Having had a couple of weeks off writing for The Busy Writer’s Notebook, I want to jump back in with some more writing prompts, to help you get started writing, or for when you feel halted within your writing. Today, I’ll look at some interesting and different romance story ideas which you can use to stimulate your creative mind, and incorporate into your current work, or use them to help you start something fresh.
Over the holidays, I have been focusing on short story writing, so the prompts today will also have a short story focus to them. As always, feel free to alter or manipulate the prompts in any way you see fit, in order to help you write your way.
As a guide, I recommend you start by following the suggested prompts for 10 or 15 minutes and see what you come up with. Freewrite and let your creative brain decide what the story or scene is to be. Some of the prompts start with a short exercise, which shouldn’t take you longer than a few minutes. They are intended to be questions to get your creative juices moving and ideas flowing.
What was your parent’s love story? Did they even have one? Start retelling your parent’s love story with new characters and putting them in a different setting, or period in history. See where it leads you.
Are you a hopeless romantic? I am…
What would be the best love story ever, without worrying about all the romance genre conventions and limitations? Start writing the truest love story and see where it leads you…
Do you love fairy tales? They have contained some of the best love stories, and ones we all know.
Write a story about a minor character (from a fairy tale you know well) who is secretly in love with the hero/heroine. How could the original tale change to make your minor character the new protagonist, and get her (or his) happy ending?
Think about how your hero and heroine could meet? All potential lovers have to meet somewhere. What is an exciting and new way your two lovers could meet? This will depend on your particular setting, period, and sub-genre.
For example, do you like historical fiction, maybe set in medieval Japan? Perhaps two lovers could meet over a tea ceremony, where one is high born, and the other a lowly servant?
Science Fiction Romance? Is it possible for an android to fall in love with a human? Or the other way round?
Contemporary Romance? Perhaps your two eventual lovers could meet at the scene of a car accident?
Whichever setting, period or genre you choose, try to come up with 10 different ways your hero and heroine could meet, and freewrite the one which is most striking to you. (Following McKee’s advice in his book: Story).
Think about what your heroine most desperately desires. What is getting in her way? What is she willing to do to achieve her goal?
Perhaps a widower with no children desperately seeks love again. She sells her house and goes on an expensive 3-month cruise which promises to help you find love aboard… What happens?
What is the most cliched love story you can imagine? Quickly jot down some notes, then spend five minutes brainstorming alternative ideas for each note you’ve come up with.
For example, a cliched love story might be: Two people meet on a train, have a “moment” with their eyes, but they are both married and are with their respective spouses. In that single moment of eye contact, they sense all the true love and passion that the other contains for each other. This is real true love at first sight…
An alternative story might entail something like:
Two early 30’s women meet at an art gallery opening, where their respective husbands are showing their artwork for the first time.
They too, share a moment, where their eyes meet and their souls’ touch, but it is followed by a small chitchat where the women start to get to know each other. They are not about to abandon their husbands and whole lives after a second with another person. The story could follow each of the two women, as they come to understand who they truly are, and what’s it’s like to find true-true love and the struggle and fight they go through for it.
Prompt 7 – Something a little different…
Go to a pre-made book cover website and find a romance book cover you find interesting. Now write the story for that cover. I love this The Book Cover Designer, which provides once-off covers at a reasonable price. I find having such a visual prompt or story starter is the perfect thing for my visual writer nature.
You can also do this exercise by finding portrait photograph in any media online library or media outlet – such as a magazine, and write a story based on what you see.
I hope you’ve found these story ideas interesting and that they’ve provided you with a little inspiration for your daily writing. I’d love to hear your comments or even your writing if you’d like to share?
After more prompts? You might like my romance writing prompts post from October 2017.