Romance can be a tricky genre, because it features a lot of double-edged themes. When handled correctly, such themes can create great stories, but when handled poorly, they can lead to poorly written clichés.
If you’re writing a romance novel for the first time, it’s important to be aware of all the major romance writing tropes, so that you can use them correctly. Here are four examples to help you get started.
Youthful love is more than just about youth and romance. It’s also about innocence, recklessness and in certain cases, first heartaches. This theme usually focuses on the adventures of a bright, young boy looking for his princess, or a young girl looking for her prince charming. They are innocent about the ways of love, and their sense of romance is almost entirely made up by their imagination.
However, the theme of youthful love isn’t always cute or adorable. One of the most famous stories that feature youthful love is Romeo and Juliet, and we all know how that story ended. Other good examples. Whether the story ends in happiness or in tragedy, what’s important to remember about this theme is that it transforms the young characters from innocent and naive children into full-grown adults who understand the real nature of love, including its beauty and pitfalls.
This wounded heart theme is more oriented toward older audiences. It usually features characters who have had their hearts broken over and over again, making them cold and cynical in the process. A good example of this theme can be found throughout the classic film, Casa Blanca. Another good example is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s character Prince Myshkin, who became insane later in his story arc.
The wounded heart theme can also act as the background of a particular character. It can be a woman who had her heart broken by her boyfriend/husband or a man who had lost his girlfriend/wife due a tragic accident. Their past experiences will not only help drive the story’s narrative, they can also help set the tone for character interactions.
Tragic love is one of the most major romance themes. It focuses on characters who love each, but who are doomed to never be together either because of
destiny or a flaw in their character. A good example of the tragic love theme can be found in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the titular character Buffy cannot be with her boyfriend because the latter is a vampire.
Another good example is the love story between Aeneas and Dido from Aeneid, where the former had to leave the latter, so that he could fulfill his destiny to found Rome.
The tragic love theme is the number one theme for people who like to write tragedy. It usually starts with the promise of something beautiful and magnificent romance, only to break that very same promise as the story progresses or when new characters are introduced.
This theme can also be used to create tension between other themes, such as destiny, honor or even family. It forces characters to choose between what their romantic feelings and their other obligations and desires.
The Great Struggle
The Great Struggle is a theme that requires characters to struggle to achieve their romantic aspirations. A good example of this theme can be found in the Great Gatsby, where Jay Gatsby amasses a large fortune just to get the attention of Daisy Buchanan.
What makes this theme so compelling is that it creates stories where the characters must struggle and fight to earn the affections of the person they love. It’s also the kind of theme that often love triangles and social barriers. In rarer cases, these themes may even require writers to challenge social taboos or amassing wealth. If the story is set in a fantasy world, it may even include dragons and monsters.
In any case, the great struggle is an excellent theme for writers who write stories about, well, romantic struggles. One word of caution, though, the great struggle must also create a lot of conflict. It’s not enough that a character fight to win the love of their beloved. He or she must pay a price or get hurt throughout the course of the story.