50 Romance Plot Ideas and Romance Writing Prompts

On this list of romance writing prompts, I’ve tried to include ideas that could work for paranormal romance, fantasy, young adult, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and more. As long as you put a fresh twist on them, they can all inspire unique love story ideas.

This is really a romance plot generator in list form, with big ideas for entire plots. Of course, to write an engrossing romantic story–whether it’s a straight-up romance, or a subplot in a different kind of book or movie–it has to have strong conflict. Like Shakespeare said, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” Obstacles give your characters the chance to change and grow as people, and to prove how much they really do love each other. It also gives them interesting things to do.



Some of these are cute romance plot ideas, and some could even be dark romance plot ideas. Obviously the possibilities here are endless. I’ve used pronouns randomly, and any of these plot starters can work for any pairing.

(By the way, if you’re writing romance, you might also be interested in my post about three great ways to show your character is in love.)

Even if you don’t use something from here, it may make you think of something else. That’s how lists work, which is why I like to do them!


50 ROMANCE PLOT IDEAS from an executive editor...get the writing prompts at bryndonovan.com | laptop, notebook, pen, roses, coffee



1. They have character flaws… Honestly, every real-life romance deals with this, and it should probably come up in any story about a relationship. Maybe he’s too selfish or lazy. Maybe she’s too rash, or too fearful. Maybe one of them is too negative, and needs to stop being so cynical. This could lead to one of them making a big, stupid mistake, and needing to make amends and get the other person’s forgiveness.

2. She’s already ruled him out… she made up her mind a long time ago that she would only marry a man with a title, or she would never date a biker again.

3. They are competitors… for the same job, the same championship, etc.

4. They are straight-up enemies… He wants to buy the land to build a resort, and she wants it to get turned into a nature sanctuary. He’s the defense attorney, and she’s the prosecutor. They’re soldiers on opposing sides of the war… the possibilities are endless here!

5. He already won… he inherited an estate that should have been hers, or he got the job that she was hoping to be promoted into, and she’s seething.

6. He broke her heart in the past. Maybe there was a good reason behind it, or maybe he was an idiot then and realizes it now. It’s possible he just ignored her.

7. She did her wrong in the past… or maybe she wronged her family member or friend. (Or did she? That family member or friend might have lied.)

8. He did something wrong in the past, period. Although she wasn’t the victim, it was pretty bad. How can she be sure he’s changed?

9. She has trust issues… her last relationship ended in a terrible betrayal.

10. He has intimacy issues… maybe because of a traumatic past, he feels too vulnerable if anyone knows about his real emotions or weaknesses. Maybe she’s a psychic, a behavioral expert, or just the one person who can see right through him… and it makes him uncomfortable as hell.

11. She doesn’t trust her dating choices… she’s gotten involved with several losers in a row, and she’s taking a break–maybe a permanent one.

12. She believes no one can truly love her… because she made a terrible mistake in the past, or she’s not attractive in the conventional manner, or she’s a “fallen woman” in a repressive era, or whatever.

13. They are good friends… and they don’t want to risk ruining their friendship by taking it to the next level.

14. They are co-workers… and they don’t want to make things weird at the office, bar, or wherever they both work.



15. She’s freaked out by who he really is… a werewolf, ex-con, or whatever.

16. He has a secret… he’s in a witness protection program, he’s a hacktivist, his father is literally the Devil, or something of that sort. (When she finds out, the conflict may turn into the one above. Or maybe she’ll surprise him and be like, “You’re a hacker? Dude, that is so hot.”)

17. It was supposed to be sex only… they were going to be friends with benefits, or maybe he’s a male escort. Falling in love goes against the original arrangement.

18. Their love was supposed to be fake… they were pretending to be in love or married, or they entered a marriage of convenience. It can’t be real, can it? On a related note…

19. He was faking it at first… he made a bet that he could bed her, or pretended to like her so he could learn her secrets and be the journalist who broke the story.

20. She was stuck with him… he’s a partner on a job when she wanted to do it by herself, or he rescued her when she was actually pretty happy where she was. She doesn’t want to admit she’s actually falling for him.

21. He has moral qualms… he’s her boss, her teacher, her captor, or something like that. Or maybe she’s the sister or ex-girlfriend or his best friend, and that gives him pause.

22. She’s a mess... She’s grieving the death of her husband, partner, or child, or she had PTSD from battle or some other terrible experience.

23. Their love is forbidden by others… it’s against the rules, spoken or unspoken, of their family, organization, community, or religion.

24. He’s into something she doesn’t like… it could be an addiction, like alcohol, laudanum, or gambling, or a profession, like boxing or defending corrupt clients in court. Whatever it is, she wants no part of it.

25. Their cultures clash… because he’s a modern man and she’s from ancient Greece, she’s a big-city girl and he’s a small-town boy, or whatever you like. This can overlap with the next one.

26. They are from different classes… he’s a duke and his boyfriend’s a commoner, for instance.

27. One of them is promised to someone else… maybe the wedding’s already planned and everything. S/he might have reasons for going through with a loveless marriage.



28. One of them is married to someone else… but it was some weird legal, not-consummated arrangement, or she ran away long ago because he was an abusive asshole…anyway, there’s a damn good reason why these marriage vows don’t hold much water.

29. She is infatuated with someone else instead of him… she doesn’t realize yet that this other person is awful.

30. She is interested in someone else in addition to him… and she’s having trouble making a decision. Maybe she refuses to choose.

31. Their time is together is limited… she’s going abroad to study in the fall, his work visa is almost up, or she’s about to go on a space mission to another planet, never to return… what’s the point of getting serious? The next one may be related to this.

