Romance writing is more than ‘boy meets girl’. It is suspense, love, fear, love, annoyance, and of course, a lot of love. All that and more rolled up in a nice, romantic plot.
While every publisher is looking for a romantic novel that is new and different, in all honesty most romances can be broken down into very simple plot lines. These examples are but a sampling of the various romantic plot lines out there.
Rags to Riches
Hero, or heroine, goes from being dirt poor to having money or power, either through luck or ability. This plot is great for tension as the character learns to deal with their sudden fortune and popularity.
The hero and heroine have a relationship that ends. Sometime after, the hero learns the heroine had a baby; one he thinks is his child. His anger at the deception, along with her guilt over not telling him are great conflicts.
One of the characters kidnaps the other, wither for monetary gain or because they’re forced into doing it. In these kinds of tales, the main characters spend a lot of time together in hiding, usually alone. Both characters can feel animosity, fear, and anger at each other, building tension.
The most common of this plot line is when a divorced couple has to deal with an issue or crisis and while doing this, one or both discovers their love returning. Even though they have changed, past problems and conflicts create more tension as they learn to love all over again.
Marriage of Convenience
Hero and heroine must marry in order to seal a contract, protect one of them, or get an inheritance. Some times, the marriage is arranged in order to protect someone, either the hero or heroine, or a third party. Mostly used in historical romances, this plot can be used in a contemporary one, it’s just trickier.
The heroine, or hero, is injured and either can’t remember who they are, or is in the hospital recovering. In amnesia cases, it is very distressing not knowing who you are, which is a great conflict added. For recovering characters, the pain and inability to do anything adds a lot of tension to a story.
High school or college sweethearts find each other again. High school reunions, chance meetings, and sudden interest in the past are all catalysts for this kind of tale. Old memories of how it was can interfere with the current romance as the couple deal with the changes that time has brought.
Divorce or death can leave children without a mother or father. And open your romance to a neat plot. A heroine hired to be a nanny for the hero’s children, or a hero who runs a youth center the heroine’s children attend are good ways for them to meet. Both can be expanded to make them unique and add plenty of tension.
Probably the most popular romantic plot. Two people so different they can’t tolerate each other, yet are strongly attracted. Tension comes when they find they are falling in love. Whether the differences are social or monetary one this is certain — there will be a ton of conflict.
Romance stories are all about love, and plot. Even the most common different sex positions plot can be wonderful if you give it your own special flair. So pick your favorite plot and spice it up. Make it your own and make it hot!