by Jack

Question: How do you write romance in stories? I've been wanting to include it in some of my stories, but I always come up with something boring and silly. So how do you create an interesting and believable love story? Thanks.

Answer: With romance, it's important to remember that physical attraction is only one component. The key is relationship--how the two individuals interact.

In most stories where romance is a feature, the two lovers are the main and impact characters. These two characters will have opposite approaches to dealing with problems. Most often, one will be a linear thinker and the other a holistic thinker--which is why they have different priorities when it comes to solving problems. The differences allow them to challenge each other's way of thinking. Arguments are often part of the courtship. People who challenge each other often enjoy each other. Readers enjoy the repartee as well.

At the same time, there will be certain shared values or concerns which others in the story world do not share, which allows them to have an "us against the world" experience that helps them bond.

The exploration of the issues between them--where they agree and where they disagree, how they can help each other either through action or persuasion--is how the relationship grows.

At the same time, most relationship arcs move through certain stages. In act one, the relationship is established. Often there is often some gimmick or situation that brings them together and forces them to interact.

In act two, the relationship intensifies and becomes more complicated. Often this is where it turns romantic, but it can also be where problems arise. Act three usually features a "black moment" when the relationship hits a major snag that threatens to end it. Then in act four, the snag is overcome and they find themselves in love. That's in a true romance, of course. Some love stories have unfortunate endings, in which case the third act is likely to be the high point--a white moment, if you like.

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