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Romance novel writing prompts

Are you looking for inspiration for your next romantic adventure? These romance novel writing prompts are designed to give you that spark of creativity to start, continue, or rework a novel idea.

There are infinite stories to tell in the romance genre. One plot can be used many times over to tell new stories and give life to new characters.

Each prompt is a single sentence with a hook, plotline, or conflict to explore in the novel. They can be used on their own, in conjunction with other prompts, or completely reshaped.

Using my writing prompts

Any writers are welcome and encouraged to use my writing prompts as you like. They could be sub-plots to explore in something you’re already working on, give you inspiration to start outlining a novel, or anything else.

I hold no rights to these ideas, I’ve come up with them just to share more ideas with writers.

Sadly, I don’t have the time to explore every writing idea that comes into my head, which is where my writing prompts and story ideas come in use on my blog. Check out the writing prompts category for even more ideas to play with.

I’ll add more romance novel writing prompts in the future as I update content.

If you do write something with any of these ideas, I’d love to proofread for you. My romance proofreading services are open to all UK writers.

Use the contents list below to find the sub-genres you’re interested in.

Contemporary romance writing prompts

Contemporary romance is a sub-genre of romance fiction where the novel is set typically in the decade it’s written by. Contemporary romance spans from 1945 up to the modern day.

When writing contemporary romance, you’re writing for readers who expect to see a story ground in the current time, with references to technology, society, and current events.

Here are some contemporary romance writing prompts to get you started:

  • A whirlwind romance at a concert is reignited a year later.
  • Their experiment with dating apps goes awry when they fall in love.
  • They meet online, playing video games, and it takes years before they finally meet online.
  • Who even goes on a blind date nowadays?
  • After moving to London, the protagonist struggles to find their place and their people.

Saga romance writing prompts

Saga romance is a sub-genre of historical romance, but it can work well with contemporary romance too. Saga fiction is a cosy genre where standalone books are linked together into a series, usually focused on a particular family or setting.

These saga romance writing prompts can be used regardless of whether you’re writing a historical or contemporary saga novel:

  • A family moves to a coastal town, where the protagonist falls in love with a local artist.
  • After inheriting an independent bookshop, a series of financial challenges leads the protagonist to rely on their most regular customer.
  • Every generation of the family reinvents what it means to be a baker.
  • An arranged marriage helps the protagonist reconnect with themself and their family’s ties to the country.
  • The protagonist breaks family tradition to pursue a frowned-upon career with the encouragement of their first love.

Dark romance writing prompts

Dark romance novels are love stories with elements of horror, such as forbidden love, or dark themes, like two murderers falling in love. Graphic violence, taboos, triggering content, and dubious consent are often found in this genre.

These dark romance writing prompts focus on the idea of two or more characters coming together in a dark love story:

  • A retelling of Cinderella, in which the royal pays for the hand of their beloved.
  • Amidst a gang war, two rivals find themselves engaged in a vicious and lustful battle of their own.
  • Money is exchanged for the affections of a protagonist, but the source of their riches is uncertain.
  • Their boss is demanding, loud, and abrasive, so why is the protagonist so obsessed with them?
  • A pair of assassins compete to romance the other with elaborate kills and somewhat romantic gestures.

Queer romance writing prompts

Queer romance novels are all about queer identities, encompassing gay romance, lesbian romance, LGBTQ+ romance, polyamorous romance, and romance between characters who are trans or non-binary. There are more gay and lesbian romance writing prompts further down too!

These queer romance writing prompts focus on queer culture and can involve any kind of sexual orientation:

  • The protagonist sets up the only LGBTQ+ club in their town, and through this finds friendship, love, and family.
  • Spotting a pair of rainbow shoelaces on the train leads to the most unlikely friendship to romance journey.
  • A night out at a drag club results in a romance they would never have expected.
  • They find themself and their first love on the dancefloor, while dance music blares out of the speakers.
  • Every fear in their mind dissipates when their partner embraces their feelings of wanting to embrace their true self.

Gay romance writing prompts

Gay romance novels focus on love between men, and is also known as mm romance or m/m (man/man). Gay romance is a sub-genre of LGBTQ+ romance, and is considered to be the most popular LGBTQ+ romance genre.

These gay romance writing prompts focus on different kinds of gay relationships:

  • A chance meeting on the tennis court leads to a whirlwind romance.
  • The protagonist falls for his best friend’s older brother, but nothing can begin between them while the best friend still lives in the area.
  • He’s a soft-speaking librarian, why would the local carpenter ever fall for him?
  • A famous sports star has never had to talk about his sexuality before, but makes the big step to coming out publicly ahead of his engagement.
  • Two men meet on a reality TV show to compete for the affections of a woman, only to realise they’re already in love.

