Writing romance stories or a romance novel means writing about a romantic relationship that occurs while ensuring that the elements of the romance genre are all met. You have to have a central love story, and you have to give the reader a satisfying ending.
All of that sounds like a walk in the park, but it is not so easy to come up with a romance story that has not been overdone, is not cliche, and can hold the reader’s attention. Writing prompts can help all writers, regardless of their skill level or professional level. They can give you the boost you need to develop something great and get your creative juices flowing.
The following are some examples of romance story prompts that you can use to form the basis of several romance stories or just one full-length romance novel. Feel free to use the best romance writing prompts in this article and work on it to see what sort of love story you can create.
Romance Writing: Prompts to Tell a Love Story
Every romance novel and piece of romance writing has the same elements. You need at least two characters. They need to fall in love somehow, you need some conflict, and it needs to end happily, at least for now. You can undoubtedly hint around and suggest pretty heavily that happiness is likely not long-term for the lovers, but every romance novel fan wants the story to end on a high note.
The following are some romance writing prompts that can aid you in romance writing.
Contemporary Romance Story Prompts
Contemporary romance is anything that has occurred or taken place in the last fifty years or so or since the end of World War II. These are typically small-town stories that have a modern feel to them. The women are often portrayed as professionals or more independent than in other sub-genres. These are the favorites of many romance novel fans, especially young women.
- A shy and insecure male college student makes a deal with his female best friend that if they cannot find a partner by the time they graduate college, they will marry each other, so they do not have to be alone. Not long after starting college, he meets a mysterious stranger who is everything he thinks he has been looking for on an online chat site. Quickly falling in love with this stranger, he finally meets her, only to realize that it is his best friend. Neither of them realized they were talking to each other.
- A handsome young man who is the object of affection and desire for all of the women in the small town is in a terrible accident and is physically disfigured. Needing care, his family hires a caregiver from out of town to help him with daily life until he can fend for and provide for himself again. This caregiver, who never knew him when he was physically perfect and attractive, begins to develop feelings for her charge, even though there are whispers about him all over town.
- A young business school graduate starts her own business next door to a grumpy older man who does not want competitors cutting in on his business. Vowing to sabotage each other due to their rivalry quickly turns into one of those reluctant love stories in which neither wants to fall for the other, but they are helpless from stopping it. The love story may be worth the risk, but can their businesses and personal and professional success dreams survive the relationship?
- Newly divorced, a woman’s old high school crush moves in across the hallway in her apartment building. Knowing that she should be focusing on her job and the bills that are piling up, she has never been a believer in love stories where everything works out in the end. When her old crush helps her carry groceries up the stairs due to a broken elevator, she cannot stop herself from inviting him over for dinner. Is she starting to fall for him and accept that even she can have a second shot at happiness?
- A chance encounter with an old flame in a mall parking lot leads to a night of too many drinks that act as a love potion of sorts. Giving love a second chance, at least for the night, the man goes to work at his new job as the star of a new sitcom, only to find that his old flame is replacing his co-star. Can working with his ex, turned lover, spell disaster for the lovers?
- A young hotshot prosecuting attorney meets a new client and is immediately attracted to her. Co-workers warned him not to date or pursue potential, past, or present clients, but his jaw drops every time she enters his office. He has the idea that he cannot fight his feelings for long. He knows he should drop her as a client if there is a chance of romance, and she is the first person he has ever felt this sort of attraction towards, but she needs the legal help he knows he can give her. Is losing out on true love worth getting her the win in court she needs?
Historical Romance Prompts
Historical romance is a favorite sub-genre of die-hard fans. Also known as “bodice rippers,” these are the classic damsel in distress, in need of man to do some saving of his lady stories. You see men on horseback, women locked in dungeons and towers, women awaiting the men to return from war, and women in a more muted, “proper” time when etiquette was much more focused on, rather than the actual personality of the female.
- A woman gets a letter from a soldier at her new home. She opens it by mistake and finds that it is a love letter. Upon further investigation, she finds out that the soldier’s girlfriend used to rent the home she now lives in and that she skipped town with some other man and did not tell the soldier. Out of guilt, she writes the soldier back and tells him the truth but offers to be his pen pal to keep his morale up. This became a huge blessing in disguise, and the soldier falls deeply in love with the woman and vows to come home to her when the war ends.
