Fingers brushing, gazes holding, or inside joking… however it starts, it’s the moment when a romance takes a turn, when the reader feels a little jolt of excitement, like they know exactly where this is going. The reader is able to spot the beginning of a romance even before your characters do. And it’s this feeling, this shift and shared knowledge between writer and reader, that I live for in Romance stories. Because no gaze, hand hold, or joke is ever accidental when a writer is behind it. In this article, I’ll teach you some ways to create that spark and keep readers invested.
But the verb create is a misnomer. You can’t really “create” romantic feelings on the page. For a genuine romantic arc, it should read like the author has no hand in it at all. Like the tension between the two characters was inevitable. This is the hardest part of writing a Romance story—convincing the reader that the feelings are real.
It all starts with a moment. A beat on the page, a pause, some new attention to something, usually with underlying intimate or romantic undertones. Romantic moments we think of often involve hands and eyes because they are mostly how we experience the world. Let’s start with the obvious one: the eyes.
Romance doesn’t happen from one moment to the next. It’s a series of little moments stacked on top of each other, so I hope you’ll use these examples as ways to begin your romantic arcs. You might use multiple of them in your story!
Romance also doesn’t have to be formulaic. If none of these six ways to write a spark fit in your plot, write whatever feels natural to you! Can you think of any other ways to write the turning point? Let me know in the comments below, and happy writing from JUVEN Press.
is a writer based in North Carolina. She attends writing classes of all kinds at UNC Chapel Hill and has a particular fondness for sharp imagery. In her free time, she drafts her own novels.