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