Tips for Writing Romance from A Passionate Defender of the Genre
Here’s the thing: romance is not inherently
It’s not automatically compelling.
Romance is one of the hardest things to write, but
if you’re clever and careful and pay attention, romance can also be one of the
most powerful tools a writer can wield. Not only because love is a powerful and
complex emotion worthy of exploration—although it is that—but because romance
can function as plot, conflict, character motivation, development,
world-building, etc. It can do so much heavy lifting for you, and in a way that
is engaging, evocative, and tone-setting.
But you can’t simply cry “Love!” and wait for the
applause. You gotta earn it.
“Chris Pine was a rare and special casting. We wanted a man
who was the true parallel to Diana. A giant spirit who is the kind of man one
aspires to be, but isn’t afraid to be complex and leave room for and even
compliment another. He is the kind of man women want to believe is out there.
He’s also one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.”
“He is so skilled, wonderful and funny. He’s such a
talented guy. He came alive in this environment where he genuinely experienced
the dynamic. He actually brought a performance that is so stunning to this film
because he did something so tricky where he brought all the comic relief. Chris
has those skills to call upon him when we needed it. We were able to go
somewhere pretty incredible with him.”
“I cannot believe how perfect Chris was, from the moment we
thought of him to the moment he played every second in this movie. Chris is one
of the most talented actors I’ve ever worked with in my life. But also, he’s a
real man, very comfortable with his masculinity, so much so that he’s not
sexiest at all. He completely takes other people on their own face value and is
willing to leave space for them, and as a result he’s the perfect boyfriend for
Wonder Woman because it’s someone who could actually look at her and admire her
and appreciate her and it didn’t take anything away from him. And then he just
made us all laugh all the time.”
“Chris is such a gift to this movie because he gave integrity
to Steve Trevor. Steve Trevor is intrinsic to her story line. So, we needed to
find the perfect guy. Chris is so honorable, hilarious and charming.”
Hihihi. Are requests open? If not then just ignore this. If yes, then I have a request. What if MC leaves the RFA because Rika was back and everyone was focusing on her more. Mc decides that she's not needed or wanted anymore so she just disappears with the help of Saeran (since he still hates Rika for the whole brainwashing thing). It can be a mini-fic or a scenario or whatever. 😊😊 Love love love your work btw 😍 best author ever
Your headcanons are really awesome! I always love reading them. This is a bit sad but I have this HC that there were probably a lot of people who supported Rika being the first and original party coordinator of the foundation, so when MC took her place they think she’s not good enough and compares her to Rika, send her emails wanting her to leave. These start to get to MC so how does the RFA help her?
This one was interesting to do! Spoilers for the secret ends ahead. Also, in everyone’s except Seven’s, MC didn’t end up with anyone after the first 11 days.
