The Do's and Dont's of Writing Romantic Fiction

Hi everyone!

I know there’s already a lot of threads that exist here on the forum, set out to help you improve your writing in general, but I thought I’d make a more specific one to help those writing in the romance genre. If you’ve been on the forums long enough you probably know that there are tons of threads where people express their disdain for certain romance tropes (my own included). As important as that discussion is, I think it’s also crucial we talk about what we should do when writing romance. It’s easy to use cliches in romance as a workaround writing properly developed characters and chemistry, but when you put more effort into your writing - it shows!


Anyways, I thought this thread could be useful for beginner writers or anyone else who may be struggling on how to improve the romantic chemistry between characters in their stories.

Questions for discussion

  • What are some turnoffs you have in Episode romance stories?
  • What are some things that you enjoy reading in Episode romantic stories?
  • What are some things that you wish writers in the romance genre would do more of?

Feel free to discuss anything else as long as you are on topic.

Some useful articles:


Thank you! :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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Turn Off
Fetishizing and Romanticizing:

  • Pregnancy
  • Gang Leaders
  • Bad Boys
  • Mafia
  • Different Ethnicities
  • Rape
  • Serial Killers
  • Disabilities and Mental Health
  • Student and Teacher relationships
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Examples: My Pyscho, Loving Latino, Therapy 101, Pregnant By My/The Killer, Pregnant by my Student, Pregnant by the Bad Boy—I can go on.

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Moved to Episode Fan Community since Community is for discussion of specific stories. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about where to correctly create topics, and feel to PM me if there are any questions. :wink:

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Do you know how many stories I’ve seen on the app romanticizing abusive kidnappers/slave masters, etc. It’s just sad.

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Someone would make a story on that and I’m pretty sure there is. :joy:

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Turnoffs:

  • fast moving plots
  • love at first sight
  • abusive relationships in the end
  • on-off-relationships

What I like (not really popular opinion)

  • good Bad Boys (you know what I mean, those “cliche” ones)
  • characters that really have a connection and a reason to be with each other
  • happy endings
  • unrealistic situations that feel realistic in the story
  • CC

I just want to be taken away from reality when I’m reading a story.

If I can think of something else, I’ll add it

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I love reading about this sometimes, depends on the story :see_no_evil: Thanks a lot Winx Club, you made me feel this way XD

But yeah, I thnk that it’s rare to happen in real life, but for me, it’s fun to read about XD

Things I find to be a turnoff:

Honestly, the major one is pregnancy : /
And when she’s dating a guy when she knows he’s in another relationship. This is really bad, you are stealing someone’s happiness.
Another one is an abusive relationship.
I really hate when the guy is physically and even emotionally abusive to the girl and she takes all of it. I wish she would fight back or get help. But this doesn’t happen. I feel sorry for her and but then find out in the end, they get together and it’s all rainbows and sunshine (um he was a demon to you, how can you want to be with him?) It makes me sad to see this.
Falling for someone like a killer or gang rival who’s cold and rude isn’t romance, it’s something else.
Romance is supposed to be beautiful, not scary.
Romance is supposed to give you the best feelings in the world, not fear.

Things I enjoy:

Relationships full of laughs
A relationship in which both have say
Sometimes arguments happen, but both can get through them together
Teamwork
Sometimes I like cliffhanger endings, or heartbreaks…

I wish writers in the romance genre would write about love that isn’t harmful. Also, no need to be super nervous around your lover, be confident.

Anyways, this is just my opinion, hope I offend no one!

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In my 2cents opinion how about showcase how different love can be
I mean people love differently, people are attracted to different people for different things and most importantly people in relationships fight over very different things
There’s no relationship that’s similar to another because everyone is different and people bring out different sides of each other.
It doesn’t have to be love at first sight it doesn’t have to be to be two perfect matches
They could be crazy, insane, humble, regular and/or totally off the radar but somehow the love they share works for them. Make it that the rest of the world doesn’t need to understand them the fact that they understand each other and refuse to give up in each other is enough.

Unrealistic holier than thou characters as MC are however a turnoff.

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Honestly, if you can do a romance story where the MC and LI isn’t golden boy/girl or bad boy/girl it would be great. I like these thropes but only if they are together, a bad boy and a golden girl. I can’t stress how much I hate seeing shy, awkward female MCs together with bad boys.

To be honest, I would totally be down for a story where LI and MC start dating because they have similar interests, not because they like each other’s looks.

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Yess, I 100% agree. What happened to romances that are blissful and beautiful? There’s no need to add a fear element into a relationship, and that should not be romanticized at all. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

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Turn offs
One night stands
Moving too fast(thinking its “love” after one week or less than)
Causal relationships/s3x
Love/hate relationships
S3x/lustful scenarios
MC excessively describing how “hot/sexy” the LI is
Mental Health as a love device(where her crush cures all her -isms)
Turn ons
Buildup of a relationships(characters that actually know each other)
Shy/akaward moments between the pair
Tease moments(not being an ass or rude remarks)
But…idk…too many “turn ons” for me

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I agree with a lot of the stuff said here, but since I haven’t seen anyone say this, I’d also like to add the LI being mean/rude to MC and then the MC falling for them anyway. I mean, come on! If I ever met a person who treated me like garbage IRL, even if they were hot/lowkey interested in me, I wouldn’t date them. “They’re mean because they like you!” is such a playground mentality.

Some teasing is okay, but if they’re continuously hurting/embarrassing the MC then why would the MC be even remotely interested?

Not that the LI being standoffish/sarcastic can’t work, but if they’re mean to the person who’s supposed to fall in love with them then the chemistry just is not there. And I get that a lot of people like the enemies to lovers trope, but there’s a difference between being rivals and just being downright cruel to each other.

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I like the Damon Salvatore type of bad boys. If people can make stories with a bad boy like that, I’m all in.

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You just HELPED ME A TON.

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This “Do’s and Don’t” Is pretty stupid, because authors can do what they please, and yes you may choose to not read them, but your sorta telling authors what to do with their story. And yes, you have an entitled to your opinion, but sometimes your opinion is better left unsaid then said. :slightly_smiling_face:

I believe she was asking for advice for her own story not for other peoples :woman_shrugging:

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Yuckkk. I have no idea how these kind of stories are so popular. Being an a**hole is not attractive!

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I don’t think anyone feels the same way as you, and even though this is an opinion thread, i think that reply was better left unsaid :slightly_smiling_face:

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I got the attention of her saying how to write your story, it was just miss communication 🤷‍♀

-have a lovely day :slightly_smiling_face::heart:

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