The topic for the week is what makes great book elements in a romance. There are so many elements that come to mind that can make a great story. I remember when I first started reading romance, I pretty much enjoyed most books I read. I think back then, it was so new to me and it was something so exciting and different. So each book I had read I pretty much really liked, there was never a DNF back then. But when I started running a book blog, books started to change for me. I started to see what made for a great story, what makes for an average story, or what even makes for a less than enjoyable book. Let me list some of the main elements that make for a great romance.
- Characters-When I am reading a book, characters are what can win or break a story. There are different characters that can connect to the reader. We have the main hero, the main heroine, and then the supporting characters. For myself I feel like I am more picky about the heroine than the heroes that are written. In my mind, many authors focus more on the hero than the heroine–but this is not always the case. One of the best things tofind, is to have a wonderful hero and heroine that you connect with on a personal level. Through my years of reading, one of my favorite aspects I look forward to is being able to relate with the characters.
- Plot– When you read a romance, you want to find a story that keeps you interested and involved and that means having a plot that isn’t dull or boring, that holds you captive and give the reader the desire for more and to find out what happens next. The building of a great plot is crucial to finding that “winning” romance that curls your toes and leaves you with a satisfied smile at the end. In every sequence of the plot, it needs to transition smoothly and make sense to the reader. One of my pet peeves is a story that seems rugged in its transitions from one set of events to another.
- Writing Style and Details-this is my biggest reason for putting aside a book, is the author’s style of writing. I still don’t know why I never had many problems with this years ago. My main policy now is if I have trouble getting into a story than I set it aside. Now I always give it 100 pages and then if I can seem to get interest in the story I set it aside. Now there are those authors that instantly grab your attention and you have that feeling of “YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT”. Its always such a good feeling, to have that type of book that keeps you up all night. Even though its frustrating if you have things going on during the day and all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and read your book right?
- Setting-I know for many readers, a certain setting will determine whether or not you read the story. Most of the time this isn’t the case for me, although sometimes it is. As long as there is a love story, I will read it. I am pickier when there are BDSM elements, I can only really do lite BDSM and that is as far as I can do. Anything more and I just have issues probably because I could never really relate with it. I can’t really do Menage much, only sometimes. Most times if I read it I just don’t like it much, only certain authors do it for me. But many other settings I am good with, whether its Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal or many others.
- Tropes and Conflicts-These are what makes a romance add more depth to a story. I already did a feature on many different tropes, which adds conflict to the story. Having a unique or fun trope is what can bring a couple closer together as they work together to overcome what conflicts arise.
- Love Scenes– these moments are where we see the couple build their intimacy, and I love having these put in because it really helps the story become more alive for me. Sex is part of any romantic relationship, so for me, it just makes the story have “more” realistic feel to it. I love seeing the building of sexual tension…from that yummy first kiss to the first time they make love. And if the author writes these scenes right (which I know is probably pretty challenging for most authors) then it just adds that perfect touch…the “cream” on top that completes the story.
- Love Story-This is why I read romance novels, is I love seeing a couple fall in love. Its why I can read just about anything as long as there is a love story. I prefer a story where the love story is the main theme, but I can read stories where its not as long as we this connection. This is the most important aspect of a romance, at least it is for myself. I don’t know about many of you, but I love LOVE, and I am such a romantic at heart, and if the love story is written well, well it will have me totally hooked and more than likely I will need a tissue or two. Because I love those tender, sweet, and endearing moments that really make the romance just click into place.
There is so much that makes for a good story, but when a author can bring all these elements together and bring a sort of balance to the story, then this is where we have those special books that you can re read over and over, or just bring a smile to your face every time you think of them. Those books worth purchasing in various formats even.
Questions For My Readers:
What do you look for in a romance?
Do you have a preference over Plot, Characters or setting?
What are some titles that are “the best” of the best in romance?