After the first party, you thought everything would go great
But everything seemed to go downhill
The lists get longer, and there’s more guests who knew Rika more than you
You’ve even gotten a few emails from guests requesting your resignation, because they believed only Rika was good enough for a job like this
After awhile, it started wearing down on you
To make things worse, a few parties later and Rika returns fully recovered
She works with you instead of replacing you
You find it really nice, but it only emphasizes your insecurities
Even most of the RFA seem to be falling back into giving her all of the glory
You just can’t take it anymore and you have a breakdown after one of the meetings
Saeran finds you and you accidentally end up spilling everything
You voiced that you just wanted to disappear
After a few minutes of silence, he agrees to help you
With his skills, you manage to run away without anyone knowing
He’s really worried when you don’t log into the messenger after a whole day
He noticed you’d been down lately, but you always claimed to be fine
He drops by the apartment to check on you, and he finds it completely empty with your phone and computer buzzing with missed notifications
He tries to call you or find you in your usual spots, but to no avail
He informs the RFA and implores Seven to find you
He visits the hacker’s house to help where he can
Somehow, he had a gut feeling when he saw Saeran looking a bit guilty
Forcefully gets the information out of the younger twin
When he gets the address to your location, he goes to you right away
As soon as you open the door, he’s begging for forgiveness if he made you feel insecure like that
He’s voicing his worries and begging you to come back and somehow his confession slips up
This really moves you, but you’re still not ready to come back
For a long while, you only allow Zen to see you and he respects your wishes and keeps your whereabouts a secret
After several really long talks, he coaxes you back into the group
He’s so much more protective when it comes to guests’ comments though
He had been very caught up with Rika back, so he kind of got absorbed in helping her whenever he could
He thinks you’ve been in the chatroom, but realizes you’re not when he compliments you on something and you don’t respond
He checks old chats and finds out it’s been quite awhile since you’ve joined one
It makes him feel worse when it seemed that the rest of the RFA had noticed a while ago
He feels horrible and guilty
He goes to Seven’s house to ask where you are, but Seven doesn’t even know
Saeran makes some vague comment with a bitter undertone, and it tips Yoosung off
They get into an argument while Yoosung is demanding to know where you are
Finally, he tells Yoosung how you felt
Yoosung is in shock and he gets super depressed for awhile
He knows you won’t answer, but he starts texting you every day saying how much you’re missed and loved
He does this for a month so it becomes habit
You actually are reading them though, and finally you decide to reply
He’s in such shock and apologizing so much through text
You refuse to take his calls or talk to him in person for a long time, so text is mainly how you communicate
Still, this starts to rebuild your relationship until you’re finally willing to meet him face to face again He takes the opportunity to show you how much he’s changed and to show how much he cares for you
It still takes time for you to fully trust him again, but he’s so steady and patient
He really does show you how wonderful and capable of a person you are
She wasn’t close with Rika, but her coming back meant bigger parties
Jaehee got dragged into doing more work in the process
So, she really hadn’t been talking to you much
She noticed your absence when she texted for your opinion on something and you didn’t reply after nearly two days
She tried calling and emailing…but just came to the conclusion you were busy or ill or something
But the rest of the RFA notice the same and finally announce you ran away
Jaehee is really worried because she knows you wouldn’t run unless you had a good reason
She doesn’t tell the others and pours herself into researching your whereabouts
While Saeran was careful in hiding you, Jaehee knew your patterns and soon found a local cafe you frequented
She asks if you could talk, and you don’t have the heart to refuse
You tell her everything that happened, and she’s mad and crying because you didn’t tell her and you’re crying because she’s crying
You have this whole touching moment in the corner of this cafe
She doesn’t tell the others, and she won’t
She knows where you’re coming from and doesn’t force you to return if you don’t want to
She’is kind of angry with those guests who made you feel that way
She helps you rebuild a life in the town you choose
As long as she keeps in touch with you, she respects your wishes and keeps you away from the RFA
With Rika’s return, old wounds and scars from V started popping up within Jumin
He started distancing himself from the RFA, logging in less and working more
Finally, he just needs a full break and goes on month long business trip
While there, he sorts things out and figures it’s not fair to you because you worked just as hard and seem to care about him
So he comes back only to find you had run away awhile ago and no one can find you
His worry pushes him into action
He’s hiring people left and right to find you
