As a Developmental Editor, I read A TON of stories every year, and one of the most common errors I see writers making, specifically with romance stories or love story subplots, is not showing enough of WHY and HOW the two characters fall in love.
So many of the stories I read it’s like zero to LOVE in five seconds, based on first sight or one look or one touch. They walk past each other at the park–for example—and BOOM! They’re suddenly in love. And then the characters spend the rest of the book lusting over each other.
Except it doesn’t work like that.
In real life people may sometimes experience “love at first sight,” or go from zero to infatuation in five seconds, but that doesn’t work in a story. It’s not enough.
Stories are not real life. They’re fictional tales based on real-life truths.
But they’re still fictional, which means they have to be cohesive and make sense, and each thing that happens must be building to something bigger.
Nothing random. Nothing extraneous. Just what’s needed to make it a believable and enjoyable vicarious experience for your reader.
This applies to ALL stories, not just romances, of course! But when you’re writing a romance or using a love story as a subplot to your main story, there are certain “beats” or moments that need to happen in order to make the reader believe your two characters are actually in love.
And that’s the stuff that usually gets missed by writers.
I used to do the same thing in my stories when I first started. I used to think it was enough for them to just be attracted to each other. But attraction only takes you so far.
At some point, there has to be something real to bond the two characters and make the love grow between them, such as a common backstory, a shared interest or passion, a shared experience, etc.
People do not fall in love based on attraction alone. Attraction may start it, but it’s the bond that keeps it going.
Your romance story and/or love story subplot needs something real to bond your characters. It can be anything you choose, but you have to choose something.
Now there’s a lot more to writing a romance story than just a bond between the characters, but that’s a starting point that will help you write better romance stories or love story subplots.
I covered the rest of what’s required for a romance story in the masterclass, Plotting Your Romance Story.
I broke down all of the beats in a romance story, explaining how to structure it for optimal believability, giving you examples for clarity, and then we had a Q&A session.
If you’re a romance writer or if you want to write love story subplots, this masterclass will improve your storytelling in a BIG way.
AND–best of all!!–you can get access to this masterclass for FREE by joining the Multi-Passionate Mastermind, my membership group for writers who want to be successful authors AND everything else they dream of too.
When you sign up, you’ll get immediate access to the member’s site and private Facebook group, plus the link to access tonight’s training (and it will be recorded in case you can’t be there live).
>> Learn more and join the Multi-Passionate Mastermind group here
Dream life or bust,
One Reply to “The #1 Thing Writers Miss When Writing A Romance Story (Or Love Story Subplot)”
Great post! It drives me nuts when characters in romance novels are instantly in love and spend the rest of the book in bed. I’ve started bailing on those books as there is no substance.