I'm not very good at writing romance, let alone romantic stories (yet for some reason there are several relationships in my novel). As it's a science fiction story with aliens, cyborgs and AI you have a large handful of complicated relationships so next to describing ships, weapons, armour (ect) doing a romance is the hardest thing. There's only really one romance that gets a lot of focus. I have one of the characters fully developed already. He's a human with mental health problems due to an error in his cryo-stasis pod (he was partially concious for some of the trip), is pretty highly trained due to the ship's AI trying to keep him sane (ran various programs through his mind) and is obsessed with pre-war literature, movies (ect) due to further attempts by the AI to keep him sane. Due to mental health issues he was rejected from the navy and so took on a job as a scavenger, a bounty hunter and eventually became a space pirate. He's the kind of character who's damaged and so uses a shell, one of a humour to hide his fragile self. The idea of shells is kind of a theme throughout the novel, with multiple characters having their own to hide behind. The other character is still a work in progress, mostly due to her species and the fact that this is the first story she's been in (different versions of Gregory have appeared in short stories before) At the moment (as my characters' backstories change as they develop) she's a convicted criminal on her own planet and so is hiding out in other parts of the galaxy. I'd describe her as extremely intelligent, adventurous, curious and at times she can be quite humorous. Like Gregory, she also has a fragile side she's hiding under a shell. Her shell consists of both humour and knowledge. I haven't decided on a name for her yet as I normally add names to characters after they've been developed. Of all places, they meet while tracking down a serial killer on the streets of a Mars colony (see my thread about writing a psychopathic character for more details on that). As she's telepathic and a shapeshifter she's an obvious asset to the investigation. Not to mention that she's been falsely accused of this crime and so is trying to prove her innocence. The relationship itself can take one of two directions in future parts of the novel. I have one where it's a humorous "Bonnie and Clyde" style relationship, with two outlaws going across the galaxy. This would be easier to write and both characters use humour and both lead criminal lifestyles. It could make a good change to parts of the novel that are dark and gritty (such as one I've mentioned before involving genocide and intergalactic war) and could even break off into a story featured in the novel (which is a collection of stories set in the same universe). The other version of this relationship is more complex and has a lot to do with the mind rather than any kind of physical attraction. Both try to escape from the criminal lifestyle, seeking an easier life. As she looks deeper into Gregory's mind, Gregory discovers more about her, most notably what crime she committed that forced her to flee her home planet. There would be humour of course but there would be a lot more focus on the shells they have and trying to repair the fragile parts underneath. Or I could always write a relationship that combines the two, with the "Bonnie and Clyde" stuff being part of their shells. What do you think?