How do you write a romance without knowing much about love?

I was writing a romance story for a while but recently stopped because it has come to my attention that I have no idea what in the world I’m doing. I can picture some romantic scenes, but when it comes to natural, organic moments of love, I’m like… “What is that?” I can barely picture it in my head. Some people can write them flawlessly and I’m like, “How?” I feel like the closest I’ve come to love is loving my dog that’s been deceased for the past 10 years.

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Why not write a story about not knowing much about love but wanting to? Maybe at the end of searching (it would be fun to see how someone would go about Love 101), the main character still doesn’t know about love but has learned something else equally important? Or else has fallen in love?

In fact, I love the sentence you wrote as a beginning sentence for a book. “The closest I’ve ever come to love is loving my dog [dog’s name here]. And she’s been gone for ten years.” It’s poignant but also kind of ironic and endearing.

Some places to learn about love: Watching old and new films. Reading romances. Talking to older people who have been married for a long time. Interviewing people who have recently fallen in love. Watch The Bachelor?

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what is YOUR LOVE? I feel like you’re trying to picture what love is in general and that’s where you’re getting stuck if that’s what you’re doing. Think about what love would be for you, you get what I’m saying? when you think about falling in love what do you see? what moment would make you fall in love someone? what qualities could a person have that would make you develop feelings for them? Find the answers to those questions and then BUILD UP to them. That’s what love is, it’s one big build up and then before you know it you’re in it. Natural organic moments can be watching your partner eat, falling in love with how they laugh, liking how they walk and talk, admiring they’re intelligence, finding it adorable when they get upset at small things…etc

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This is brilliant!

Love is like any other kind of relationship. If you’ve had a friendship, you can use that as a template only make the feelings more romantic-inclined, sexually-attracted inclined.

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1 part friendship + 1 part lust. Shake well, then stir in some shared dreams. Serve in a warm mug by the fireplace on a cool winter’s day.

Love is whatever you dream it to be. Imagine it and trust your writing.

I totally understand what you mean, I sometimes have the same problems myself. I want to write a scene for a romantic story and then suddenly I can’t really describe something since I never felt it myself. But I think it’s not the most important thing to know exactly what love is. I think nobody can really define it. I think by trying to image how the person feel, even if she doesn’t know how to put it in words, is a good way to start.
As ShelleyBurbank already said you cold probably write a story about someone who doesn’t know much about love and just let him or her, imagine what it would feel like just the way you think it would feel like.

I hope you understand what I mean. My English isn’t that good and I’m not sure if I described it very well :slight_smile:

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play a shit load of Episode and watch romance movies lol that’s what i did and peeps love my books, yet i’m a virgin

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and u don’t need experience to write about it; observing those around u who are engaged in love and taking mental notes/observations is better

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Well, I think watching lots of films and series and reading other romance books might also help a lot. You could especially focus on how love ist pictured there

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This is a great suggestion! I even love the first line you’ve given the OP there to get started :blush:

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I don’t think I knew love until I was 20 or something but I’ve always had an idea of love I want to have and I wrote that. If you’re stuck, the best fix for any writing is still reading. I grew up reading a truckload of mangas and books on love :slight_smile:

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In my opinion, books tend to go a little crazy on the idea of love. If you read a lot of romances, it will give you the idea of what people reading romances want to read rather than what love is like anyway… Surely when you think of love, you have a general idea of what you think it SHOULD be like. Maybe you shouldn’t taint that but use it.

I don’t know if I made sense but there you go.

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I agree with this. I think many books and movies portray love in a way that is appealing to people, the ideal or something. Real life doesn’t always pan out that way. The love is probably the same, but it’s just not so perfect and magical all the time.

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I agree with this. If you are writing Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction, be very realistic. But if you are writing romance? Readers have expectations. Don’t be too cliche, try to be a little unique, but you have to appeal to those universal emotions if you want romance readers to be happy (Only my opinion. I could be wrong!)

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I feel this. I think for me, I’ve consumed so much romantic material and content over the years that I just…understand the patterns. Even though my own romance is a train-wreck of ifs and neverminds, I know what’s expected of a romance plot! (And I thoroughly enjoy all the cliches). Once you have a list of ships as long as I do, you start to see why you love the ones you do, and it’s easier to shape your own characters’ romance off of that.

My advice is to read/consume more of the kind of romance you enjoy the most, whether its a subplot in an action tale or full-blown YA romance (or even fanfiction!). I also think if it’s just not coming easy to you, then maybe you should start with a small romantic subplot in one of your stories and build from there.

Good luck!

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Oh no! I think you are absolutely correct. There are definite expectations in romance. I was just thinking of the original question of how to write love if you haven’t experienced it and agreeing with the poster I commented on. I guess I was thinking what you wrote-- while there are expectations, don’t go too far overboard with cliches.

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Well I think it’s really complicated to create a special plot if you write a romance story, which isn’t like all the others. I totally agree with you that there are definitifly expectations and some things which happen in every romance story. That’s why it is so complicated to find something which is special and not the same as everything else.
But that might probably be a reason why you can still write a good romance even if you have no real expericences with love. Because you can orientate on other stories and get a feeling of how to describe these emotions.

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Some people say ther write about love, sex , murders even if they never did something of these. For me , it’s trully hard to actually write about love as I am not sure how it feels. I mean yeah , as every person in earth I have felt what love is - I suppose - but I don’t know how to express my feelings in the paper .Also, there are people who don’t feel love for others in the way society thinks but in a more general distant way. That’s not mean they are monsters but how someone could write about a feeling he never experienced and esp in a normal way ?

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I absolutely despise “The Bachelor.” Sorry.:joy:

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I DONT KNOW. That’s the problem! ;_;

This is nice. I mean, I totally get what you’re saying. This is a really good point, but I think my main struggle is even if I’m interested in someone, I’ve been told it isn’t love unless the feeling is mutual, and all of my dates or relationships have never made it past 1 month because we were never on the same page. Even if I like someone, it’s hard for me to picture mutual attraction or mutual love. So it’s not love from one point of view that’s the problem. I know what it’s like to care about someone. However, mutual love is really hard.

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