32. Being together would require a big sacrifice… she has to say no to her dream job, he has to move away from his family, etc.

33. He’s a danger to her safety… because he’s a spy, a vampire, or something like that.

34. She’ll only make him unhappy… because she’s dying of a disease, suffering under a curse, can’t have children, or whatever. (Note that in many cases, this conflict may be exaggerated in the character’s mind.)

35. He’s ugly, freaky, or scary-looking... but once she gets to know him, she sees him differently (basically, Beauty and the Beast.)

36. She’s disguised as someone he would never fall for… a man when he’s only into women, a Republican when he’s a die-hard liberal, etc.

37. She may or may not be real at all… is it really possible he’s meeting a fairy or an alien in his visions or dreams?

38. They can’t get together in real life… there is an ocean or a few centuries between them.

39. He’s a suspect… in a murder or robbery case.

40. Her family is the worst… can he really get involved with that? Alternately, maybe she has a couple of kids, and while they are cute, this is not what he imagined for himself.

41. He thinks her town is the worst… and she really can’t leave. Can he really resign himself to living in New York City, when his cowboy heart longs for Montana skies?

42. He’s got a reputation… as materialistic douche, a heartless womanizer, a stone cold killer, or some other despicable thing.

43. They have terrible first impressions of one another… and it’s a little hard to admit they were wrong. They might have gotten off to an awful start by arguing over something.

44. She loves her freedom… and always saw herself as the carefree type who would never settle down.

45. He doesn’t want distractions… he has one very important job to do, and he can’t afford to get sidetracked.



46. He loves her, but she doesn’t know him… maybe he knows her from an alternate universe, or maybe she has amnesia.

47. She’s not supposed to ever fall in love and/or have sex… maybe she’s a nun or vestal virgin, or a cyborg for whom sex is illegal, or a unicorn herder, or something.

48. He’s trying to control her… because he doesn’t want her to be ostracized by Victorian society, or to be in danger by becoming a firefighter. But nobody bosses her around, so that’s not going to fly.

49. He doesn’t see her in a romantic way… for instance, she’s the kid sister of his best friend, and he still thinks of her as a kid.

50, The  job is getting in the way… Look, it’s hard to be romantic when you’re working 24/7 on a political campaign, or helping fellow victims of the airplane crash survive in the mountains.

50 ROMANCE PLOT IDEAS AND WRITING PROMPTS | a spiral notebook, a pen, and a bunch of long-stemmed roses

If you liked the list, I hope you’ll share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever you can with writer friends. I truly appreciate it!

What’s that? You want even more plot ideas? Then check out my book 5,000 Writing PromptsIt has 100 more romance writing prompts in addition to the ones on this list, plus hundreds of other master plots by genre, dialogue and character prompts, and much more.


5,000 WRITING PROMPTS BRYN DONOVAN | #5,000 writing prompts #5000 writing prompts pdf

Happy writing!

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181 thoughts on “50 Romance Plot Ideas and Romance Writing Prompts”

  1. writerggandrew

    I adore this! You’ve covered a lot of ground here. Trying to think of any you’ve missed, but nothing’s coming to mind yet. I could fit all of the stories I’ve written into one or more of these, sometimes with slight pronoun tweaks. Oh, did you have something related to the whole brother’s best friend trope? “He still sees her as a kid, not as a woman he could partner with” or something? Maybe this could fit in one of the above…

  2. What a wonderful ‘really big list you worked hard on’! Lots of great ideas and endless combinations. Thank you! 🙂

    1. I did think about that! I believe “sexy stepbrother” goes under the category of “Their love is forbidden by others… it’s against the rules, spoken or unspoken, of their family…” etc. Does that sound right?

  3. Janet Stapleton

    Hi Emma and Bryn. I’ve been thinking about your idea, Emma and I’m wondering if this is getting into tricky waters, or would it be totally acceptable today? I would be wary of it, but maybe I’m just being way too safe??! Would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

    1. There have actually been a lot of stepbrother romances lately! I don’t see it as so controversial, really, since they are not related…but parents with kids and stepkids might feel quite differently, I imagine. It seems like some people love the idea and some people are squicked out by it. But that’s true of a lot of things in romance!

      1. Yes, I guess it depends on certain things. If you had grown up with a stepbrother from a very young age, I guess he would just be like your brother and perhaps those feelings wouldn’t develop in the first place. Interesting though. Thanks.

      2. I stayed at a hotel last month and talked to the night clerk for several hours one night. She told me her cousin had just started dating his daughter’s grandmother…

  4. I’ve already written a romance novel with more than one of these ideas in the entire story. My novel has a lot of interesting details mentioned like a lot of what you talk about. It’s called “All signs point to you.” It’s a teen novel, but it’s really good.

  5. Pingback: 50 Romance Plot Ideas! | Promises Unbroken

  6. Beautiful list. Literally ten of these describe my boyfriend and my relationship at one point or another. Love conquers all, I suppose.

  7. Wow, this was a great thing to read today! I’ve been thinking of how to plan the start of one of my novels and I sure am thankful that you’ve posted this. Thank you. ☺ I can’t wait to test these out!

  8. Reblogged this on Little Calico's Journal and commented:
    If you’re into NaNoWriMo this year, here’s a post of 50 great ideas to create the conflict you need in a romance novel, written by Bryn. I’ve discovered her website yesterday and am loving it, she has written wonderful resource and ideas for writers, be sure to check her out!

