Romance is one of the most popular plots. It is character driven, and the basic structure is boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy either recovers girl or loses her forever. The best romances have sympathetic characters, great dialogue, and unique settings. Since they are short, usually around 200 pages, character development is stressed.
In this plot, there are two major characters, the man and the woman. Since the readers are predominantly women, the point of view (POV) character should be the woman. She must be real, appealing, and in familiar situations so the reader can identify and project herself into the character. The POV must grow over the course of the story and display weaknesses as well as strengths, flaws as well as abilities, interests, dislikes, and an occupation relevant to the story. Conflict increases if the man and woman have differing views that require one of them to change.
In the beginning, where boy meets girl, often attraction exists, but there is dislike on one or both their parts. If love develops, don’t tell about it, show it. At the end of the first part, something separates them.
Boy loses girl in the story’s middle section. Usually three obstacles occur which have nothing to do with the relationship. Each attempt to resolve the situation results in more conflict and the stakes rise. Finally, an overwhelming crisis develops.
In the final section, the pair either overcomes the crisis resulting in a happy ending or the crisis pulls them apart forever. In commercial fiction, readers prefer happy endings.
Romance may appear in all genres, including adventure, mystery, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, historic, and all their sub genres. A related plot is forbidden love. Obstacles in this plot include social taboos, triangles, and differences in age, culture, or social standing. Next, we’ll look at the Rescue.—Quinn