How To Write Romance Scenes

Today I’m delighted to introduce guest writer Jean Wilson, who’s penned a terrific guide on how to write romance scenes. This is a complete first for The Writer’s Toolshed, and given the popularity of fantasy romance books, it’s about time we had some content on writing romance.

In Jean’s guide below, you’ll find 5 great tips to help you write compelling fantasy romance scenes. Scenes that will grab your reader and make them tear through the pages of your fantasy romance books!

Throughout the guide, Jean refers to various fantasy romance books which you can turn to for examples, as well as drawing on more mainstream examples too. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to go off and write your own great fantasy romance scenes!

Get More Help With Writing Romance Scenes

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Exclusive to those in my community of writers, it’s the perfect place to share your writing, get feedback, discuss ideas, and build friendships with writers from all over the world!

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Over to Jean!

How To Write Romance Scenes

Has anyone seen the movie “Titanic”? I am sure most of us have. Everyone was emotionally moved by the fantasy romance plot ideas we saw on the screen.

So if we turn the tables and become writers and we are told to write the draft of a romantic title, I am sure most of us will feel the butterflies fluttering in our stomach.

Some will scratch their heads. Indeed, writing romance may be an altogether alien concept. If so, worry not. This guide will help you.

Today I am going to discuss tips and tricks on how to write great fantasy romance scenes—so often the climax of the fantasy romance novel. And I’ll show you 5 tips you can use when writing such scenes.

I will also talk about the ways to keep readers engaged and hooked to good fantasy romance books. Here we go…

1.Creation of Conflict

The first point I want to discuss that any fantasy romance writer has to keep in mind is the need for the scene to have conflict, some type of twist.

The story should have a point in order to move forward. I will illustrate this with an example.

Not long ago I read a book called Ties That Tether by Jan Igaro. The heroine is Nigerian-Canadian and the hero Spanish-American. They face a lot of difficulties in their romantic bonding.

So in this way, the writer of the fantasy romance books can keep the readers thinking about what will happen next? They should be guessing about the possible outcomes out of each option.

First, one is quite obvious in that they come from different cultural backgrounds. The heroine made a commitment to her father on his deathbed that she would marry from her own country Nigeria. Another turn that comes in her life is that her ex boyfriend comes back. The third is that she is expecting a child from Rafel, her second boyfriend.

As you can see, there are 3 sources of conflict here, each one increasing the tension and the scale of the obstacle in between our two lovers.

2. Keep the audience in mind

A key consideration when writing fantasy romance books is the audience. Romance is a hugely popular genre and readers expect certain things.

And these expectations are forever changing. For example, the forced explicit romance scenes of the 1980s could jar with contemporary audiences.

These expectations feed into the type of romance you’re looking to write. For example, magic is more acceptable in a fantasy romance book compared to a contemporary romance or a historical romance.

Each genre will carry its own expectations and customs, mostly relating to the setting of the story. Doing your research is therefore very much advised.

3. Give a reason to fall in love

This is an incremental process. It starts with the type of personality each character has. I mean apart from being attracted to one another, there has to be a credible reason for them to fall in love.

It’s important that the process of them falling in love is as natural as possible. By that I mean not forcing it or to write it in a way in which readers lose the natural intimacy. For example touching the hand, talking on the internet, exchanging letters.

This all helps keep the reader curious, and a curious reader keeps on reading!

how to write romance scenes

4. Set The Scene 

This complements what I have discussed so far. A writer of fantasy romance books for adults has to create vivid scenes in the mind of readers. For example, if they’re sitting near the sea. A good description would transport you there, all you to feel the breeze on your bare arms, the sand between your toes. The sound of waves hitting the shore, the sun setting in the sky.

Writers sometimes skimp on descriptions. However, to do so is a disservice to both themselves and their readers. If descriptions are something you struggle with, it may help to go to the places (if nearby) and sit and write there. Or if you can’t go there, look at pictures on the internet. It really can help to have a visual aid.

Another way to spark some ideas, particularly in terms of feelings and emotions, is to think about your past crushes or loves in the likes of school or university. Thinking back to those feelings can give you the ideas you need.

The bottom line is that good fantasy romance scenes should be well-thought-out, well-described, utilising all of the 5 senses, and written in a sequential way.

5.Cosmic Methodology 

Although fantasy romance plot ideas generally follow a route that ends in the union of the protagonists. You could also refer to this as the ‘meant to be’ plotline. Whatever happens in the story it’s expected that they’ll end up in each other’s arms.

To achieve this, it’s therefore important that everything mentioned is linked together in a compelling and believable way. And when our heroes overcome the odds in a bid to secure their love, the reader grows in belief and hope that they’ll succeed.

How can we achieve this in our fantasy romance books? Let’s consider the physical build up between the couple. Do they kiss, or does something prevent them? And does that moment continue to elude them?

This is something I understand Richie has done in his upcoming novel, Pariah’s Lament.

There are some wise lessons we can take on romance from the famous poet John Keats. He describes two lovers as:

  • Their love was forever remembered
  • The example of their love is a form of frame.
  • They both feel the sensation of love. It keeps them connected to each other.