Knowing he has the resources to actually find you, Saeran steps in and stops Jumin, explaining that you don’t want to be found
He has to eventually come clean about helping you run
Jumin was already a bit bitter when it came to Saeran because of V, but he was tempted to feel even more so now
But then Saeran disclosed your location
The younger twin had been watching you though, and he knows you haven’t been doing well
Jumin thinks he’s fine, until he finally faces you
His vision blurs with tears and he can’t help but hold you tight in his arms, pleading for you to never leave him again
You’ve missed him as well, so you’re willing to sit down with him and just talk
While he listens to your concerns, he reasons with you to go back
After all, he went through the same recently and he doesn’t want you cutting ties like that
He’s patient as you slowly make your way back into the group and heal
He feels very uncomfortable with Rika there, especially after all that happened
He’s still talking with the RFA, but rarely, and he avoids Rika altogether
He’d also noticed you hadn’t been yourself
But because you thought he was having a hard time you acted like everything was fine
Before running off, you had made Saeran promise not to tell Seven anything, thinking he would be better off without someone incompetent like you
Seven noticed your absence almost immediately, since you practically dropped off the face of the earth
He starts thinking his old agency is out for revenge
Now he’s terrified for you life and works day and night trying to find any trace of you
Saeran watches as his brother loses sleep and peace of mind and he just can’t stand it anymore
He casually leaves a big clue open on his laptop
Of course, Seven finds it and looks for you immediately
When he finds you, there’s a mix of yelling and crying from him
He makes you tell him everything…from your feelings to your plan to the guest emails
He wanted to know every detail and try to help you recover
He understands you don’t want to go back with Rika there…and he doesn’t feel comfortable with it either
None of you could recover with something so symbolic of past trauma constantly there
But he doesn’t think it healthy to cut ties with the rest of the RFA either, since they were like second family
So, he starts searching and finds a quiet house in a place that’s very…very far from the others
Once he buys it, he asks you to marry him…and soon
Of course you agree, and a few weeks later you, him, and Saeran move away
You all still keep in touch with the RFA through the chat and occasionally parties, but the distance allows you all to concentrate on healing and building up your own family
Honorable mention - Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker
“Before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thrust us into the far-out Framework, Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker had us rapt with an all-too-real, six-minute face-off between Simmons and Fitz, where they grappled with the question of which of them was an LMD. With Jemma training a gun on her possibly compromised lover, the pair’s performance was incredible in that no matter the outcome, it would simultaneously be totally logical and completely astonishing. While Henstridge toggled between tears and intensity, De Caestecker crushed us by switching from an anguished Fitz, doubling over as he slashed his wrist, to an ice-cold android, plunging a knife into his accuser. Capping the encounter was a tussle in which Simmons just barely ignored the plaintive cries of her true love’s doppelganger as she stabbed him, again and again, while he adopted the stone-faced stare of heartless LMD. Simply chilling.”
Do you know some good fma fics that aren't so shipy? Thanks!
Demon Alchemist- really good; it’s a take on how things would have turned out if Al hadn’t survived the human transmutation. It’s thematically dark, but not in an over the top gory way, and plot and writing wise it’s one of the best Fullmetal Alchemist works I’ve ever read.
We Haunt Ourselves- a one-shot that’s similar to the shared body AU I posted a while ago- the writer does a really good job of capturing the right atmosphere.
Trisha’s Boys- a one-shot in which the Elric brothers are half Ishbalan.
Nyctophobia- one-shot post Brotherhood that focuses on an amnesic Pride.
Under Ishvalla- series on the Ishvalan AU involving Mustang discovering Ed and Al’s heritage and Scar attempting to be a teacher. Nina lives.
Desert Gold- another Ishvalan AU. The Elrics embrace their mother’s culture.
(…they all turned out to be by phantomrose96. Guess she’s the only person’s work I save on this sight…)
Fire Hazard- Ed talks Roy out of doing something he’ll regret.
Revision Advice: The first draft is complete…Now what?
This one is going to be a long one, so feel free to simply go to the section
Keep notes of things to
fix while you’re writing the first draft. Leave them for revision and just keep
writing that first draft. (Post about that here)
Revising is about plot
and characterization. Editing is fixing grammar, spelling, word choice, etc.
Focus big picture when revising.
It’s probably going to
take a couple drafts to get it just right.
Even when I delete
scenes/paragraphs, I like to keep them in a separate document. Sometimes the deleted scene/paragraph was simply misplaced and can be rewritten and added somewhere else.
Think about other stories
in your genre (and even outside your genre) that you’ve read. Why did those
work? What did you like about them?
