Romance novels often get a negative wrap. Sure, they are probably as formulaic as people think. However, romance novels keep selling because people know exactly what they can expect, and the best romance novels know how to meet these readers’ expectations.
6 Scenes Romance Novels Should Have
If you are thinking about delving into the romance genre, you need to understand how to capture your reader’s attention by meeting their expectations. Your work should give life to scenes through a fully developed plot that depicts love, loss, sacrifice and heartbreak. These are the tried and tested elements for penning a sigh-worthy romance novel; and their inclusion ensures that readers remain hooked on your book from start to finish. ChatEbooks lists down 6 scenes that every romance novel should have in order to include the necessary elements for a page-turning experience.
There is nothing complicated about this. At some point in the book (as early as possible), your hero and heroine must have their first meeting or “re” meeting. It is the sort of face to face interaction which signals that the romantic plot of a book has begun. In fact, until your protagonists meet, you might have a hard time retaining the interest of readers. Whether you choose to go for the cute or dramatic angle, this meeting must be memorable. It must also bring forth any elements of attraction and conflict that might be in play. In other words, your protagonists must clearly be attracted to one another but the obstacles preventing their pairing should be highlighted.
Share Common Interests
Once your protagonists meet, you should begin highlighting the things they share. This means creating a scene that shows the hero and heroine discovering a relatable aspect about one another beyond their initial surface attraction. The purpose of doing this is to tell the readers that their connection and attraction is more than just physical.
However, these scenes, rather than allowing the protagonists to pair, should only drive them further apart by introducing more conflict. For example, with most romance novels, the hero will arrive in the nick of time to assist the heroine on an issue, only for the heroine to resent him for some aspect of his conduct and mannerisms.
For some people, the most important aspect of a romance novel is the scene in which the hero and heroine first act upon their physical impulses. Some books emphasize a deeply passionate kiss while others go right into the physical act.
The fact that the protagonists have acted on their physical attraction doesn’t mean the conflict keeping them apart is gone. Whether you choose a kiss or a full-blown sex scene, these acts will change things for the characters. If anything, the kiss (usually a sex scene) will emphasize the conflict. Questions such as “What prompted them to do that”, “What should they do next” or “How will things change between them” will be a puzzle readers can try to solve as they read through your romance novel.
Once you get the physical interaction out of the way, the best romance novels understand the importance of dealing with the emotional commitment of one or both protagonists. There is always a scene in which the hero or heroine admits their love or desire for the other person. This declaration, whether done verbally or internally within a character’s thoughts, is necessary for readers to know for certain what one or both of these characters are feeling.
Barrier from Finding True Love
There must be a scene during which the conflict gains the upper hand, where the potential pairing between the hero and heroine seems all but impossible. This is where they throw their hands up, give up on love and go their separate ways – physically and emotionally torn apart.
Most readers are disappointed when there is an absence of a barrier and the protagonists fall in love too soon in the novel. This lack of tension can make the readers skip pages no matter how strong the rest of the plot might be.
No romance novel is complete without a sacrifice of sorts. At some point in the book, there must be a scene where one or both protagonists make a choice to give up something for the sake of their love for the other person. This is usually how the conflict is overcome and where the impossible barrier is removed. Ultimately one or both characters throw themselves on the proverbial sword to acquire the one they love.
Noteworthy Tip: A Sigh-Worthy Ending
Readers will look for a satisfying conclusion. It doesn’t always have to be a happily ever after ending. It can end with the protagonists choosing to have a platonic relationship, love for oneself over love for someone else or even death. What’s important is, when the reader closes the book, emotions come flowing – joy, sorrow, elation and satisfaction.
When writing a romance novel it should be noted that ‘formulaic’ doesn’t have to mean ‘predictable’. There are ways to follow the formula and include every single one of these scenes and moments in their exact order even while keeping readers emotionally entangled in suspense.