What would a world without love look like? Surely it would be bleak and depressing. There is a reason why so many books, songs, stories, and poems have been written about love. It is a wonderful feeling to feel loved by someone and capturing that into words is something many have attempted. However, writing romance can be especially difficult when your creativity and inspiration are on vacation.
In moments where creativity is lacking, it is difficult to not write predictable cliches/tropes that everyone has read before. Personally, I believe there is nothing wrong with using tropes as a base, but you should always add an element that makes your story original.
Another obstacle beyond lack of inspiration is simply that writing romance is hard. The main goal is to develop a relationship between two characters that is intriguing yet believable. There is a difficult balance to strike, and, with this genre, you cannot hide subpar character dynamics behind a good plot.
This can be intimidating for many. However, writing prompts are an excellent way to get the ball rolling so you can write that perfect romance story.
There are many genres of romance you can write. Below I have compiled 30 writing prompts for romance within the genres of young adult, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and suspense romance.
Table of Contents
Writing Prompts For Romance: Young adult
The young adult romance genre typically features a plotline centered around young lovers. This romance genre is extremely flexible in terms of the types of stories and plots it includes. However, young love and teenage drama are often important themes within this genre. Note that when writing young adult romance, you should always have your characters act in a way that is believable for their age. Too many times have I seen writers creating a 17-year-old character with the mindset of a 30 something-year-old. Your characters can be portrayed as more mature than their peers, however, there should still be elements of their personalities indicating that they are teenagers/young adults.
1. The artist’s secrets: Write about a character who loves to draw. This character has a sketchbook that is filled with art pieces that represent parts of their personality/life they try to hide from others. One day, they end up misplacing this sketchbook. Another person finds it and attempts to find who it belongs to. After a couple of days of asking around, they give up and end up looking through this sketchbook and decide to keep it. One day, these two characters end up meeting each other and becoming friends. Slowly but surely, the character that possesses the sketchbook starts to put two and two together and realizes who the sketchbook belongs to.
2. When music brings you closer: Write about two musicians who are passionate about their craft. They end up meeting through a mutual friend and decide to start creating music together. These characters struggle to figure out their feelings for one another whilst trying to break through the music industry.
3. My college lover: Write about a character who’s about to graduate high school. They have a college boyfriend/girlfriend that they’ve kept secret from their friends/family. Why is this college lover a secret? Is your character embarrassed or scared of what their friends are going to think of their significant other? How does this secret affect your main character’s relationship?
4. His best friend: Write about a girl who falls in love with her boyfriend’s best friend. Think about how this dynamic would unfold throughout the story? Does your main character deny her feelings or accept them? How does this affect the relationship between the boyfriend and their best friend?
5. Getaway lover: Write about a group of friends going on a trip together. They rent a beautiful place and start throwing huge parties. During this getaway, one of the characters meets someone new.
6. A crooked smile: Write about your main character attending a masquerade party. They end up dancing with a handsome masked stranger who has a crooked smile. At the end of the night, your character abruptly leaves and forgets to ask the stranger his name.
7. A dancer’s battle: Write about two characters that are in rival dance teams. They are both competing for a life-changing career opportunity. However, they end up meeting and developing feelings for one another. How do these your characters manage their feelings alongside their rivalry?
8. Little did she know: Write about a woman (mid 20’s or older) reminiscing and recounting a relationship she had in her teenage years. Write your story as though your character was writing in her journal. Your character recalls all of the good and bad moments of that relationship and thinks about what she would have done differently if she had a chance to start over.
9. My first lover: Write about an older character (60s and up) reminiscing about their very first lover. This relationship was the most passionate one they’ve experienced but it ended very badly. Explain what happened to your character’s lover? Why did the relationship end?
10. A forbidden lover: Your character is dating someone new, but their parents forbid this relationship because they believe this new person is a bad influence on their daughter/son.
Writing Prompts for Romance: Contemporary
The contemporary romance genre typically includes a modern setting (from ~ the 1970s to the present time). The plot should be reflective of the modern world in terms of language and setting. This genre focuses on the developing romance between two characters living in a reality that most people can relate to. The plot often times unfolds in places such as the workplace or during a dance class etc.
11. My new Boss: Write about a character landing a better-paying job. They are extremely excited about this opportunity until they discover that their new boss is their high school ex. Imagine how the dynamic between these two characters would evolve throughout their days of working together. Will romance flourish between them once again?
12. A complicated love triangle: Start writing your story as the typical love triangle trope (two guys fighting for the affection of one girl). Then add a plot twist where the two guys start to develop feelings for each other as well. You can also do this for a love triangle that features two girls and one guy.
13. When Opposites attract: Write about two characters who meet each other through a mutual friend. They start to develop feelings for each other but soon discover that they are complete opposites. Will their differences tear them apart or bring them closer together?
14. My muse: Write about a man who goes on a date with a woman. His date learns that he is an artist and asks to be drawn. For some reason, these two loose contact with each other. Years later, whilst cleaning out his art room, your protagonist rediscovers the drawing they made of this woman. He then decides to post the drawing online in order to sell it. This drawing has unexpected success and puts his name on the map of upcoming famous artists. One day, the woman in the drawing sees this art piece of her and decides to reconnect with your protagonist.