Take your time to think
about the story you’ve written and different possibilities regarding areas you find
troubling or feel could use more help. I like mindless tasks to help me do this
(i.e. walking, showering, sweeping, coloring, listening to music…).
You’ll probably here
every writer say this, including me: Revision is really where the story comes
alive. It’s where things start to smooth out. Of course the first draft is
essential, but revision is where you refine and hone it. It’s where you can add
little “Easter Eggs”.
Also, can I just say,
revisions are the worst and best things ever. After working so hard to finish
writing, you then have to tear it apart. But trust me, it’ll be better for it.
Save copies of your various drafts and keep pushing forward.
If you need help figuring out what to
it through—out loud. Not much to say here. But reading it out
loud does help.
a break from it: Honestly, sometimes the best thing you
can do is let yourself forget about it for a while. Then come back and reread. It simulates having another person read it (which is, of course, also a
good idea), without actually having to give it over (which is also incredibly difficult).
planning: I have post already about this, but I want to add a few
things that relate specifically to revisions
Write the story out exactly as it is, in really broad strokes. One sentence (or two) to describe
each chapter. When you’re finished, read it over. Does the plot make sense? Is
there another way to think about it? Are there too much “opening” chapters
before the conflict gets going (the general rule is that it shouldn’t take more
Now, add the
characterization the broad plot outline. How does the character change (or not) through the book, in
relation to the plot? Balancing the characterization and plot progression is
difficult. I know for me, I am either solid at one or the other, depending on
the book. If you feel like the characterization is on point, but the plot is
weak, focus on the plot. Same goes vice versa.
See Plot Changes or
Character Changes for more advice about revisions regarding those subjects
This is difficult to talk
about generally, but here we go…
Basically, the pacing is about the number of scenes and how quickly they play
out. This may seem obvious, but if the pacing feels fast than you might need to
add more detail to a scene or else add another scene or two between big, major story-line scenes. There should be a
bit of filler but not too much. If the pacing is slow, then perhaps you can
pare down a scene or two, or even remove one.
Of course you have your main arc that is moving the story forward. But there
should also be the smaller but related arcs that are usually more character
Large and small arcs
should all tie together or be related in some capacity, otherwise it won’t feel
Look at both small and
large when reviewing the plot.
You can leave some arcs
hanging. Usually the smaller arcs—which can even turn into large arcs in future
For large arcs, people
typically know to add the major climax and resolution. But sometimes the climax
can feel a bit weak. One way to make it feel more dramatic is to have a sort of
“false climax”. Basically, this is where the reader thinks it’s going to be the
climax and the scene resembles the actual climax later, but it somehow goes
wrong or falls short.
Example: the main hero
goes to battle the villain and….loses. Hero goes away, regroups/re-plans, and tries
again. Maybe even loses a second time. On the third attempt—Hero wins (for the
most part…you can make this dramatic as you want as well. It doesn’t have to be
a perfect win, after all).
That is a very, very weak
example but I hope that makes sense. If you have a lot of rising action up to
one, single battle in which the hero wins, it’s probably going to feel less dramatic.
How can and does the plot
affect the character’s life, thoughts, and beliefs? Do they overcome their fears?
Do they create fears?
How do the other
characters—including and especially the villain—change the character?
I guess my main piece of
advice here is think of your characters as actual people. Everyone is flawed.
No one is going to do the right thing all the time. Really take the time to think
about your character and who they are. You can even make lists about their
hopes, dreams, fears, favorite flavor of ice cream, hobbies, etc. Every little
If you know what to change:
Make big changes first: delete those extra sections,
write the new scenes, add in the extra dialogue or description, etc. Save
smaller changes (like a name or place change or even going through and
changing/tightening a paragraph) for the next read through and revision.
The reason to do the big
stuff first is because things might change. For instance, if you go through and
edit a paragraph or even combine two paragraphs, it might
change if you’re planning to make some series plot overhaul. And all that hard work might be wasted.
