Saturday, 19 April 2014

How to: Write Love Stories

Love stories do big business, like a labrador on laxatives, behind a bush. (For that matter, labradors don't care!) I assume because romance stories wouldn't be terribly difficult to write and/or make, so everyone would be happy!
They also portray romance and men in a way that appeals to women, both of those portrayals being huge amounts of never going to happen.

Since years of cynicism and hostel food have blackened my heart to the most extreme of unromantic extents, I decided to do a bit of research before I got around writing this. And then I made a startling discovery.

Love stories are pretty much porno with words!

While I hear you gasp "words, but why?" I must agree that it's that classy kind of porn. The kind you never watch? That kind.

I really have seen almost every romance movie ever made (after I was born, I mean. I'm into old songs not movies!) and I also read a couple of those cheesy books... I slowly started to figure out what the first one is like, how it'd end. Then I saw some more until I got the way they work.

By now you would've figured that I started to write one, I mean, I'm not sell-out, but a bit of money can't hurt. As generous and giving as I am, I present you with the means to write a love story yourself, in easily illustrated illustrations.

1. The Setting: The general setting, I suggest, must be as improbable as possible. Not to the extent of intergalactic tragic tale of two species and how difficulties arise when their genitalia don't line up (that's currently my idea) What I mean is add some bits of improbability to your initial idea of what you wanted to write about.

School? College? Put some vampires in there. Vamps are good and versatile. You can bring them up in your story any time, every time.

Work? Neighbourhood? A new employee or neighbour. Or maybe a robot who could develops feelings for you where you work.

If however, your imagination couldn't run wild and you came up with zero ideas of a setting, then what to do? A Ranch. Or an isolated farm house near to which an entire group of women have recently migrated. 

It's not a necessity though. If you want your audiences to cry at the end, keep the setting simple and give one or two characters a terminal disease. Cancer, heart ailment, Parkinsons. Anything will do. Avoid AIDS though, it's still a touchy subject (yeah, I know!)

The simple formula is: Cancer/Heart ailment/(Any terminal disease) = Sadness = Tears

2. The Protagonist: Your protagonist should be female. No, she must be female no matter what. Women who wish to write such kind of novels may project them as they intend. 
You think that's sexist? Go get me a sandwich. No, I'm kidding (I'm hungry though!) But here's a quote of Robert Pattinson about Stephenie Meyer (of Twilight (sh/f)ame) -

"When I read it I was convinced Stephenie thought she was Bella and it was like reading a book that was never supposed to be published. It was like reading her fantasy, especially when she said it was based on a dream and it was like "Oh I had a dream about this really sexy guy" and she just wrote a book about it. Some things about Edward are so specific, I was convinced that 'This woman is mad.' She's absolutely mad and she's in love with her own fictional creation. And sometimes you would feel uncomfortable reading this thing."

If however you're not a woman (and you'd probably know if you weren't) you may derive inspiration from many sources in your life, like all successful authors do. Big deal.

3. The Man: He must  be kind, sensitive, caring, compassionate, dashing, a mix of arrogant and asshole at times, and has a blog. But that's enough about me! Love interests in your movie story should relate to your previously decided setting. I again, present you with a few ideas - 

He's an asshole when first met.

He's absolutely hot. (Can choke people to death by telekinesis)

A hidden caring nature is later revealed. (He has puppies!)

Performs heroic task(s). (Saves your puppies from getting under the bus!)

A strong emotional connect is later made. 

He's an asshole again! (Cheating/Drinking/Gambling/Broken promises. FTW!)

Things somehow work out in the end (Marriage!) or he dies. (Depends on the setting)

I'm into the tragic-type stories. So in my story the man dies in the end (But that's just me, maybe I'm some sort of sadistic!) But do your thing. If you like the type of endings when they get married and fast forward 10 years have 5 kids rolling around the house, then write about that. You understand that this kind of ending is not suitable for gay/lesbian marriages (kids!?) 