- A stable boy falls in love with the daughter of a rich lord. Knowing that the relationship is forbidden, he is delighted when he is asked by her father to give her riding lessons in his free time. Taking any chance to talk to her, the stable boy realizes that she feels the same way about him that he feels for her. They begin a forbidden romance, hoping that her father will not find out before they can run away together and get married.
- Best friends since childhood, a boy and girl, are separated in this short story about refugees. Moving to a place where arranged marriages are the norm, the girl is saddened when her parents accept and embrace this part of the culture until she finds herself about to be married to her old best friend on her wedding day.
- A woman meets a man in the market one day who speaks in an accent and gives almost no information about himself. He seems nervous and a little flirty, and after the meeting, she cannot get him out of her head. Romances like this do not happen in real life, she tells herself. She continues to see him around town, in the strangest of places. After she accepts that she is falling for him, she learns from a police friend that he is a spy for the neighboring enemy country, and there is a bounty on his head.
- Short stories about Civil War romances are always a hit. The big dresses, the passionate soldiers on both sides, the bloody and heartbreaking landscape. This sets the perfect scene for a Gone with the Wind sort of love story.
Fantasy Romance Writing Prompts
Fantasy romance has become a quickly growing favorite, especially among young adults. This usually involves the main character who is either not human or the main character who falls in love with someone who is not human. We saw this in the wildly popular Twilight saga, and ever since then, the sub-genre has picked up a lot of steam.
- Write a short story about two lovers who can only meet when the moon is not full. The man is a werewolf, and because he turns into a murderous beast once a month on the full moon, he knows he cannot trust himself to keep his lover safe. They must meet in secret to be together forever, and a marriage will never work out. Everything spirals out of control when the girl’s father finds a group to hunt down the supernatural being that terrorizes the livestock and weaker village members.
- A female protagonist goes on a blind date with someone who insists that he can only go out at night and cannot eat Italian food. He blames a garlic allergy for the odd food specifications and avoids being anywhere near mirrors. Is the girl crazy for thinking that maybe she is dating a vampire?
- Write a short story that features a woman on a business trip who meets a faerie who is trapped in our realm and trying to get back home. Promising to help him get back to his people, she slowly realizes that he has become her love interest and that falling in love with the wrong person, or in this case, not a real-life person at all, has always been the biggest issue in her love life.
- An arranged marriage with an Elven Princess is not what the son of a Wraith General thinks of, like a love affair worth entertaining. Angry at the dismissal of his own feelings by his father, he decides to join forces with his new bride and overthrow his tyrannical father so that he can re-write the laws of the land and do away with the way the parents marry their children off to the smartest political choice. However, the main character’s anger starts to melt as he falls in love with his new bride.
- After being told that siring a child is the only hope for the human race, one of the last men on Earth is ready to accept the end of humanity because he refuses to bear children into a world in which love does not exist. He is sure that he will bring about the end of life as we know it, and then he meets a single mother trying to survive with her child, and it is love at first sight.
Romance writing story prompts need to have tension or mystery—certain darkness, a gritty plot, and often a mysterious character or two. Romance prompts of this type are somewhat similar to those you would see with any other genre of fiction literature. The only thing that separates romantic suspense from the next story you read in the suspense or thriller genre is that you still have to give the reader a happy ending in romantic suspense.
- A beloved high school teacher is found murdered on the fifty-yard line of the school football field. The detectives arrive on the scene, and the characters find what seem to be planted clues pointing them in the direction of the teacher’s older brother, a powerful town politician. When the female detective is sent to interview and investigate the victim’s brother, she finds that this single father and philanthropist does not seem to be the twisted villain his political enemies make him out to be, and soon, sparks fly.
- A newly published and overnight successful crime fiction author is found killed, slumped over the blank page on which she was about to start her new novel. Just hours after her murder is announced in the news, another writer, who claims to be a better writer, accuses the novelist of faking her own death as a publicity stunt. In pursuit of the truth, the dead writer’s literary agent decides to get to the bottom of this murder, putting himself in danger and starting a forbidden romance with his client’s biggest competition.