Fantasy Romance Book Recommendations

There are so many awesome fantasy romance books I couldn’t quite possibly list them all, so instead I’ve put together a list of my top fantasy romance books:

  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  • The Roommate by Rosie Danon
  • Bared To You by Sylvia Day
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • And here’s a great list featuring more of my favourite sad romance books

Final Thoughts On Writing Fantasy Romance Books

I hope you’ve found these tips on how to write a fantasy romance scene useful. This is just a mere dip in an ocean of inspiration and ideas for writing great fantasy romance books. But it will set you on a good path for success.

About Jean Wilson

Jean Wilson is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles, USA. She has ghostwritten books and is a frequent blogger. She likes travelling, trying new cuisines and taking her pet dog Milo for walks. You can follow her on Twitter by clicking here: @JeanWil37503740

More Advice On How To Write Romance Scenes

Writing romance scenes can be a delicate task, but with some attention to detail and good planning, you can create an engaging and believable connection between characters. Here are some tips for writing romantic scenes:

  • Build tension and chemistry between the characters. Use descriptive and sensory language to show how the characters feel about each other, and create moments of anticipation and longing.
  • Show the characters’ vulnerability. Romantic scenes are more powerful when the characters reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings to each other.
  • Use sensory details to create an atmosphere. Describe the sights, sounds, and smells of the setting to create a believable and immersive environment for the romance.
  • Use dialogue to reveal the characters and advance the story. Allow the characters to express their feelings and reveal their personalities through their dialogue.
  • Use physical touch to convey emotion. Describe the characters’ actions and movements as they express their feelings through touch.
  • Use pacing to control the flow of the scene. A romance scene can be made more powerful through the use of pacing, starting slowly and building up to a climax.
  • Keep it realistic. Avoid cliches, and try to make the scene believable and relatable to the reader.
  • Show, don’t tell. Instead of telling the reader how the characters feel, show it through their actions and dialogue.
  • Show the aftermath. The scene doesn’t have to end when the physical act is over. Show how the characters feel and what happens next.
  • Revise and edit. Read your scene several times, making sure that the pacing, dialogue, and descriptions all work together to create a believable and engaging romance scene.

Remember, a romance scene is an important part of a story and should be written with care and attention to detail, but also be mindful of the context, making sure it fits with the overall plot.

How To Write Awkward Romance Scenes

Writing awkward romance scenes can be a great way to add a sense of realism and vulnerability to a story. Here are some tips for awkward romance scenes:

  • Show the characters’ insecurities and vulnerabilities. Characters who are unsure of themselves or their feelings will naturally create an awkward dynamic in a romance scene.
  • Use awkward dialogue and body language. Have the characters stumble over their words or have them feel uncomfortable with physical contact. Do they sweat a lot or struggle to think of things to say?
  • Show the characters making mistakes. People in real life make mistakes, and it can be funny and relatable to the reader to see the characters in a romance scene doing the same.
  • Use humor to diffuse the tension. Humor can be a great way to make an awkward scene more relatable and less uncomfortable for the reader.
  • Show the characters’ internal thoughts. Use inner monologue to reveal the characters’ thoughts and feelings in the moment to highlight their awkwardness.
  • Play with pacing. Use a slow build-up to create anticipation and then an awkward moment that disrupts the flow of the scene.
  • Use descriptive language to set the tone. Use words that convey awkwardness, such as “uncomfortable,” “awkward,” and “tense.”
  • Show the aftermath. The awkwardness doesn’t have to end when the scene is over. Show how the characters feel and how they deal with the aftermath of the scene.
  • Use subtext. Instead of stating the awkwardness, hint at it through the characters’ actions and dialogue.

As always, remember to revise and edit to make sure that the pacing, dialogue, and descriptions all work together to create a believable and engaging awkward romance scene.

How To Write Sex Scenes In Romance Without Being Pornographic

Writing sex scenes in a romance novel can be a challenging task. It’s important to strike the right balance between being descriptive and graphic without being pornographic. So, here are some tips for writing sex scenes in a romance novel without being pornographic:

  • Use literary language. Instead of using graphic or explicit language, use literary and descriptive language to convey the emotions and sensations of the characters.
  • Show the emotional aspect of the scene. A sex scene is about more than just physical pleasure. It’s also about the emotional connection between the characters.
  • Use symbolism and metaphors. Use symbols and imagery to suggest the physical act without describing it explicitly.
  • Use internal thoughts. Use the characters’ inner thoughts to reveal their emotions and feelings during the scene.
  • Show the aftermath. The scene doesn’t have to end when the physical act is over. Show how the characters feel and what happens next.

It’s important to remember that different readers have different levels of comfort with sexual content, so always be mindful of your audience when writing sex scenes. And, as always, revise and edit your work multiple times to make sure that the pacing, dialogue, and descriptions all work together to create a believable, non-pornographic and engaging sex scene.

Join An Exclusive Online Writing Group!

Thank you for reading Jean’s awesome guide on how to write a fantasy romance scene. I’ve certainly learned a lot. If you’d like to get more help on writing fantasy, tips or recommendations on fantasy romance books, or to meet like-minded writers, why not join my online writing group?

All you have to do is click the button below and join my community of writers!

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Thanks for reading this guide on how to write romance scenes. 

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