4. Family conflicts: This one's make or break. This is the shit which will give your story the extra mileage. And by family I mean your parents, siblings, relatives, aunt(s) (specially!), relatives of aunt(s). 
I say, anybody who you think can fuck up the scene between your love-birds should and must be added to the story. What's love without a few hardships!? I again present you with a few ideas - 

Your parents don't like him/her. No reasons.

Your sibling hit her car with his/her. Sibling can be older or younger, but a clash of the girl/ boy with your younger sibling adds that much more spunk in your story. Elder siblings are shown as understanding and giving (ask me!) so a clash with them won't yield anything.

An aunt saw her having fun (read in an indecent way) and one thing leads to another and your parents know about that. Shit.

The girl/boy isn't (Put marathi, punjabi, bengali, kashmiri, bihari, brahmin, tamilian, christian, hindu, muslim as per your setting)

The family can also say -
For the girl: She's westernised. Not cultured enough.
For the boy: He doesn't earn enough. Acts like a bull on the loose!
'No family values' is a phrase which can be used by the parents of both boy and girl (or if your story is gay then that's different. Use your imagination!)

5. Love Making: This subject also has the power to make or break your movie. I wouldn't have mentioned this but as giving as I am, I wanted you to not have the incomplete formula. So let's get it over quickly.
All the love making must only be called love making. Other phrases (yep, exactly what you think) are disapproved. Not to mention that the love making must be spontaneous, explosive and feisty.

This is where we get to the sticky part (I always intend puns like that) The description of the love making shouldn't be over-the-top and should not contain stuff that has huge amounts of never going to happen! Everything else is good. Let your imagination run wild.

Those are the tips I have for you. They may seem a few in number, but that proves my original point that stories like these are distinctly easy to write. I would've finished this off with a small story of my own, but I'm a busy man (No, not really. But lazy, really lazy!) I leave the writing part to you.

There's a nifty chat/comment box below this post, so don't be afraid to use it. Only a blogger can understand the irrational need for comments.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Yeah? Well, I guess. Atleast I hope so! :)

  3. I never really thought about what it would take to write a romance story. Very interesting.

  4. These are really great tips. My sis is trying to become a writer, and her story is surrounding lost soul mates. I'll send her your article - I think it will really help guide her!

  5. Sure. Don't forget to tell her that I'll be claiming the royalty of her story when it comes out (No, just kidding!).
    Happy to help.

  6. I always thought that the writer sits down, and just starts to write whatever is in there head with no structure until the end. This is pretty cool how things come together.

  7. Yeah. But don't be too impressed. Most of the times it's a fluke, then it's a best-seller!

  8. I think it would be difficult for myself to write a romance's very hard for me to be that discripted!

  9. Hey, don't be like this!
    Follow these tips and you'll churn out a near decent romance story.. But let me warn you, it's not for the weak hearted!

  10. Yep. The swish kind of porn. They are so rare, people started making romance movies!

  11. great tips, I never thought about writing a movie, good to know - thank you!

  12. "He's an asshole when you first meet him" is my favorite type of romance!! You are spot on with this "tutorial"!!

  13. This would really make a nice romantic movie from the settings to the key protagonists and the conflicts that come in between.

  14. There were times many years ago when I have always wanted to write a movie story

  15. Thanks privileged comment making people. :)

  16. Yep. Those kinds are always spunky! Thanks!

  17. Now I'm off to write a romance movie. Just kidding.

  18. Very interesting! I don't know if I agree but you have a really good point of view! Thanks!

  19. Thanks!
    I had this idea because most romance movies are like this.. typical romance movies, I mean.

  20. And I'm still trying to figure out why girls fall for that stuff. Non-asshole, nice guy is cooler, isn't it?

  21. Good Post and appreciable Talent.. Very interesting even .. thanks :)

  22. Love this post. Amusing and informative. Makes me think that maybe I'd be able to write one...or maybe not

  23. You can definitely write one, i guess! :p

  24. hey i actually liked this one :P although im surprised that you've actually read so many love stories to come up with such an observation..i knw that years of cynicism and hostel food have 'not' blackened your heart to the most extreme of unromantic extents ;)