Romantic Relationships in Novels
Whether you’re writing an actual romance novel, or fantasy, or horror, there’s going to come a time when your characters enter romantic relationships in your book. Learning how to navigate these tricky relationships can be fun and interesting or daunting and straining. Learn how to make the best out of your characters getting entangled in romance.
Romantic Relationships: Who Chooses Who
Sometimes the choice between who’s going to end up with who is quite clear. You have it planned from the beginning. You build up chemistry between two characters so that way their path to romance is really easy to follow. This can be a great way to gratify readers when the two characters they’re rooting for end up together.
However, sometimes it’s not so simple. Sometimes a character has multiple people they’ve fallen for and must decide on who it’s going to be. Romantic relationships in books can be just as complex and tangled up and dramatic as real life. So who does your main character choose? Who do they end up with in the end? Ultimately the decision is yours.
Let it Be Organic
While the choice is yours, as I just said, you want the relationship to feel organic. You want to build up hints and clues as to who your romantic relationships are going to be with and you want to make sure that it doesn’t seem forced for the sake of the story. Even if it’s an arranged marriage, you can still put in little tidbits in there to make sure it seems like it didn’t come out of nowhere.
Nobody said your characters have to get along. In an arranged marriage, they might hate each other. This must be organic too. You can’t just decide to say that the characters automatically hate each other because of the sake of the story. Let their personalities, quirks, and personal preferences dictate how they get along with each other.
If it’s Not a Romance Book, Don’t Let it Take Over
Unless you’re actually writing a romance novel, be careful not to let the tangled web of romance completely eclipse your story. For example, if you’re writing a fantasy novel, you want to make sure the story is still centered around that, and not just about who is sharing someone else’s bed. The same goes for any sort of story that’s not romance. In a horror novel, two characters might organically fall in love because of circumstance, but make sure the story is still about the horror or the psychosocial thrills.
Let the romance work for you. Let it add flavor to the story without taking away from the main plot. Everything is great in moderation and characters fall in love. That’s part of human nature, so don’t worry about putting it in there as long as you don’t make it your main focus from then on out.