The best romance writing prompts
Sometimes you just want to read a book that gives you the comforting knowledge that there will be a Happily Ever After — and that’s one of the defining characteristics of the romance genre. Everyone enjoys a little romance in their life, whether it’s steamy and passionate, or sweet and PG-thirteen-rated. If you’d like to write your own love story, we hope these romance prompts will help you!
Here are a few types of romance stories you might consider writing:
- Historical romance. Classified as any romance novel that takes place before 1950. Perhaps your heroine is a young woman, waiting to hear back from her wartime sweetheart who is away fighting. Will they end up together forever, or will the difficult times they’re living through keep them apart?
- YA. This is a romance that usually takes place in a high school setting, and features the life and loves of teenage characters. Maybe your character realizes they’ve got chemistry with their dreamy lab partner in science class.
- Contemporary. Any romance novel that takes place after 1950. This might be where you’d find your friends to lovers (or enemies to lovers) arcs, or stories about the trials and tribulations of online dating.
- Paranormal. Romance stories with elements of fantasy or science fiction. Think: a passionate prince falling in love with a powerful witch, or a gorgeous vampire finding romance with a seductive werewolf.
- Suspense. When love stories become intertwined with gritty plots. Caught up in some bigger conflict or mystery, our lovers find comfort in one another’s embrace.
- Erotic. The Romance Writers Association defines this as “Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationships and could not be removed without damaging the storyline.” This kind of writing requires careful handling of intimate scenes and a great understanding of what makes characters tick.
- LGBTQ. Romance stories that specifically center around queer characters. Maybe your hero uncovers their own sexuality as they fall in love with their best friend, or perhaps they have always known, but haven't quite managed to find joy with the right partner — until now.
- Romantic comedy. This subgenre is what it says on the tin — dreamy romance, that also makes you laugh. Perhaps we follow your protagonist on a series of calamitous dates, or we watch as they try to find happiness despite the interferences of a meddling family.
Keen to get started? Here are our top ten romance writing prompts:
- "I think I've fallen in love with my self-professed mortal enemy."
- You have a crush on a coworker, and that crush is somehow revealed during a company-wide meeting.
- Write about a first date that surprises both people, but in different ways.
- Write a story that involves love at first sight.
- Write a story that includes (or subverts) the enemies-to-lovers trope.
- Write a story about unrequited love.
- Write a story about a road trip between two old friends that turns into something more.
- Write a romance where the characters pretend to be dating each other in order to win a reality show.
- The lives of two people are changed forever when they coincidentally meet and engage in a weekend-long affair.
- A meet-cute ends in a terrible date, or a disastrous meeting ends in a great one.
For more tips on how to write romance with soul, check out some of our free resources below:
- How to Write an Irresistible Romance (free course) — Your ultimate guide to writing heart-stopping, pulse-raising romance is here. Whatever the subgenre, our free course teaches you how to get readers on board and invested in your love story.
- 13 Beloved Romance Tropes Every Reader Will Recognize (blog post) — Your trope bible, this post breaks down the tried-and-true romance formulas and even suggests ideas for how to make them your own.
Want more help learning how to write a short romance? Check out How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course guiding you through the process of short story writing by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest, for the chance of winning $250, plus potential publication in our literary magazine, Prompted! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.