  9. Thank You, Bryn!! I’m a ghostwriter of Christian Romances (I’ve done Contemporary, Amish, and Mail Order Bride stories), and I often have trouble coming up with conflicts. I came upon this post from a Google search and L-O-V-E all these ideas. In fact, I was having a rough time working on a Contemporary plot for a client, and found 3 from this list that I used: “He feels too vulnerable if people know his feelings … she’s the one who can see right through him,” and a mashup of “She’s interested in someone else in addition to him” and “He’s into something she doesn’t like.” I had to tweak them just a little, but they worked beautifully and made the plot seem much more real. Needless to say, I finished the plot in near record time (for me, anyway), and I’m very pleased with it. I just hope the client likes it as much as I do, but I’m sure he will. One thing I know for sure is that I’ll be back for more inspiration – and may even purchase my own copy of your Master Lists for Writers book! 🙂
    Thanks Again!!

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  11. Ohhh, these are fun. I believe in romance and love and lots of twists and turns to get there. I believe that just about everyone in the world wants/gets romance in their life. But it has to be worth the struggle. These are great struggles – good job! Both of my books are called romantic suspense, because really, no matter the suspense and the adventure, it ultimately is about – ‘do boy and girl get each other’???

  12. Wow, quite a list! I will bookmark this in case I do mainly a romance novel. Thanks for sharing! Blessings for a wonderful Christmas and Happy & Healthy New Year!

  13. I love that they can’t have sex because she is a unicorn herder! That is the best thing I have heard in like forever!

  14. I’m not a romance junkie, but this was a feast for the eyes. There are a lot of places one could go with this. I have the unfortunate stereotype, further reinforced by “Twilight”, that romance is all gooey, but these plot lines show that doesn’t need to be the case. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. How about the boy likes the girl but the girl is just insensitive about his feelings, but afterwards the girl falls for the boy and then the boy immediately has to leave(like for college and stuff like that) ?

    1. Hi Anne! I’m not sure that this is covered in my list 🙂 I think the interesting thing here is understanding why she was insensitive at first… and what motivated her to fall for him, after all? But having circumstances break them apart just as they are coming together is good conflict!

  19. How about he leaves her and her child and stays missing for three years? Then plz suggest me what should I write next. Like, she thought he’s left her forever etc but the actual reason was reasonable. Suggest plz.

  20. What about a woman with a reputation of being a heartless maneater, or whore, something a man does not tolerate? Doesn’t see him in a romantic way, has intimacy issues, she gets pregnant and leaves him, he has trust issues, she’s into something he can’t stand like alcohol which would cause him to abuse her, etc.

  21. Hey Bryn. I am writing a book and it will include a love triangle. The boy the girl loves more like a brother but the other one she will like even more but I’m not sure how she will form a crush. do you have an idea?

    1. Hi Meika! So she loves the first guy as a brother, but later develops more romantic feelings for him? ~ Because if she doesn’t have romantic feelings for them both, it’s not much of a love triangle. 🙂

      I have a list in my Master Lists for Writers book about 50 reasons why someone might develop an attraction… and I bet you can also think of some by asking people what first attracted them to their partner, and/or by thinking about how your favorite fictional characters got together. Good luck!

  22. I am a young writer in wattpad and I just can’t seem to find the right plotting and these helped a lot thank you so much

    1. Hi Jaymee! I’m so glad this was helpful. I am going to post some more master plot lists this summer, so follow the blog if you don’t want to miss them 🙂 There’s a place you can sign up to follow on the lefthand side of the page!

  23. I came across this list today. What a find! Coincidentally, I have your book Master Lists for Writers. I found it useful when writing my trilogy. I’m still halfway done with book 3. I also live in Kansas City, and belong to several writing groups. I am currently shopping agents. I would love to talk books with you sometime. You can find me at: http://www.facebook.com/FreedomFightTrilogy

    1. Hey Jennifer! Wow, thanks for the kind words, and way to go on being halfway done with book 3 in your trilogy! It’s awesome to meet another Kansas City writer would love to get together sometime!

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  26. Callum Schofield

    Hi, I am a young aspiring writer who has written bits and bobs but I feel I am struggling to settle down on one idea but I know how I long to write about a story of romance. I feel I can work with many of these ideas so thank you as I find this really helpful. I was wondering if I could get advice on using personal experiences to use as inspiration, I was not sure of the benefits or problems with that.

    1. Hi Callum! Real life can be great raw material. 🙂 I think it can give a story more emotional force, even if you change the characters and circumstances quite a bit. And you will want to change them some. You don’t want anyone to get mad at you for putting them in your story without asking, and besides, you often need to simplify and clarify things or make them a little more dramatic in order to write the best story. Thank you for reading the blog, and good luck! I bet you’ll write something great.

  27. When you read the list of articles and realize this blog is responsible for 70% of the writing research on Pinterest. You and your kick-ass blog are wonderful. Keep being awesome as heck. On a completely unrelated topic, I just thought your smile was wonderful. ANYWAYS. DEFINITELY subscribing.

  28. Hi Bryn!!!! Ur Ideas r super duper!!!! I loved them !!! Maybe You Went A very Hard Time .Keep Up Your Amazing Work.
    I also ask You for a favour can you give me some idea for a story like….Hate to love … A Business Tycoon Falling in love with a middle class girl …sometging like that .
    It will be very helpful if you give me some ideas !

    1. Adaa, I am so sorry! I sometimes find it hard to keep up with comments on older posts, but I do try and I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you.

      You talked about the idea of a business tycoon falling in love with a middle class girl… love between people of different social classes can be a great setup! It can raise all kinds of conflicts, such as… She might get frustrated at his being out of touch with ordinary people’s concerns. He might not consider their relationship “serious” at first, because he expects to marry someone of his own high social class.

      Thanks for your kind words before — I really appreciate them!

