Plan on adding romance in my novel, how to make things work and more? (READ BEFORE COMMENTING)

Honestly, I wasn’t planning on adding ANY romance in my novel.
The thought of adding romance, flirting, crushes, romantic relationships, and things in my story sickens me.

The reason being because I NEVER experience romance ever and to have my characters experience it in healthy yet realistic way, makes me bitter and too hopeful.

Plus, too much lovey-dovey crap and romances takes too much from away the story for me.

Yet, I would love to change that and NOT make my characters slight copies of me in that regard.

Moving on, in Red Reign, the only couple among the main cast is Kali and Gisella. That screams unfair to me, because I refuse to have them as some token same-sex couple. They’re both women and they work as Knights and they’re married. Not to forget that they are different species.

But Kali and Gisella are the only ones married among the main cast. I have Faust who may develop romantic feelings and interest in Jorildyn as the story progresses. Jorildyn, however, has no interest in romance at all, since she is a Rhak.

Rhaks are interesting because they don’t have romantic feelings towards their own kind or any kind, but rather strong loyalty and compassion.

Kali and Gisella have their own personalities and they really click, but it is just nagging at me that they are the only couple among the main characters or at the moment.

I really need help in trying to understand how to add romance that WILL NOT take center stage in Red Reign. I am not a romantic person and nor do I want to be.

But if the story calls for it a little, then I can sprinkle it in there the proper way.

Originally, Kali and Gisella were going to be friends or something along those lines. I honestly wasn’t expecting to make them married couple.

I rather keep them married, but also make them not some token or glorified thing when it shouldn’t be.

What are your overall thoughts and feelings?

NOTE: Although it is a first draft, I still want to get things done right for when it comes time to make edits and revisions for later drafts.

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I mean I don’t have to have romance in my novel at all. Have it where everyone doesn’t experience romance of any nature.

But I believe there is a thing called “healthy balance”. Which means that yes there is friendships and good-hearted rivalries, and family togetherness, but there is also a some good romance in there that doesn’t have the story of Red Reign in some violent chokehold and refuses to let go.

So, yeah, a healthy balance, if that makes sense.

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Id peraoany lwave some of it to chemsitry. If, when youre writing them, they ship themselves? Then yiu have a romance.


I was thinking that in a sense!
Like Kali and Gisella can be friends or rather working partners in the beginning, who develop strong romantic feelings for each other over the course of the story, then they’ll get married towards the end or at the end of the story.

In a lot of stories that are epic and there is several options for relationships, the biggest complaint is when a relationship is forced in the end.


So, it can play out in a “will they or won’t they” type deal rather than having them just get married?

Yes, it can. Youre goingnto know more about their end when you get there.

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Ooh, very interesting.

@TheTigerWriter: Sorry, but Kali and Gisella are going to be on friendly terms in the beginning then work their way up to something romantic later on.

@J.L.O: What about the others? Ryker might fall for someone else. Faust may have a crush forming on Jorildyn. Caelum and Jorildyn are the only two aces so far, and there’s two more (Aeris and Khidell) who might start liking each other as well.

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A lot of what irl relationships are is right time and place.

For example, the reason my dad is my dad is because my mom wasnt a smart alec with the second boy who asked to sit with her, when she was interested in the company. She decided after an interaction didnt go as planned that shed simply say yes, and so dad is dad.

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That makes a world of sense.

Thereby, its ok if someone’s love isn’t met becauee there had never been a good time to cement a bond.

Its also ok to have people where its onyl at afmiration level because they never took the chance to deepen their feelings.

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Thanks for letting me know!

In Howl’s Moving Castle Sophie and Howl had a romance, but there was no kissing, touching, flirting or other mushiness. You knew they liked each other since he put up with her destructive ways and she wanted to help him due to their growing affection for each other. Just because you have romance doesn’t mean you have to have slush. If they hadn’t gotten together at the end of the story, you’d barely notice the romance at all since it wasn’t the main storyline and it didn’t overwhelm things.

You just need a growing affection between two characters, preferably who are polar opposites or somehow unexpected or all wrong for each other. ( ˘ ³˘):heart: (˘ᴗ˘ღ)


If romance isn’t important to the story, there’s no reason to force it into the story. If it happens naturally with some characters, such as Kali and Gisella, then that’s one thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re just throwing it in to try and balance things, it isn’t needed. If romance isn’t the focus of the story, people aren’t going to notice or think of Kali and Gisella as a “token or glorified thing”. It will just be how things are in the story. I think forcing another romance is what will make things seem off and “token”. Readers can pick up on when things are done without reason and were forced rather than made from a natural chemistry. If you don’t want to write a lot of romance in your story, don’t. There’s no reason to. Not every story needs a romance subplot or main plot.


How to not let romance take centre stage? It’s simple. Don’t structure your story around it.

In a love story, the main character desires and requires love to complete their journey, and often the objective is love — a sexy vampire willing to transform the mc to be together forever, or a faerie prince the mc must rescue because they love him so much that they can’t bear to be without him.

Love and romance aren’t limited to love stories though. For example, the mc desires revenge and requires the magic sword to defeat the evil dragon who terrorised his village. But the reason why the mc gets to the sword might be because they were fed magical bread every morning by a lover. Love isn’t the objective, but it sure is nice to have. It doesn’t have to be romantic. You don’t have to detail sex, just fade to black.

I’ve done a 180 on my feelings about sex and romance in SFF and fantasy-romance in general. I used to despise it. I thought it was lame. I thought SJM was “ruining fantasy”. How dare they put her on the same shelves as Pratchett and Sanderson!

Now I’m all for it. More sex! More romance! More more more! Subplot, main plot, over-story! I think it’s incredible that we’ve gotten to a point where it’s sitting proud on the shelves. It’s a reflection of creative democracy. Why should SFF be sterile and loveless? Why shouldn’t women have their romance/sex fantasies? And what about queer love?

I use my queen SJM here because she’s the face of mainstream fantasy-romance atm. Not that SJM is a particularly good writer, and sure, there are clunky dialogues and laugh-worthy cringey scenes. But I digress. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Let the children read the faerie porn — or, in this case, write the faerie porn you want to read in this world.


So, quick question, is Kali and Gisella’s relationship fine and they should remain a married same-sex couple or should they be good friends or working partners who slowly, but surely develop feelings for each other?

I could have Kali and Gisella stay married to each other, but if anything, when it comes to the others their “love life/romantic endeavors” it will either flow naturally or not at all.

What makes Kali and Gisella a interesting yet strange situation is that I am reading way too much into because I trying not to be harmful in that regard.

Does that even make sense to you or not at all?

Then I am definitely reading way too into it, since romance isn’t even close to being the focused.

I guess I am worried because Kali and Gisella’s relationship might seem “tossed in there” to some readers.

Yeah, some readers pick up on things faster than other readers.
Maybe that is why I am a bit worried.

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I don’t see anything wrong with them remaining married if they already have a chemistry between them that works well. If their romance isn’t the main focus of the story, or even a significant sub plot, there’s no reason to tell the story of how they become romantically involved. If you wanted to make it a significant subplot, you could, but there’s no need for it. They can simply exist as they are. I think that would be better than trying to force yourself to write something you’re clearly uncomfortable with.


Thank you.
I HATE when I stress over things like that.


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Thanks everyone for helping me!