If you’re writing a story
with any type of mystery, make sure you planted enough large and small hints.
Continuing make any other
major story altercations as needed…
Focus on the “medium
changes”. Mostly, I like to think of this as the paragraph by paragraph revising.
Combining, adding, revising, and cutting paragraphs. Make the writing and
storytelling smooth and tight as you can. If you are questioning whether you
want to keep something or not, you probably
don’t. Or else, there’s a simpler way to say something. I’m definitely of the
mind that less is more.
Cut any repetitive
statements/areas. I have the habit of repeating myself a LOT. Basically saying
the same thing twice. I mean, I say it in two different sections and in
different ways, but usually you don’t need to do that. Often times it bogs it
down. I blame my high school writing word count minimums for this one…Get rid
of the filler!
Not everything has to be
said. Not everything has to be described. If a scene seems off in some way,
play around with switching some dialogue to description and vice versa. I already have
a post about dialogue/description balance . If you know
that post or have read it, this is honestly a good place to think about those changes.
Yuuri Katsuki @yuurikatsuki Lovely day
of relaxing with my best friend @phichit+chu (Photo attached of Yuuri and Phichit
lying side by side at the pool edge in their swimwear, showing off their smooth
Christophe Giacometti @christophe-gc My my, it’s nice to see more men
who keep their legs hairless @phichit+chu
yeah, pain is beauty, baby @christophe-gc
Guang Hong Ji @+guanghongji+ @seung-gillee I am only a
Leo de la Iglesia @+Leodela+ Jealous of
Guang Hong Ji @+guanghongji+ @phichit+chu legs, my lord -praying hands-
Seung-gil Lee @seung-gillee They are
wonderful and mine @+guanghongji+
Georgi Popovich @G-Popovich @v-nikiforov you sure know how to pick them. @yuurikatsuki backside is very nice
Victor Nikiforov @v-nikiforov (Photo attached of Victor’s right
hand with his engagement ring)
Victor Nikiforov @v-nikiforov ENGAGED!!! TO ME!!! @G-Popovich
Jean-Jacques Leroy @Jjleroy!15 #LegsUpforPhichit
Seung-gil Lee @seung-gillee No @Jjleroy!15
Guang Hong Ji @+guanghongji+ HELL YEAH #LegsUpforPhichit
CRAZINESS Last night, JUGHEAD won the Eisner Award in the Humor category! I couldn’t be at the ceremony, but it was pretty great to see photos of my pals, Ryan, Erica and Derek, up there getting those trophies. I think that’s Ryan reading my too-long speech that I sent him in case we won (I stole that pic from Comixology. SORRY).
Starting this book with Erica, one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, was a dream. Getting to continue with Derek, an extraordinary artist who exudes fun on the page, extended that dream. And then reading the book when Ryan took over with Derek was yet another dream, getting to enjoy it as a reader. I could not have asked for a better Eisner winning scenario than with this group of people.
Here’s the speech I gave to Ryan:
“I’d like to thank Mike Pellerito at ARCHIE for bringing me onboard for the JUGHEAD relaunch, which was a childhood dream come true. And I’d like to thank Erica and Derek for their amazing art on the series. Erica crafted a fun, modern vision for these characters, and I’ll always remember when she told me I was the best writer she’d ever worked with. That truly meant the world to me.
Derek seamlessly picked up where Erica left off, deftly handling some difficult and emotional scenes. They’re two of the best artists in the business, and every company should be showering them in money ha ha just kidding this is comics
And then there’s Ryan.
Ryan, I am so proud of you, of the man you’ve become. You’ve always been so kind and generous with others, and to see you succeed like you have has truly been one of my life’s greatest pleasures. Looking at you now, all grown up and handsome, in your reasonably priced suit and tie, I know that the sky is the limit for you and your dreams.
I love you more than anything. And remember that I’m there with you now, watching from Heaven; which, as you know, is the gentleman’s club here in Toronto that broadcasts the Eisner Awards every year.