Welcome, welcome! I recently got a request to create a guide to writing romance stories which, I would like to say is my specialty but alas I don't want to sound conceited, so I will say it is definitely my favorite genre to write! I'm no expert and this is not the definitive way to write romances, but hopefully this will give you a good idea on where to start and what to do.
Also, please do comment about what I have written and what else you would like to see! Sometimes I want to put something in but forget, or you'll have an idea that I didn't even think of and would love to put in the guide!
I would consider this the most common romance out there, two friends falling in love which is uberly cute in my opinion.
In my opinion, some of the best ways to approach this is to establish the friendship these two have, either starting the story with the two characters as friends already or have them become friends through the first couple chapters. Remember my rule in my 'Guide to Writing Fanfiction,' stories need to have gradual plot progression. So I believe ultimately that the love (or liking) confession scene should be the climax of the story, however that depends on what you're writing and your own opinion of what the climax should be in your story.
What I love about friendxfriend is all of the awkward scenes that come when they start to like each other but doesn't want the other to know. It makes for very comedic scenes such as quickly hiding blushes, or hastily looking away because they didn't want to be caught staring, and often leads to losing footing, tripping, and comedic fall. Not to mention you can add an element of drama by bringing in a third or even a fourth person whom makes the characters jealous, thinking they're out to steal their girl/guy and it can help lead to the climactic confession.
Another good element that the friendxfriend brings is that strong trust element between friends, the loyalty and ability to lean on their shoulder for comfort. This can help to create moments to show how strong their friendship is and also can create some romantic moments.
No this does not automatically mean the good girl and bad boy scenario. I'm actually referring to mostly a hero/heroine and enemy pairing because it's always a fun one. There is just something enticing about this type of pairing that everyone just loves, probably because it could be categorized under a forbidden romance.
Anyway, definitely establish a scene that clearly defines that they are enemies, why they are enemies, and a fight scene. By fight scene I do not mean a battle, though if that's the type of enemies they are then yes, but I mean some sort of conflict that establishes their rivalry or whatever. Whether it be a battle, a verbal fight, a double agent/betrayal, etc. However, it might be interesting to establish that the protagonist (hero) is interested in the antagonist (enemy) in the beginning, or vice versa, but the first option is generally more believable. This will of course lead to drama beyond belief from the protagonist's friends trying to convince him/her otherwise of their affections.
Something fun about starting out with them hating each other's guts is the verbal arguments you can get them into. Something a little expected but always a classic is to get them into a situation they have no way out of other than to trust each other to get them out of it. This helps to eliminate the mistrust and hate of each other, forcing them to work together. In my opinion, a change in their relationship cannot happen without something drastic occurring and causing them to trust each other. I'm no expert so I'm certain that there are other ways to go about this, feel free to suggest!
I personally love this type of pairing because it's kind of the same as the previous one mentioned, but instead they share a common enemy. I love to rp, and my rp buddy and I have a couple whom originally hated each other with a passion but reluctantly decided to work together to take down one of their common enemies, and to humiliate another.
With the common enemy, the two baddies can work together and pull of some great stunt that by themselves they wouldn't have been able to do, so that helps to establish a relationship between them. Often with cheeky villains, they love to banter with and tease each other which can lead to some rather…interesting situations~ if ya catch my drift~
Anyway, there are many ways to go about this, but the common enemy leading to a team up is the only one that I'm familiar with. And there are different ways to go about that particular scenario. Say one has a weakness that is the other's strength, and vice versa, so they realize they need each other in order to accomplish their goals.
I will most likely add to this later because there are so many possibilities for this genre.
#4 Love Triangles (or more)
I'd say this is the next most popular pairing(s?) after friendxfriend. Love triangles are everywhere. I've even written a couple! In case for whatever reason you don't know, a love triangle is generally when one person likes two people at the same time. Or guy #1 likes girl and girl likes guy #2, clueless to guy #1. Also, guy #2 probably likes girl #2 and is unaware of girl #1's affections. Love triangles are more or less endless rather than an actual triangle.
A common love triangle often falls under the friendxfriend category. Where a guy has a crush on his best friend, but best friend is head over heels for a different guy. The best friend goes through a journey of discovering that the crush is a jerk/taken/or just not their type. Then the guy finally gets the courage to tell their friend how they feel and they end up together.
Another scenario is a guy likes girl A and is aware that girl B likes him too, and decides to date both without either of them aware of it to see which girl he would really prefer. Pretty jerk-face move if you have a jerk-face character, or a guy who is just really clueless. And the best way to resolve that is that the girls find out, catfight, then realize that the guy is to blame, dump him, and they become best friends!
Well silly/crazy scenarios aside, love triangles are really common because they happen to everybody. I know I have crushes on multiple people right now! Anyway, a major key to love triangles is that one character is generally too hesitant to admit their feelings and then the bulk of the story comes down to that character developing the courage to tell the person of their affections what they're feeling before the object of their affections ends up with someone else that they are attracted to at generally the same time. Your protagonist could confess at the right time, or just when their crush agrees to go on a date with someone else.
As I sort of mentioned earlier, love triangles often do lead to fights between the two people who share the same crush. So if you want dramatic and a verbal/physical fight scene, a love triangle is a good way to go. There's a lot of things you can do with love-triangles. It's all about what you want, the personalities of the characters involved, and even the friends of those characters.
Keep in mind, with all of these scenarios I've presented, the genders can be interchangeable.
- Feuding families
- Opposing countries
- Opposing sides during a war
- Social taboo
- Two socially different parties (bad examples follow)
- Jocks and nerds
- Republicans and Democrats
- Upper and lower classes
Alright I know that's not very specific, but so many different types of romances can fall under these categories. But by no means are these three the only ones. I would also like to see what specific genres you would like me to do because I'm always open to suggestions! So it's vague for now, but after I get some feedback, more detail will come.
Thank you all!