationship would be more of "I just want to protect you" rather than "I just want to rip your clothes off."
     
  17. schmiler
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    schmiler New Member

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    You just described what I'm writing at the moment. I'm so fed up of seeing the bad-boy type win all the time. I realised that when I read novels with romance I usually want the good-guy, side-kick or just the person that is better for MC to win and he usually never does.

    I like novels where romance is not the main drive of the plot but rather the product of the situation MC has found herself in. This is why I am writing a novel like this because I don't think there are enough out there like it. It kind of spans from my own personal experience too.

    OP I think you should try to mix a bit of personal experience and also what you like from romances. Write your perfect romance and I'm sure you will find that many readers feel the same way as you do about it.
     
  18. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    I'm currently reading the Chronicles of the Raven by James Barclay, which you might want to read. It's a fantasy story and has a bit of romance between two characters. The woman is mad at the other characters in the story due to what happened and in order to get her help, one of the male characters had to agree to something, after which romance begins to bloom. It might not have the amount of romance your looking for, but it may give you some ideas/help you in writing your own.
     
  19. Zosan
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    Zosan New Member

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    When I think of a romance story/novel I believe that it all boils down to the characters. Sure the plot is important, but the characters need to work in both a protagonist and antagonist way.

    Chemistry doesn't need to be automatic upon introduction, it should be built. There should be risks and limitations and falls outs, arguments that force reconciliation. Characters drive a romance story to me, so if they're not gripping then how can I want to read the rest of the novel?
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Anything sweet and romantic, but not OTT. I find when it comes to romances and chick flicks and the like, I am quite willing to suspend my disbelief a lot more than for any other genre. But avoid cliches. I hate the ones with "but I can't love you!" or "they're sooo right for each other but they just won't get together!" Both of them are convoluted and annoying. I prefer to see a relationship build towards romances, or see how a relationship progresses when the characters are already together. I also hate "the big misunderstanding" that is almost mandatory for every last romance story - but the modern ones are starting to make this painful process shorter and shorter, which I like.

    I personally really like Sophie Kinsella - not a romance writer but definitely chick lit. Basically she puts her characters in some unbelievable situation for sheer comic relief and there's a romance in there, but usually it's more focused on how her MC's gonna get out of her absurd dilemma. And because the whole thing is deliberately absurd, you end up laughing with it rather than at it, because it's just not trying to impress. It's simply trying to give you laughs and a good time with no pretence that it is good or literary or even well-written. But I love it, it makes me laugh like mad and that's what I want when I read things like this :)
     
  21. Sophie-Jane94
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    Sophie-Jane94 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice and opinions everyone; most useful :)
     
  22. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like my romance as a subplot, embedded in some glamorously intriguing plotline, like a thriller or sci-fi mystery. And I like my couples to work hard at it, to have conflicts and betrayals and... ok, Danielle Steele - like :D
     
  23. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just had to comment on this. One of my favourite romance authors often let the characters kind of turn into a couple without even noticing it themselves, it's almost like the reader realizes that before them, and I find that quite romantic:) It's not like they struggle for their love, they're just being together. On the other hand, the stories are more like romantic suspence where the romance is kind of a subplot, and that really works. Personally I like those stories a lot.
     
  24. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just had to comment on this. One of my favourite romance authors often let the characters kind of turn into a couple without even noticing it themselves, it's almost like the reader realizes that before them, and I find that quite romantic:) It's not like they struggle for their love, they're just being together. On the other hand, the stories are more like romantic suspence where the romance is kind of a subplot, and that really works. Personally I like those stories a lot.
     
  25. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Tesoro: I like my real life romance simple and my fiction complicated ;)
     

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