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Five Tips For Writing A Romantic Sub-plot



1. Unless you’re writing an all-out rom-com, don’t let the romance takeover. Take a story like Harry Potter as an example; if the romance between say, Harry and Ginny had been allowed to take over the entire sixth and seventh books, would they have been nearly as exciting? Therefore, whilst it might sound obvious, the most important thing to remember when writing a romantic sub-plot is that it is a sub-plot not the entire plot.

2. Make sure the romance has flaws. Okay, this doesn’t mean that you should write the stereotypical romantic hero who appears to be strong but has a dark secret etc. To make the romantic sub-plot believable, make sure that both characters involved have problems but not stereotypical problems.

3. Don’t stick to stereotypes. The idea of the Byronic Hero might seem attractive but it’s been done by everyone from Emily Bronte with Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights to Stephanie Meyer with Edward Cullen in Twilight so maybe it’s best to leave behind and create a character who sounds like they could possibly exist.

4. Keep clichés out of the dialogue. Have you ever fallen in love with someone who talks like they’ve stepped straight out of a Katherine Heigl film? Whilst it’s quite cute if you use romantic clichés occasionally, it makes the majority of people cringe (or vomit depending on your inclinations when it comes to romance) if it turns up on every page.

5. Writing is dependent on the creative side of the brain and sometimes when you’re writing, you abandon your carefully thought out plan and your character takes on a life of their own. Therefore, to keep your romance realistic, if your character changes so much during the course of your writing journey, don’t force them to get together with the person you created for them to date because let’s face it, if you wouldn’t be able to picture them dating in real life, why force them to date in your story?

Written by Tash Voase

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