The romance genre depends on good characterization, more so than any other novel. The plot in a romance novel is largely driven by the characters, especially by their thoughts, actions, and background. Creating strong characters will ensure the romance between the hero and the heroine is real, and will make the readers feel what they are feeling. This is why we’ve gathered some tips below, which will help you create characters that are striking as their love story, thus making sure they stay in the readers’ minds long after they’ve read your book.
1. Imperfect relationship
A perfect relationship at the beginning of a novel leaves no room for character growth through challenge and conflict. Hence, a good romance novel will revolve around two people that meet first, and later, they fall in love. A romance novel can also be focused on a couple that is having serious issues and needs to be reminded of why they got together in the first place. Before you begin writing your story, you must define who the characters are, what they mean to each other, and what their relationship is like. Are they strangers, or have they been friends for a long time?
2. Changed interaction
Every novel, every story begins with a conflict that propels the hero and the heroine into a certain type of interaction that is new for both of them. This interaction depends on their character: are they ready to transform something within them that will allow them to change? This is where their strength comes in. Face your characters with a problem that reverberates deep within their psyche, a problem that has a lot of consequences and have the hero and the heroine reach out to each other to find the solution. This will change both characters fundamentally – they will never be the same, think the same as they did before, and it will create a sense of bonding and intimacy between them.
3. Raise the stakes
The hero and heroine of a romance novel should want to be together, before all else. They shouldn’t need to be together, for that creates a sense of dependency – either one sided, the hero needing the heroine, or vice versa. This is not how real relationships work out. However, if it is that simple, then your novel would be a short one and lack depth. The hero and the heroine need to be faced with the possibility that their relationship might not work out after all. Look deep into their personality, especially their fears and demons and then elevate them until your hero or heroine are convinced that their relationship was not meant to be.
4. Doubts and uncertainties
Your characters’ backstory and previous experiences, things that have happened to them before the beginning of your novel, is what contributes to their personality and behavior. Play on their doubts, and uncertainties, and shape their backgrounds to match the emotions you need your characters to feel. If the hero is afraid of commitment, why does he fear it? Or, if the heroine is afraid of being abandoned, why does she fear that? How do they fight their demons? Do they fight it with faith, or do they always need proof of love and commitment? How does this affect their relationship? Playing on their fears and doubts will help you elevate the stakes, and it will trigger the resolution of the relationship between your characters.
5. Making it worthwhile
Romance novels have a happy ending. It is extremely rare that a romance novel does not end with the hero and the heroine happily married or in the process of building a life together. And your readers will want to see this. However, after you’ve taken your characters through the grinder – having them face their fears and making them feel as if their relationship will not work out, you need to make the happy ending believable. One way to do this is to have them fight for each other, fight their demons, their fears and destroying each and every one of them in order to be together. This will finish the change they’ve begun at the beginning of the novel, and they will come out ready to face anything, even the future problems they might have in their relationship.
Image credit: Pixabay [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.