Romance Story Ideas – it’s a hot topic, and one that a lot of my readers are into, so I wanted to give you a few more resources for your short stories and possible novels.

In this article, I present a list of resources that I personally use when it comes to generating ideas for romance short stories. They include:

  1. Using Writing Advice Websites (like this one 🙂
  2. Pinterest
  3. Your Personal Loves and Hates List
  4. Writing Prompt Tools and Apps
  5. Romance PLR
  6. Using Pre-Made Covers



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Romance Short Story Ideas


1. Make Use of Writing Advice Websites

  • Check out Bryn Donovan’s website which is full of excellent lists and writing prompts. This is an excellent website full of excellent unique love story ideas and other tools to get you writing. I follow Bryn on Pinterest and she has excellent post after post of helpful resourceful lists.


  • Kaitlin from Ink and Quills has some excellent resources on romance writing and romantic story prompts.


2. Make Use of Pinterest

Check out these inspiring Pinterest boards, people, and search queries for romance story ideas:


  • Search “Romance Writing Prompts” and “Romantic Writing Prompts”


Pinterest Writing Prompts


3. Use Your Love & Hate List

Use your loves and hates to generate some characters and plot ideas to situate a short story around…

If you don’t already have a list, start one today, on a large piece of paper and keep adding to it when you think of something that speaks to you.


Using items, characters, themes, situations from these sorts of lists create pieces of fiction that you are passionate about, which you care about. This, in turn, will help readers care about your work and your characters.

For example, perhaps on your hate list, after brainstorming, you find the words, Deception, Betrayal, Lies. These all have a similar theme and just came to me off the top of my head. And I Do have a personal hate for people who betray the trust of others.


So, if I was writing a short story today, I would start there, and use the idea of Betrayal to start my story from, and then start throwing What If questions at it…

  • Who is betrayed in this story?
  • What could be the foundation of the betrayal?
  • How can it be resolved?


In this way, I’ll find characters, a setting and objects that I can situate a love story around.


For unlimited story idea generation, my Go-To Resource is Holly Lisle’s Writing Courses

Check out her Free 3-Week Flash Writing Class Here:

Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t SUCK 


4. Writing Prompt Tools

Another quick method for generating story ideas is using your favourite prompt tool. I like to use The Brainstormer – it really is my go-to app, but I think it does tend towards speculative fiction.

It might be a good place to start if you’re very stuck for ideas. I always find it fun, when given a list of words, trying to make them fit into a different genre…


Here is a screenshot from my iPhone (this particular brainstorm could lead to a very interesting love story about an oddly matched couple living in prehistoric times on an atoll…


The Brainstormer App


There are numerous writing prompt apps out there, this is just my favourite one.


5. Using Romance Fiction Plot Outline PLR

In all my scouring of the web, I’ve found a very interesting source of unique romance plot ideas. The creator is Charity Cason, an entrepreneur, ghostwriter, and best selling author of 72 books under different pen names, who actually has a website designed to help fledgeling authors.

She’s had much success selling romance fiction on Kindle and has created sets of romantic “plots’ as a type of PLR material, meaning they are Private Label Rights material.

PLR is typically found in the internet marketing realm, but Charity has created sets of PLR romantic plot outlines, designed to be used to inspire new stories.


Here’s a peak from her website:

Charity Cason Plots


The idea is to take these pre-written short stories and plot outlines, use it as a starting point and help you create something original and unique to you.


Her PLR plot outlines are sold with these rights:

“You have PERSONAL USE rights only. You can use these outlines to create your own stories. You CANNOT sell or share these outlines with another person. You CAN share individual outlines with a ghostwriter you have hired for your OWN stories.”


If you struggle with coming up with a great plot, then following this method may help you.

You can use these outlines, break them down and see how they work; the theme, the characters, the conflicts, and use them as a sort of template to guide your stories.

For more information on how to use these PLR packs, check out this excellent blog post from Writing 4 Success on how to break down and create original stories, using Charity’s plot PLR material: Use PLR the right way.


For some odd reason, I cannot find these sets of PLR outlines directly on Charity’s website, and they’re not linked in the menu, but here’s the link here to the range of plot outlines (not an affiliate link, I just love them).


I myself, have bought her big set of 36 Plots called the Massive  Plot Package, and love it! It’s a great set, all romance-themed, and are particularly paranormal focused. It’s easy to tweak this sub-genre to anything that you want, be it, sci-fi, erotica, historical, or regular romance-related.


6. Using Pre-Made Covers

Another way to ignite awesome short story ideas — and maybe this will work better longer projects, such as novellas or novels, but is still applicable for shorts, is to use a pre-made cover as a prompt for a character or story. Now, I don’t mean go out and buy them. Just browse them for story starters. But if you do end up falling in love with one, and developing a full-fledged novel, then grab that cover asap!

Pre-Made Book Covers


I really love The Book Cover Designer. They have 1000s of covers for all the different genres and is a great place to source a cover for your finished book — if you’re looking for one.


One thing I like to do is pick a cover that I find striking (to me personally) and write the story for that cover. It’s a tip I read once, about a prolific writer, who has done this on occasion and done it professionally and successfully.


As I said, it’s a fun exercise, but might not work for short stories, in case you actually fall in love with a cover and want to use it for your book. Of course, that’s fine, but just might be a bit costly for the average short story writer self-publishing.



7. Some Other Random Ideas:

Here is an assortment of other ideas which I like to use to come up with new love story ideas:


  • Take first or last lines from your favourite books. Use that as a jumping off point. Use whatever you have picked and translated it into a romance story, inserting what you need to.


  • Take your favourite romance novels, novellas or shorts and create something new from it. Use it as inspiration to create your own story.
    • Perhaps you love watching westerns. Perhaps your favourite romance novel is young unrequited love. How could you reimagine that into your own story?


  • Join different likes, hates and fears (from your lists) together and create something new and interesting.


  • Get a list of writing competitions and use them as a source of writing prompts.



The great things about writing short stories are you can try different things and it won’t take too much of your overall writing time. Try this and try that… Take it all as learning experiences and move on if it doesn’t work.



I hope some of these ideas or resources sparked some ideas for you. I’d love to know what you thought of this week’s list and if you’ve used any of these resources before — please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Happy Writing!




For unlimited story idea generation, my Go-To Fav Resource is Holly Lisle’s Writing Classes:

Check out her Free 3-Week Flash Writing Class Here:

Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t SUCK 


4 comments on “Romance Short Story Ideas: 6+ Ways to Find Them

  • Thanks Erica, I am going to get right to my Love and Hate list. That is a great idea when it comes to writing short stories that I care about.
    I can incorporate that with pinterest and find a story that fits in well today. The pinterest wall is perfect for ideas I am looking for.

  • Thanks for this useful article! I happen to enjoy writing myself, and I once read a book (believe it was called the 38 most common fiction mistakes- you familiar with it?) that gave the impression you shouldn’t draw ideas for stories from real life? What’s your view on this, especially in relation to romantic short stories?I guess the argument is that we naturally assume that drawing stories from day to day experiences will lend credibility to the story, but this isn’t usually the case, because real life and narrative structures don’t usually actually gel. Is this the right idea?

  • Your site is chock full of great ideas. I keep toying with the idea of writing a book but the time commitment seems rather daunting. But from reading your post I can see that there are ways that I could do it in pieces and end up with a great story. Thanks for helping me put my thinking cap on. The wheels are turning, well kind of chugging right now, but I can see that it wouldn’t be difficult to make them spin merrily along. Thanks

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