  29. These are not good for 11 year olds. I do really want to publish a book, but I hate stupid age limits! I’m a girl and I like doing books from guy’s perspectives. Is that weird? I read a ton. My sister says I’m a better writer than some of her friends in High School. Cool. So, I’m thinking, how do you do a good character kiss without your friends getting weirded out? Before you answer, I’ll tell you: you don’t. That’s why I’m going to write under a pen-name and say “I found this cool story online!”
    Maybe I’ll use fanfiction. Yes, totally I’ll do that.
    -Bob The Builder

    1. WE ARE JUST ALIKE. I love reading and writing so much but 13. Lets talk omg tell me about your fan fiction I’m writing one too.

      1. Omg I just turned 13, but I’ve been wanting to write proper novels ever since I was eleven. I have the same probem as you guys! I’ve loved reading since as long as I can remember, and those books inspired me to write. But it’s so hard writing romances at thirteen when there’s all these people out there judging you. I only show my closest friends my writing, and even then I’m weary.

        1. Never judge yourself with others & start writing whatever comes in your mind, You might have extra ordinary talent in you, think you are rare & no one can be as good as you are.

    2. Yes! Age limits suck! I’m 14 now, but I started writing when I was in first grade. It’s really hard to come up with a good character romance. Also, if you want to know if people are interested in your works, try publishing it on Watt pad.

    3. heyo. im 11 as well, and my advice is: read online stories first. you should be shown the way other people write. i personally make fanfictions, and im really content with just those. also, just make them kiss, everyone eventually will kiss. theres no such thing as ‘cooties’ or anything like that.

      <3 -fellow 11 year old,

    4. Mo Quick (that’s actually my last name 😂)

      OMG. I didn’t know a website like this existed. I’ve always wanted to write a book, especially a romance book ever since I started reading Divergent in 3rd grade. Now, I’m in 7th grade, and after reading the twighlight series, my urge to right a book has come back. About a year I had started a book, and wrote 25 pages. It’s very hard for me to stick with a book bc I loose interest quick. Idk how to end it. And since i never know how to end it, idk what to write leading up to the ending. I have books filled with ideas…
      I rlly like this one idea I had about a girl who lived in an orphanage, and thought that all her family was dead. At the age of 17, come to find out, her great uncle is alive and wants her to live with him. The night before she’s to meet him, she had a dream that led to her waking up with a mark. When her best friend had seen the mark, she seemed confused (suspicion). Anyways, she says bye to her friend (and all that) and goes to see her uncle. A younger man claiming to be her great uncle gets her, but reveals that he’s not rlly her uncle, and that he’s taking her to a place (and she’s not allowed to leave or else he’ll kill her). She attempts to escape, but fails. Another man comes while they’re driving, opens the door and yanks the man driving to the roof. They battle on Th e roof all the meanwhile the girl is driving. They drive off a beige into the water, but before they fall, the guy (good one) grabs the girl and jumps off (escaping in time). The girl, scared, tries running away from him, and her friend from the orphanage is there. Her friend tells her that she should came wi Th her and the guy. Main character still confused and scared ignores both of them and tries running way, but then the orphanage friend tells her that they could figure out why she has the mark and who her parents were… I don’t rlly know what to write from there 😞 all Ik is that I want romance to get involved later in the plot.
      I have one idea that can continue this:
      The girl is led to a place for elves, magic, something (I need to figure it out) and stays there to learn about HER powers. And there’s a prince, he’s engaged to a girl, doesn’t talk and more seems to ignore her (she doesn’t rlly likes him). As she’s learning about her powers, and faces issues, she constantly goes to the forest to relax, and talks to a wolf (kinda like how we talk to our dogs even tho they don’t understand us). The wolf later on then reveals themself as being the prince (he can shapeshifter) and says that he’s had visions of her but doesn’t know why, in his visions he also sees a dark force… the part about him being engaged causes conflict later on when they start to fall for eachother.
      Idk what the dark force is going to be, what her powers are- associated with who her parents are. (I’m trying to make it interesting so I don’t loose interest)
      If anyone reading this has any ideas, pls help me. Who knows, I might make a writing partner on this website 😂

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  31. Hi Mam ! I guess u knw me . I am here to ask an help again ,please dont scold me .
    I have started writting my story…..now i need a twist.i said you that boy and the girl marry but they dislike each other,as time passes boy will fall for the girl,on that spot i need a twist .should make a entry? But usually in every story when boy fall for the girl or vice versa ,either the girl or boy will hav a patner … that is usual. I need something new …A NEW TWIST
    Could you help me in this Please.

    Waiting for your reply
    Thank you ! Keep smiling 🙂

    1. Hi Adaa! Congratulations on starting your story! I can’t do the plotting for you, but I can ask you a few questions that might lead you to a plot twist. 🙂

      Why did they get married if they dislike one another? I am guessing it’s an arranged marriage, but I could be wrong. Maybe there’s something one of them didn’t know about the other before they got married (maybe their families didn’t know about this secret, either.)

      What made the boy fall for her, even though they disliked each other at first? Is there a reason she doesn’t fall for him? What if something changes regarding that reason?

      Really, though, you’re going to need to do it yourself, and I recommend jotting down lots of ideas (even silly ones!) quickly. Eventually, you’ll hit on something you like.

      Thanks for the kind words! Happy writing!

