...I write romance.
My books aren't necessarily based on one romantic relationship, but each one has speckles of romance in it. So when I heard the advice "Write what you know" I sort of panicked. How could I write romance when I hadn't experienced it personally?
If you're in a similar situation to me, don't worry. Think about it like this: Are you a fantasy writer? If yes, if you were following that tip, you wouldn't write about magic or well...anything at all really, would you? The point of that advice is to write about human emotions.
Here are a few tips on how to write romance when you've never been in a romantic relationship yourself:
1) Read a LOT
The majority of writers that write romance novels, or novels with romance, have dated, married, kissed, and so on. These experiences reflect in their writing--experiences that you can pick up on. The more you read, the more you can get a general knowledge of what a kiss is like, the pitfalls and highs of dating, and every aspect. It will also show what readers expect for how a couple develops over a story.
BUT you need to remember that in stories romances can often be dramatized, which leads me to the next point...
Some of my closest friends in real life have dated, and those relationships were far from easy. I've also seen multiple love triangles exist and complicate things. People all around you might be romantically involved, so talk with them. Ask them questions about how they were feeling at times like their first kiss (I've done this) or be there for them in hard times. This will build up your understanding of romance. Just make sure to be a friend first, and a writer second!
3) Write it as a Friendship
In my opinion, a romantic relationship is a friendship taken to a more intimate level. You (hopefully) have friends, and so you know what friendship is. Why can't it start as that for your characters? I always try to make sure my potential couple could be friends and only that, before I plan all their romantic scenes. If they can be friends, then in my mind I believe that they could travel to the next level: a romantic relationship.
Thank you for joining me for today's post! I hope this helped you with your writing.
A small announcement: I won't be able to post on Saturday due to a filming field trip where there won't be any internet, and my replies might be delayed. Thanks for understanding, and have a great week!
Do you struggle to write romance, or are you a pro at it? Have any of your characters ever surprised you with who they liked? What is your favourite book romance?