Author Patty Blount recently commented on the craft of writing romance novels, and I found what she said to be so insightful, so perceptive, that I’m keen to share it:
Writing romance is among the most challenging genres because you’re actually writing three stories. His and Hers (or His and His, Hers and Hers, depending on your sub-genre).
Two main characters. Two trajectories and two distinct story arcs.
The third story is their romance itself.
It really fries my tomatoes when industry critics dismiss romance as bodice-rippers and lady porn and so on because that fact is often missed. Every romance novel has three stories that don’t just intersect . . . they become enmeshed, melded, just as relationships do.
We start off with one character immersed in his world, his problems, his wounds. Then, we cut to the other character and get the same experience. What makes romance so unique and so powerful, in my opinion, is how we authors craft these two people so that the story isn’t simply “Person Meets Love Interest.”
It’s Person Struggling Through Life
Meets Another Person Struggling Through Life
and Learns How To Love This Person Despite/Because of Those Struggles
So That Their Ending Feels Like a Beginning
That’s the Third story . . . the love that develops between these two characters has to be real and be forever and that kind of love becomes its own story.
That’s not just good writing, it’s magic.
More about Patty here