  32. Sry Mam ! I didnt say you in detail. The thing is , before this marriage is fixed the boy and the girl hav met and they hav many fights …. like maybe she throws the water on his face (for sum reason)…or maybe in anger break his car’s window (for a reason) …. etc etc etc…(i didnt decide still ) … for these reason both hate each other .unfortunately… the groom is this boy ! They cant reject saying i dont like this bride/groom. Becoz its their parents wish! After marraige they wont be caring and sharing beoz they hav hate in their heart for each other…. Usually when we stay with the same person for years and years we will feel for them .Here the boy fall for her but he control his feelings beoz of his EGO.She also feel for him ….but she cant confess her feelings becoz he has a girlfriend .she gets worried .Atlast he couldn’t control his feeling and tries to confess her but i need a twist there to hate the girl again

    I hope you understood .Sorry for the grammatical mistakes i couldn’t speak like you ,i am nt that good at english 🙁
    Hopefully Waiting for your reply !

    1. Hi again Adaa! Please don’t apologize for your English. You’re doing fine. I don’t speak any language but English, so you’re way better than me!

      I understand how they’re going along with their parents’ wishes. You have a lot of ideas, but you’re not sure where to land. Here’s my advice: get to know those characters better. What were their childhoods like? What are their likes, dislikes, and hopes? What are their strengths and flaws? I think that if you have a clear idea of their characters, you’ll start to see how conflicts arise and get resolved. And really, nobody can do it but you. 🙂

      Good luck!

      1. I am having writer block for just getting an ideas for my romance book I have been doing short stories since I was 8-9 but I want my reader’s to have a connection with the love story but I just need some ideas can you please help me I am only 14 so I need some inspiration


    2. What if the girl does not love the uy (at first) she loves another man and thinks he is going to propose ( that is just an option) and tries to explain to him what is going on with this other dude she doesn’t like but when she comes over to his house to explain she caught him MAKING OUT WITH ANOTHER GIRL (Gasp) she is so devastated she tries going to her mom for comfort, but her mom doesn’t want to hear anything about it all she is worried about is the scheduled marriage. The longer the couple is around each other the more in love they get like when they have a fight each one starts to apologize, they stop having fights , and love each other. THEN THE TWIST. the girls parents decide that they can’t control her life and they were wrong so they get together and set the man up with another girl in (what ever country this is just for an example) France. Then the girl chases him around the world to find her true love. While she is trying to get to france, he is going to her in america (any country). TADA Genius

  33. OM MY GID MAM ! You are soo kind like my mother ? . I love you so much And your kind words inspire me to write, i dont knw how to thank you ,just a thank won’t be enough.And my english….wot? Really? I cant believe ? Ooh my god , i am in cloud nine. Thank you sooooooo much ! You are right!! Ihav many and many ideas but dont know where to land.
    …. Thank you for your advise Mam you gave a great idea . Are you there in wattpad ,i publish my story there….urrrrr i am talking a lot sorry !
    I wont disturb you again .?
    Thank you ! Have A Ridiculously Amazing Day !!!!! Keep smiling !THANK YOU AGAIN ! ☺☺☺

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  36. omg thank you so much! im 12 and im wrighting a story i am calling “Durable” im only 156 pages in but i need ideas! this helped me so much. i went with the one were the guy is a hacker! but i changed it up and he sent a guy a thret message and he went to jail! thank you for this!!!!! im going to use this so much!!!

    1. Hi, Lilly! 156 pages is great progress for someone who’s 12. Heck, it’s great progress for anyone! I’m so glad the list was helpful for you, and I wish you all the best on your story. Thanks for commenting!

  37. Hi Miss, I’m really glad that I saw your blog. It helped me a lot since my thoughts are always scattered and I couldn’t finish a certain book. I always end up running out of ideas or just simply became lazy to finish it. Also, even though I love to read and watch, I always run out of words, and when I re-read it, it’s like there’s always something missing in it. Totally hitting the Bookmark button right now 😀

  38. Pingback: 50 Romance Plot Ideas! | Marina Costa

  39. Hi i am at present developing a plot. I have done indepth planning for characters… i have designed characters and time in very detail. My couple got married at early age 20, 23 they have two children elder daughter and younger son. This woman has flaws. She is so much negative. She just cant lead even an happy hour. And on the contrary Man is a happy go lucky easy going guy. After 16 years of marriage they get separated because of the woman’s attitude the man who had already lost his job of the tourism counsultant gets fed up and ask for the divorce. As the guy is a rich person from his inheritance the loss of his job doesnt bother him financially. He gives enough money and property to the wife while seperation forbthe rest of her life. She took the son wih her and daughter remains with father. The woman is a professor now. After more 15 years she gets her ego hurt from someone maybe from her son or his girlfriend and goes to a marriage beuro. When they call her to meet a suitable match, she finds they had called her ex husband to meet her. She fights with all of them went back. Next two months she keeps meeting other mans and her ex husband accidently and after two months they get re married. Meanwhile she changes. And he helps her to change. My stroy starts from the marriage beauro’s office and ends at the ragistar’s office. What excites me about this story is its characters. But at the same time the overall plot is looking dull, routine , monotonous. And here is where i m blocked since months. Please help me out. I still habe faith that i will be able to express my characters well and can pass the same excitement to the readers… so i dropped the idea of dropping this story and move on… i tried to create parallel plot, sub plots but all seems melodramatic … please help me to come out….

    1. Hi Sucheta! Plotting is so challenging. If a story doesn’t feel exciting enough, it’s usually because it needs more conflict. Think about what your characters’ goals are, why they want them, and what obstacles are getting in the way of those goals! I also think that while your male lead character can help your female lead character to change, it’s going to be a better story if she also learns how to change herself.

      If you love your characters, that’s half the battle right there. 🙂 Good luck!

  40. The “modern man and she’s from ancient Greece” example cracked me up – my MMC is a time traveler from the future while my FMC is a present day Greek goddess. 🙂 Great list!

  41. Kairon Woulfgang

    As a guy who is thinking about writing erotic romance many of these points seem to put men in a negative point of view.

