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10 Key Elements to a Heartfelt Romance


By Dee Dee M.Scott

I write in many genres, but I have to say, other than writing thriller/horror my other favorite genre to write is Romance. I was a romance reader way before I was a romance writer. My mother always read romance books and when she finished one I would pick it up and devour it. I had no idea what I was reading at the time being I was very young. However, reading those books at an adolescent age showed me what it took to write a heartfelt romance. Here are the ten key elements I learned early on that stuck with me when I began to write my own romance novels.

First there must be an irresistible strong hero and a sassy heroine. Both characters must also be likable. I’m sure readers have their own preference, but sometimes nothing turns a reader off more than a mean or arrogant hero or heroine. Sure the hero and heroine will have flaws, but they must also be able to win over the heart of the readers.

The attraction the hero and heroine have for one another must be at first glance, and the chemistry must be palpable. It is also a good idea to have the hero and heroine meet right away instead of five or six chapters later.

The hero and heroine should be perfect for each other, but not perfect. They should have flaws, weaknesses, secrets and maybe even some annoying habits. They should have things that happened in their past that shaped them into who they are as well.

The hero and heroine need to be placed in situations that keep them meeting up and spending time together. Readers need to be able to see them doing exciting things or in situations that allow them to actually get to know one another.

Watch the pace of the story. Is it too soon for the character to confess their love for one another or do you confess it near the middle or end? And what about love scenes? Or the first kiss? Whatever the decisions, it should fit the story and also appear believable and natural.

It’s a good idea to add secondary characters that add tension to the hero and heroine’s relationship. The couple needs to have lots of drama throughout the story before they reach their happily-ever-after. And what better way than to add an annoying parent, sister, brother or ex to the story. However, find a nice balance with secondary characters so their story won’t weaken the romance or take away from the hero and heroine’s story.

There must be a conflict(s) or a major misunderstanding that threatens the hero and heroine’s happily- ever- after. Maybe the heroine has a secret or the hero refuses to give in to a demand of the heroine. Whatever the case, there must be trouble that may prevent them from being together.

Passion and love scenes are a must. Along with the outward connection the couple must have a great physical relationship.

Don’t forget the happily ever after. There’s nothing more satisfying then for the hero and heroine to have a good ending after so much adversity.

Have fun and write from your heart. The first draft shouldn’t be perfect but you should get the story out before you start the arduous process of making corrections. Dee Dee M. Scott is the best-selling author of Sent From Heaven, My Husband's Woman, and Virgin. Connect with Dee Dee M. Scott on Goggle+

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