15. Her beauty: Write about a woman who has a special attribute (ex: a face birthmark ) that makes her unconventionally beautiful. She gets recruited by a small modeling agency that focuses on people who are typically not recruited by other modeling agencies (plus size, albino, skin condition, etc.). This woman develops a relationship with the CEO of this agency.
16. The businessman: Write about a businessman who is always on the go and puts his love life on the backburner so that his business may thrive. One day his friends finally convince him to take a well-deserved break and go on a trip with them. During this trip, he meets someone and falls in love with them. Will their relationship be destroyed by his workaholic tendencies?
17. Tinder Date gone right: Your protagonist has been on Tinder for a long time. Every date they have been on has ended in a disaster. Hence, they finally decide to delete the app. The next day they meet someone at a bar. Throughout the night, your protagonist realizes that they had seen this person before on Tinder, but they had swiped left/unmatched them.
18. The nightclub owner: Write about a nightclub owner who develops a romance with one of the people that frequently comes to his club.
19. My surfing coach: Your protagonist moves to a new town (ex: San Diego) and decides to take up surfing. To their surprise, they develop feelings for their surfing coach.
20. The new guy in town: Write about a girl that grows up in a small town and desperately wants to move to the city. A new guy comes into town, and they develop feelings for each other. Your protagonist learns that this guy came from the city and doesn’t ever want to go back. How will this affect their relationship? Will one of them give up on their dream for the other person?
Writing Prompts for Romance: Paranormal
Writing a paranormal romance is a great way to unleash your creativity. Mixing elements of the supernatural with the fiery and passionate romance of two characters can result in surprising and complex stories. Common themes within the paranormal romance genre include vampires, werewolves, aliens, ghosts, supernatural powers, witches, etc. There are many ways your main characters can interact within a paranormal universe and find love. For example, your protagonist may find herself/himself dating a supernatural being, or perhaps both lovers have to fight against an army of supernatural beings. Note that worldbuilding is an important aspect of any supernatural story.
21. Lovers in the apocalypse: Write a story that is set during the apocalypse. Earth is dying and because of all the toxins that were released in nature, animals have undergone genetic transformations. They have become deadlier to humans and more intelligent. Your protagonist is traveling with a small group of people when she meets a guy who claims to know a safe place to stay. In the beginning, she doesn’t trust him but with time they end up developing feelings for each other.
22. Superhumans vs Zombies: Write about a worldwide pandemic that happens because of an unknown aggressive virus. In search of a quick cure, the best scientists were tasked to test out a bunch of antidotes on humans. These antidotes had unexpected, irreversible effects. Half of the patients were cured of the virus but developed superpowers. The other half got sicker and turned into zombies. Your protagonist is one of the patients that developed superpowers. They end up developing feelings for another patient.
23. I’m in love with a monster: Write about a protagonist who falls in love with a creature that was once human. This creature had been cursed by a sorcerer to forever live in the body of a beast. Can their love surmount their differences?
24. Enemies or Lovers: Write about a girl who comes from a long line of werewolves. Her clan has been at war with vampires for as long as she can remember. However, what happens when she falls in love with a vampire, the very beast she claims to despise?
25. The Ghost of my past: Write about a girl who discovers that she can hear and see things that other people can’t. One day she sees the ghost of her ex. This ghost tells her that he has recently died but that she can bring him back to life. She decides to take on that challenge and find a way to bring him back.
Writing Prompts for Suspense Romance
As the name suggests, this genre features a mixture of suspense and romance. Suspense romance often incorporates elements such as mystery, murder, crime, and drugs. In this genre, there needs to be a balance between the romance explored within the story and a thrilling, high-paced plot. Both aspects are integral to the development of an enticing suspense romance novel/story.
26. Ride or Die: Write about a girl who falls in love with a guy whose family is heavily involved in illegal activity. One day, your protagonist’s lover is wrongly convicted of a serious crime, and he decides to run away. Your protagonist decides to run away with him until they can come up with proof that he is innocent.
27. The secrets behind his scars: Your character meets a mysterious guy who avoids talking about his past. Intrigued, she decides to get to know him better. One day he lets his guard down and your protagonist sees that his body is covered in scars. What are the secrets/stories behind those scars?
28. She’s the boss: Your main character goes from being a normal young adult to the leader of a dangerous gang. The leader of her rival gang is a guy her age and they have been in conflict for a while. Suddenly a new threat arises that forces them to work together.
29. Hell on earth: A serial killer is on the loose. Your protagonist is a new detective and has been tasked to find this killer. She is paired with a more experienced detective that is known for his odd methods. When romantic feelings start to develop between the two, will they be able to handle this case whilst figuring out their complicated relationship?
30. Building an empire: Your protagonist is creating a start-up business. Because they come from a poor background, they have vowed to never lack money again. Your character meets a potential business partner that suggests making money through unorthodox practices. Can the two of them build an empire through illegal means or will they crumble and fall?
I hope these prompts will help you write amazing stories! Don’t forget to comment down below which ones were your favorite or even share the stories you’ve written.