  42. Hi , im very new too this , the hardest thing i think is that your book doesn’t get published , ‘ve read many people books get not published . Authors like Grr Martin used allot of research of history , and used intresting words too describe each deatails of the characters and wars etc .

    He is a very inspired writer , those who don’t like his books , well it is their choice . I want too write a love story , well something near like the movie ‘ La La land , it has too be different , it is not easy. Although i don’t believe in love.

    1. Hi, Corne! Absolutely, it’s tough to write a book and not get it published, but I think in that case a writer just has to keep working. It might be challenging to write a love story if you don’t believe in love, but I wish you well!

      1. Hy Bryan , most men does believe that money plays a role too win woman heart., some girls do agree , soem girls does believe that it takes their world upside. Guys does make the move . Im very shy so .

        Too write a book , your details must be very well written , i gave my friend my good ideas , i will also put it here soon , I must watch Romeo and Juliet .

        I am looking forward too your letter.

  43. Pingback: How I Learned to Write – February 22nd, 2017 | Valerie Ullmer

  44. HI must i write ideas before a plot , or plot before idea,

    Here is my ideas of love story :

    He met her in his 30’s . He had never met the special girl in her life ,

    His family has secrets .

    She is in her 20’s . She always want a husband , a special guy in her life.

    Her family don’t want her too fall in love .

    Her family also has secrets .

    I hope you can look into it . Please let me know where i can improve. I am looking forward too your letter.

  45. Ingrid Jung (@itscoffeequeen)

    Hello. I am so happy to find this page Ms. Donovan. I have been lacking ideas recently about my story. I asked my sister who is good in creating twists and told me that my plot is very cliche and boring. I was wondering if you could help me with it. TT Thank you so much. Actually it is a fan fiction….

    1. Hi, Ingrid! I’m so sorry — I don’t do critiques. BUT, if you’re feeling that your story is falling flat (assuming that your sister is correct, and I have no way of knowing), the best way to fix that is through conflict. This is something I have struggled with myself! But conflict between characters because they both want something different, or conflict because a character can’t get what he or she wants, will energize things.

      Hey, if you want to share some of your fanfic on WIP Wednesday, that would be great! On the first Wednesday of every month, I usually share a page or so of what I’m working on, and other people do, too. While I don’t do critiques, I do say what I like about the writing 🙂 If you want to do it, follow the blog (there’s a place below to sign up) so you don’t miss the next WIP Wednesday post.

      Good luck with your writing!

  46. I am 12 and I love fiction and writing books but never really found a idea I wanted to stick to, but these are great.
    Totally gonna use them.

    1. Mm, I agree it could be better in that way. Although lots of them don’t specify if it’s an opposite-sex or same-sex romance, I have only two explicitly same-sex examples.

  47. Hi Bryn,

    I’m seventeen years old and am thinking about starting a personal narrative novel about moving to a new country. I lived overseas and wrote a lot, and wanted to put it all down together up until the present and through to a point in the future that I think ties the story up. I suppose it’ll be a grammatically correct and more objective journal. Obviously romance is a factor for every teenage girl I suppose in one way or another with crushes or actually relationships. Are there any questions I could be asking myself that will help me write these specific details more objectively and with less rush? I tend to push time along in order to gather more “meaningful” moments into focus, but I wanted to spread these memories out in a more logical and time-oriented manner because a large part of the romance in my life has been the uncertainty and waiting for those moments and I want to capture that in this novel.

    Thank you for your help, if you have time.

  48. Hello,Miss.Donovan. I love your writings.I would like your honest opinion about my story plot. As a young writer what would you suggest for second book.
    Book #1 BEFORE SUNSET full sneak peek
    When Sunset Avenue tragically looses her parents at a very young age her aunt is sent to live with Sunset as her legal guardian (since her sister is only 13 at the time she can not raise 2 kids legally) Now that sunset is all grown up she will attend Myrtle Bay University, meaning that she must sadly leave her family home SPOILER ALERT AHEAD (That is were her parents died ahem GOT SHOT)
    Each lonely day Sunset Avenue sinks deeper into her sea of Depression and despair. Will Christian Harppor be able to pull her out and swim her to safety, before sunset.
    Tell me what you think?


    Still working on it but rough draft on sneak peak

    She is getting married to her friend who helped her (romantically) get out of her depression (blah blah blah) she calls her sister but her aunt picks up she knows about the wedding because jChristian asked her approval but her sister Dea is hospitalized. She was diagnosed with a severe cancer the day after Christian preposed. Then Sunset questions her marriage and her life. It seems in her eyes she was cursed by the man SPOILER FROM BOOK #1 who killed her parents. (i quote “Curse your family i hope you will never have that smile god gave you ever again. he gave it to you and i’ll take it for my wife.”) She considers suicide, but when her little sister (Bel) is starting to fall into depression like Sunset did she snaps out of it she survived that SPOILER shooter so she will survive and so will her sister (or will she?)

    i think he will leave for the military at sunset and they have been trying for a baby for 2 years a few months after Christian left for the military Sunset takes a pregnancy test just one last try one last hope.IT’s POSITIVE.she is going to sparse Christian once she has 2 months left , but after 2 months she starts you know (bleeding) she goes to the doctor and IT’S A MISCARRIAGE. she calls christian and tells him she needs her sister, so she goes to visit things get worse and worse with her cancer and doctors say she has about 8 months at the most a year. I NEED A IDEA FOR AN ENDING

