I was once asked my top ten tips for writing a love story. This is what I came up with. If you have some to share, please comment.
- While a writer should always paint a picture for the reader, the descriptions of main characters should not be dwelled upon. Many readers want to project themselves and the man of their dreams into the main characters. This gets difficult if the writer constantly dwells on physical appearances. Physical attributes should only be mentioned when relevant; else they might pull the reader out of the story.
- The love interest needs to have flaws that challenge the relationship. Balance this with something that is universally appealing and makes him loveable even when he is being a jerk.
- Romantic leads don’t need to be hot hunks. A love interest that sees past the heroine’s flaws, or even embraces them, appeals to readers on an emotional level. This is the core reason why people read romances.
- Sex is a part of romance. That said, sometimes not having sex is more sexy than handing over the goods. Use sex when appropriate. Sex for the sake of sex is erotica or sometimes porn.
- There is nothing more romantic than being seen and appreciated for who we are. Have the love interest see something beautiful in the heroine that no one else does.
- Love stories rely on emotions, which are brought to life by humans. Thus characters matter more than story. Give them quirks that make them real.
- Even a swamp can be romantic if the characters make it that way. Think beyond the clichés and see the wonder in the mundane.
- Expand your vocabulary. There is nothing sexy about the over use of any word or phrase.
- Everyone dreams of having that big, magical moment when love not only hits but overwhelms! When the couple meets it must be cute and should also be unusual.
- The pay off means nothing without the struggle. The lower the odds of finding true love, the bigger the payoff.