10 WORST TIPS FOR WRITING ROMANCE
You guys already know that I love romance! The thing is, I've already given you guys a million tips for writing romance. How to write healthy romances. Writing love interests. Writing romantic chemistry. Even how to write sex scenes!
So today, we're flipping the script! I am listing the 10 worst tips for writing romance. These are the tips I see floating around the writing community all the time, and they blow so much ass. Do not do these things unless you want your romance to be a supreme disappointment or cliched mess.
Now, without further ado, let's break down my 10 worst tips for writing romance!
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Number 1: Just Add Faeries
Because is it even a romance if there's no mythical sexual predator?
We all know literary trends come in cycles. A while back, vampires were the romance go to. Then, it was dystopian romance. Then shifter romance. Now we've landed on fae. Particularly faerie men, because there's nothing more masculine than a man with fairy dust at his disposal.
You can't write a romance without faeries. You can try, but your hands will turn into mangled claws. If you're somehow able to get the words down, your software will then change all of the human nouns to fae wordage. Your love interest is no longer an engineer from Brooklyn–he’s now the high lord of the summer court, or the low lord of the flower place, or the pervert of the unfulfilled Karen sexual fantasies. Basically, add faeries or don't write romance. There is no other option.
Number 2: Tragedy Is SO Hot
When a character's friend dies, or they witness a murder, or their entire planet is destroyed, this is the perfect time for them to fuck. You may have noticed characters tend to bump uglies right after experiencing something horrific, and you may not have understood why this was happening. Shouldn't they be paralyzed in shock or mourning their loss?
Um, no, dummy. People get supremely horny when grieving. It's science! If you think about it, it makes total sense. They need a distraction, after all. Plus, imagine being red-eyed, puffy-faced, and snot-nosed after sobbing over the loss of your mother. How could you not take advantage of your supremely sexy state? You know their love interest is back there licking their lips thinking, “Aww, yeah, choke on that mucus."
There is nothing hotter than bawling your eyes out in the fetal position. It totally gets the juices flowing!
Number 3: Kidnap a Bitch
Stockholm Syndrome is the ultimate meet cute. The best, most respected and acclaimed romances begin with capture. Usually, a man captures a woman for reasons that are unknown to the reader, because does it even matter? Who needs a motive for kidnapping, anyway?
Through abuse and intimidation, he's able to force her to fall in love with him, and there is no love more pure of heart than this. He shackled her in a dungeon and browbeat his way into her heart. When will my prince come?!
Everyone wants to feel real love! They want to feel degraded and humiliated. Give them this gift through the art of the written word, and forever be heralded as a romance legend.
Number 4: It’s Not Romantic Unless It’s Dysfunctional
I've heard a few aspiring romance authors claim that the only good romance is an unhealthy romance, and they're absolutely right. Readers don't read romance to swoon or squeal in delight. They read it to feel damaged and violated!
No one wants to see a couple who saves one another from darkness or defeats the odds hand in hand! They want to see them beat the shit out of each other, or at the very least, cheat on each other. That's what makes romance so exciting and sexy–all the gaslighting and trauma!
Pro Tip: Faeries especially shine in this category. They are notorious for the most adorable kinds of assault. Write yourself a faerie dude who treats his partner like property, and you've got yourself some true love.
Number 5: Throw in a Baby
If the love story is getting stale, throw in a baby. Boom! Instant drama, tension, and sex appeal. Because of course, nothing is sexier than shitty diapers.
Babies are perfect for romance novels because they give your characters a chance to be completely miserable! Babies will make your characters fight. They'll make your characters battle for custody. They'll make your characters grow. And really, there is no purpose to babies besides personal growth for supremely stunted adults.
Besides, there is nothing more wholesome than reading about a child being welcomed into a family that's imploding before our very eyes. You know that kid's gonna go places! Like therapy, or prison.
Number 6: Virgins Are Inherently Good . . . and Stupid
You cannot write them in literally any other way, 'cause it's the law! This shouldn't be a shock. We all know genital insertion is the ultimate guide to self-worth and goodness, especially if the person in question is female. Has she murdered anyone? Pfft. Clearly, she's a slut.
It's also widely known that people do not develop any common sense until someone diddles their privates. So when you write virgins, remember: they're pure of heart and semen, and they've got shit for brains. Any other characterization goes against nature.
Number 7: Intimidation
The one quality all male leads are required to have is intimidation. They need to frighten their love interest, or it doesn't count as a romance . . . or a relationship at all. Think of it this way: intimidation is necessary, because otherwise, how will their partner ever be intimate with them? Through personal choice? Consent? Pfft . . . Please, we don't know her!
This guy needs to be taller than his partner, and at least three times bigger than his partner. He has to overwhelm them not only in body mass, but through the sheer force of his unrelenting will. He's a man who takes what he wants. Some people call him a predator. I, on the other hand, call the police.
Number 8: Love Interests Are Love Interests, and NOTHING. ELSE.
Does your love interest have a job? A personality? Any hopes or dreams? Then you FAILED.
They are not in this story to be a person. They exist to get your main character off. Don't even really think of them as a person . . . Think of them as a hand covered in lotion–their personality is the box of tissues!
If this doesn't work, you could try envisioning them as an opened mouth, or an ass crack, or rippling abs. Anything that conveys they're not a layered human being, they’re just here for the spank bank. The worst possible thing you could do is create a love interest that your readers actually relate to, like, and respect. If they wanted to read about actual characters, they'd pick up a book. Wait a second . . .
Number 9: Romance Equals Sex
A romance without sex is like ice cream without sprinkles. Perfectly fine, and even preferred by some people . . . said no one ever. As a romance writer, you are contractually obligated to write copious amounts of sex, or no one's gonna know it's a romance.
So the characters are in love with one another. Big deal! Maybe they're just uncomfortably close siblings. So the characters support one another and experience physical intimacy without getting sexual. Who cares!? What does tenderness and affection have to do with romance, anyway? It's not like there are living, breathing people in this world who aren't ready for sex, like to take things slow, or don't experience sexual attraction at all. That sounds fake.
Number 10: To Hell With the Happily Ever After
Certain genres have requirements. For example, historical fiction has to take place in the past. Romance novels are required to have a happily ever after. Which basically means that by the end of the book, your characters need to be happy in love.
But do they really? I mean, does a genre requirement mean it's actually required? People with basic understanding of written language say “Yes,” but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they're dummies. So what if my romance novel isn't actually a romance novel? So what if readers go into the story expecting the advertised genre and end up supremely disappointed?
You're an artist. It's your right to look at the world of literature and take a massive shit on it–for the sake of creative freedom, of course. Some may say you could just instead write a love story, or a tragedy, or literally any other genre. But I say genre requirements were made to be ignored, and readers exist to be disrespected.
To hell with the happily ever after! Make your romance miserable, ’cause you're special.
So that's all I've got for you today!
If it wasn't clear, this list is SARCASTIC. Please don’t implement any of these tips, I beg you! Your shitty romance hurts me!
For the comments, let’s flip the script! What are the best romance writing tips you’ve read?
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