    NEED SOME STARTING IDEAS BUT THE PLOT IS BLAH BLAH BLAH Sunset final GETS PREGNANT and GUESS WHAT TRIPLETS THAT’S WHAT sadly by the time the baby’s are due Cristian is not aloud to leave do to conflict(potential terrorists) but 1 week before she is due an unexpected someone returns SPOILER DO NOT READ (Hsusssbsasnsd) ha you can’t read it JK
    (can you crack the word) ANYWAY 2 weeks after they are born (Dawn, Eve, and Dea)
    PS( Eve IS BROWNHAIRED AND MAJESTIC LIKE her grandma zia aka sunset’s mom) PS (Dawn is blonde and like her daddy)

    Zia is like her dad but the face of her grandma zia and tucker is the spitting image of his momma

  49. Miss Donovan, I have an idea of a ‘sweet, innocent teenage romance’ type of story and I was wondering if you think it has some potential:

    The story is from the perspective of the girl. She and her twin sister would live happily with her mother. The two were so similar that some could only identify them by what instrument they played. Alexandra would play the piano while Alise would play the violin.
    They had little to no problems. The main male character is introduced in their childhood with him wandering into the church hall while the two played their respected instrument. He then decided that he wanted to play the violin, in hope that he would be able to accompany Alexandra due to his love of her way of playing. The only problem is that they don’t properly speak to each other until they’re in their teenage years.

    In the time between Alexandra and the unnamed (as of now) male lead, Alise was murdered. This broke the mother and slowly sent her to insanity. She tricked herself into believing that Alexandra was the one who died and that Alise was still with her. At the point where the text begins, Alexandra’s mother had began abusing her out of unresolved grief and refused to accept that she wasn’t Alise.

    Alexandra meets the male lead in a music lesson and their relationship grows from that point forward with him helping her deal with her struggles and being one of her few sources of support in her life.

  50. Hi mam, im so happy that i land here in your blog while searching some resources for my story i actually have your list for emotions.. haha im writing a stroy i hope you can help me. I see that your are replying the others. So i hope you can also reply to me. Haha my story is there’s a simple girl and he meet a boy that she knows they cant be a thing. this boy is harry styles (ahaha sorry is a fanfics) he is really famous. They love each other but they have many flaws and arguring all the time. So they decided to take a break while taking a break the girl got a big break to her life and became a model and have an affair with her photographer then the boy tried to be back to her life and she knew that she still love him but the work they have is the thing that they cant be together again because of the time and the fans of the boy and the photographer is getting in their way.. thats my plot but im struggles on how to make that long ?? i hope that you can understand what im trying to say .. its really so much appreciated i dont have anyone who can tell me if my writing skills are okay and im a shame to my work because i know that it needs a lot of edit and rewrite .. so um what do you think? Its good or nah?? Thanks mam so much !! ❤️

    1. Hi, Sheila! I think you’ve got some good thinking here! Now, I do have one suggestion. You want your readers to believe that Harry and this girl are meant to be together, and if they fight a lot and break up at first, your readers might not believe that. So what if they date, but they don’t think it can ever be serious because she’s trying to make her model career happen (even though nothing is happening yet) and he’s going to be on tour for months, etc.? So they part ways, and then she gets her big break…but eventually both she and Harry feel like nothing’s as good as what they had together. Just a thought! It sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy writing it 🙂

      1. Omg !!! ??? im freaking out !!! I cant believe that youve actually response to me!! ??? thank you so much for giving some time to me and the precious suggestion you have !!! Umm yes im working out that now .. but i aslo indicate how the girl become a model and why she became model .. im also writing how harry and shay (the girl name) became closer since im still the part that they getting to know each other .. ?? i hope i can pass my writing to you if you have time and want to read some amateur writing skills ?? thank you so much maam im really freaking out right now !!! ?????? more power to you mam !!! You are very helpful to us like me !!!

  51. Salia Rudy Rivera-long

    Dear Bryon Donovan,
    This is what iv’e been looking for. This website is the only website that help me with my drama/romance story. I’m 11year’s old in the sixth grade and I can’t wait to tell my class mates about you’re website

    Love , Salia Rudy Rivera-long

    1. Hi ,I’ve have a idea of a story, resides in Norway,I’ve al ready wRotherham the characters name of female’s and males.The next step is difficult, too write each of their personalities .I am looking forward too your letter, in the real world there will always be females who’s after a guy money ,always will be,one if the will deny the truth. That’s why some young female of age 20 go out with guy of 60 or 70.

  52. Hi Bryan , your odds is better too write a good book and publish it ,than too win the lottery , i had a technique too win 5 numbers , i never give up . My topic is on my book , love story .

  53. We want to make a short film about nurturing relationship but we cannot think of something/twist that will have an impact to the audience unless we make the story negative or depressing(something like that).
    Our main character is a young adult whose into photography and he is in not in a good term with his partner. Then he promised that he will take a 100 picture of a happy couple in order for the relationship to work out but when he’s almost done (99 picture). His last picture is the girl with another guy.

    We want to focused in this kind of story but it does not fit with the nurturing relationship theme

  54. Hi! My names Nicolette and I’ve writing for almost two years now and I can tell that both my writing and grammar has improved. But that is besides the point. I’m writing a story on Wattpad I already have ten chapters done and I kind of know what I want to do with the characters but there is stuff that I want to do before either of the characters get romantically involved. Do you have any ideas as what I could do to come up some ideas? Great page you have here it help me a couple time in other books I’ve written so thank you for that!

    Story information:
    Her mother died in a ‘mugging’ and her father has been absent in her life. All she has is her brother who is now in college and can only come home on weekends. She misses her family. She has two best friends Eliza and Elizabeth who love her deeply. After one night in Walmart her life changes. She meets new friends and a guy. A guy she can’t wrap her head around. She doesn’t know what she feels all she know is he gets under her skin and she’s not sure if she likes what ever is happening.
    Josiah/ King:
    He’s closed off. The only people he let’s in is his little sister Samantha and his best friends Jasmine, Mateo, Luke, Jace and Nikolaus.