Lesbian romance writing prompts

Lesbian romance novels focus on the love between two or more women. Also known as sapphic fiction, lesbian romance is a sub-genre of LGBTQ+ romance. It’s also known as ff romance, or f/f.

These lesbian romance writing prompts focus on different kinds of lesbian relationships:

  • She falls in love with a princess; the princess falls in love with a knight.
  • It’s the classic tale of a coffee shop romance, mixed with two women exploring what it means to identify as lesbians.
  • On discovering the poetry of Sappho, she makes it her aim to woo her girlfriend with a holiday to Lesbos.
  • An actress falls in love with her make-up artist.
  • After an awkward parents’ evening, a teacher falls head over heels for the parent of one of her students.

Steamy romance writing prompts

Steamy romance novels aren’t quite erotica, but they can be erotic. A steamy novel focuses on the romance as the main story plot, while any explicit scenes serve to complement the romance instead of being there just to excite the reader.

These steamy romance writing prompts can work with any level of spiciness in your novel, whether you prefer to fade out sex scenes or write explicitly:

  • The office is empty, except for them, and now there’s nothing to stop their lust for one another.
  • This song brings out the worst in them, their hands roaming places they’ve never touched before.
  • It’s just to cause a distraction, but they end up more distracted than they expected.
  • A dip in the swimming pool becomes less about exercise and more about sexercise.
  • Their love letter is beautiful, but turn over to the other side and the only word to describe it is hot.

Seasonal romance writing prompts

Seasonal romance novels are romance stories surrounding seasons or seasonal events, like summer, winter, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. You’re probably familiar with summer holiday romances and winter getaways, usually involving holiday flings, second chance, and big events like proposals.

These seasonal romance writing prompts cover seasonal themes:

  • A once-happy couple tries one last attempt to fall in love again: a couples’ retreat.
  • The mystery of a neighbourhood snowperson popping up every morning leads to a bonding experience for some amateur detectives.
  • In the beaming heat, there’s only one person they want rubbing sun lotion on their body.
  • The build up to the perfect proposal is marred by the announcement that their favourite restaurant is already booked up for Valentine’s Day.
  • On Christmas day, a charitable day turns to unexpected romance when they meet another at the fundraiser.

Paranormal romance writing prompts

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of romance that incorporates paranormal elements like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and witches. The romance has some kind of supernatural twist, and usually takes place in an urban fantasy setting.

You’ll find vampire-specific prompts below, but in the meanwhile here’s some paranormal romance writing prompts:

  • A merperson falls in love with a human, and the two have to navigate their relationship with the merperson’s reliance on the sea.
  • The protagonist would do anything to become a werewolf, but they didn’t expect to fall in love with one first.
  • Their companionship with ghosts leads to an intangible relationship.
  • Glamours are used to hide one’s true nature, and this lover has trust issues.
  • It starts with a friendly wild animal, and ends with loving a shapeshifter.

Vampire romance writing prompts

Vampire romance is a sub-genre of paranormal romance, though it’s also associated with the horror genre. Involving our favourite blood-sucking paranormals, vampire romance can cover historical or contemporary settings.

These vampire romance writing prompts focus on a vampire and a human falling in love, but you could also have two or more vampires in love:

  • Being a vampire’s sugar baby and blood donor comes with more than the protagonist bargained for.
  • A vampire is hunted down, but instead of a stake in the heart they find themself in love.
  • There’s an ancient secret: if a vampire drinks the blood of their true love, they may be able to cure their greatest weakness – the inability to walk in the sun.
  • Their found family is a coven of vampires, but things become tense when they fall in love with a rival vampire.
  • The vampire struggles to maintain their humanity, and seeks out people who can help them reconnect with the human world.

Romantasy writing prompts

Romantasy, or fantasy romance, is a sub-genre of the fantasy genre where the romantic plot is essential to the plot. A fantasy novel that has a romantic sub-plot, or where the romantic relationship can be disregarded, isn’t romantasy. Instead, romantasy novels can simply be described as romance novels set in a fantastical world.

These romantasy writing prompts can work for low fantasy and/or high fantasy settings:

  • From two different walks of life to fighting for their right to marry.
  • A magic potion is used to help along a relationship, but not a love potion.
  • All their life, they’ve been alone, until they meet someone with the same distinguishing feature.
  • The protagonist uses their magical gift to save the life of a stranger, and now the two are tied together forever.
  • An unexpected pregnancy brings with it surprise, the chance to bond, and true love’s kiss.

Even more writing prompts

If you’re looking for even more romance novel writing prompts, make sure to check my other blog posts:

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