  55. Pingback: Useful Writing Resources – SpiritofCamelot

  56. Hi Bryn! I’ve read your article and I must say that a few of the ideas are quite intriguing. I write stories too, but I’m more into one-shots. Not the sexual kind, but more of the sweet-moments kind of love story one-shots. I’m currently 13 and I am hoping that more of you’re ideas can help me.

  57. Hi again Bryn! I’ve been brainstorming plots and I have come up with this. Please do read it, and if you have anything to say, add or suggest, please do so.

    Colt, a 16-year old boy goes to his high school and finds a new transferee in the school. It was a girl named Kate. She was beautiful, smart, and talented. Colt was instantly struck. After a few weeks of seeing Kate he decided to consult a friend named Ashley, they were best friends ever since kindergarten. Since they knew each other so well, Colt wanted to ask advice from her to get closer to Kate.

    They ended up making a decision wherein Ashley would act to be his ‘girlfriend’. They agreed that they would be like those lovey-dovey couples whenever Kate was around to make her jealous. A few more months later, Ashley never gave up on trying to make Kate jealous, her head was set straight. Colt however, didn’t even realize that the more Ashley would act to be his ‘girlfriend’, the more he wanted it to be real.

    And so this ended up being that Colt was now the one pretending that he still had feelings for Kate, when in reality, those were just excuses to become closer with Ashley. What Colt didn’t know was that Kate had already fallen in love with him, desperate even. Now the question is, will it be Colt and Ashley or will Kate give in to her feelings through confrontation?

    Bryn, forgive me for writing such a long comment, but after seeing your article, I know that you could be very helpful to me. Hope you reply!

    1. Im also really impressed with your plot ,it will be a great book , i hope your’s will be publish .

  58. Pingback: 20 Creative Writing Prompts for Romance Novels

  59. Pingback: Useful Writing Resources | Matthew's Cute Reports

  60. Pingback: Frauen als aggressive Verführerinnen - das Rollentausch-Phänomen | sinnlich schreiben

  61. Dear Bryn Donovan,

    I’m writing a story called “Battlefield.” It’s about a girl and a boy. The girl’s name is Mary, and the guy’s is John. They started friendship ever since they played a game together in class because they finished their work early. Well, to be more precise, they both like each other, but they don’t know that.
    Later, WW2 began and they got lost so they didn’t see each other for 4 years. Mary’s friend Jessie, was taken to Concentration Camp (Bergen-Belsen).
    I figured out about finding John again, but I don’t know about Jessie yet. But she needs to survive because when the war is done, John is suspected that he did a crime and got hung, and Mary died by a trauma, but then Jessie tells her grandchildren the story about them.
    Then word spread and they were called heroes.
    While that happens John and Mary both goes to Heaven, and they meet there. It’s a happy ending (sort of).

    And woah, I ask you to only give me a good suggestion about finding Jessie and get her back, but I told you the whole story. You don’t have to reply back, I mean, being an author can be hard and I don’t want to distract you. And I can get answers from somewhere else, but I’m thinking maybe I should ask to an author.
    If you have any other suggestions that are different from the “saving Jessie” part, please write them down.
    And sorry if my English is bad. I might make no sense at all.


  62. Pingback: 🖋 Writing Links Round Up 5/25 – B. Shaun Smith

  63. Donald Knowlton

    From different cultures he is too shy to talk to her or lock eyes with her. Intrigued while not careing for romance she approches him.

  64. So my romance is two girls and they are both in high school. They both have awful pasts and when they get together they both change in a good way. One of them actually smiles again and the other learns that she can trust people. So at the beginning (still in the planning phase) they are separated and very different. One of them is popular and the other is an outcast who gets made fun of. When the popular girls make fun of her the other one tries to stand up for her. But that is the beginning i need a plot for the rest of the story. Also this is my first romance and first full on LGBTQ+ story. I would really appreciate some help! I love the two characters i created but i have not plot which is annoying.

  65. Pingback: 🖋 Writing Links Round Up 9/21 – B. Shaun Smith

  66. Hi Bryn, I’m a German writer and just ended up here in your very helpful Blog while doing endless research: names, setting, plotting, history… I never would have expected having an “aha-moment” in an English Blog. My unfinished story actually has been my hidden treasure for more than 20 years. Sounds too long to keep it in my heart ? Yes, that’s how I felt during this year. It has to come out, strongly, can’t hold it anymore. Suddenly, entire chapters flood out of my mind and I needed to start an additional pocketbook to write down quick ideas. That feels good and I become totally attached to my own writings. But maybe that’s normal? Funnily enough, my very first idea was a fantasy story for teenager, now it has changed into a fantasy romance and I am totally thrilled. My characters grew up with me. And your romance plots gave me new ideas and new confidence to go on and reach out for the end, even though I don’t know where my story will end. Still my strongest enemy is the plot. I’m a pantster I guess. I must say, the Corona pandemic has led me into a “rush hour of writing”, because there’s more time to spend at home now. That’s the one good thing. Thank you for all those helpful posts and stay healthy!

  67. An old post but thanks so much anyway! I do write a lot, but since I don’t write romance I use this a lot for daydreaming, haha. Great prompts 🙂

  68. Pingback: Romance Publishers

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  70. Pingback: The Notebook Pride And Prejudice And Wuthering Heights: Popular Romantic Books – memorablequotations.com

  71. Pingback: 3 Tips For Writing A Romance Novel Readers Will Love – JanetWhardy.com

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