Skip to Content

Tips And Tricks On Writing A Fantasy Romance Novel

This post may contain affiliate links. Read more here.

Today I had a highly inspiring guest post from Finn Aspenson, author of A Tale of Love and Cinders!

A Tale of Love and Cinders is a fantasy novel released in November 2022 and a second book in the Amora Chronicles.

In this guest post, Finn will be sharing his secrets on writing a fantasy romance novel. What makes a good fantasy romance, what writers should avoid, how do you spice things up and keep the plot pacey, and more!

What makes a good fantasy romance novel?

I always felt that writing fantasy and romance were two very different experiences. For me, fantasy is often the backdrop of a story while romance is the story itself.

In any fantasy, you can make the world as wonderful and breathtaking as you like, but the characters should still feel like real people with personal demons and aspirations. That is the first step in any romance, no matter the backdrop.

There are places where fantasy and romance can overlap. If your world has lots of races of totally differing looks, you can create a relationship between two characters of different races. This helps to show how strong love can really be despite appearances.

How do you write a fantasy novel for adults?

Stories can reach adults if they have themes and characters that adults can relate to. Your story can have tons of violence and disturbing aspects, but for me it is all about the characters and themes. Yes, graphic content will bar off certain audiences, but to write a book ‘for’ someone means you should have things for them in it.

Adults deal with an array of problems like jobs, debt… and romance! Having stories with these sorts of things in it will help audiences to connect to your characters. In a fantasy setting, this can be tricky, since characters may be going on great and perilous journeys that people in our world could not possibly hope to go on.

Though the protagonist may be searching for a way to beat the dark lord, they can still have everyday problems like anxiety, insecurities, or pride.

In love with literature? Try audio books or writing classes
for free for 30 days.✨

Can romance be a fantasy?

I find that most romances in fiction are fantasies themselves. That’s why many people love to digest them. We love to escape into these whimsical relationships, to help us understand empathy, love, and increase our understanding for others.

What should a writer avoid when romance fantasy?

Try not to stray out of the tone of the story while writing the romance. That is, if your book contains a lot of very natural and ‘real-world’ sounding dialogue, then a pair of lovebirds speaking to each other Shakespearian style will definitely take your reader out of the experience.

This applies to fantasy as well, where characters may talk very differently than we do. Ensure that the romantic pair speaks with words that fit with the tone in your world.

Another tip for any romance is to not rush things. It’s hard not to get excited and have the two bloom immediately, but you must have the relationship build in a manner that makes sense. Have the two characters share fun times together, or have them share their pains from the past and present by a fire. Give them a reason to love each other aside from looks alone.

Can fictional characters fall in love?

Totally! If any two characters in any sort of story have traits and quirks that attract the other, then anything is possible.

Can you fall in love with your own character?

I’d say an author ‘falling in love’ with their own character is very different from what that phrase normally suggest. I love all my characters like they are my own children.

However, if you are writing a point-of-view character who is gaining feelings for side character, then sometimes you may find yourself having the same affection for them as your POV does. That, I feel, is a step in helping the development of that relationship feel real somewhat.

What do readers look for in fantasy romance novel? How do you “spice things up”?

When it comes to fantasy in romance together, many people love two lovers from different races, cultures, and lands. In a few pieces of fantasy, dwarves and elves are races that usually spite each other.

Having a romance between a dwarf and an elf can be highly enjoyable due to their differing appearances and values, and how their differences create a sort of ‘forbidden love’ element.

What are some characteristics of fantasy romance antagonists?

If the story has the romance at its very core, the antagonist should look to break them, whether that be by killing one of them or creating a bitter rift between the two. This will help to keep the relationship at the forefront and have the bond grow stronger by the end.

How do you keep the plot pacey?

Different paces fit different stories. Many action/adventure stories have fast pacing to keep the plot exciting. But when it comes to character studies and romances, it helps to slow down and take your time. Fast pacing can often lead to a romance that comes about too fast, causing that relationship to feel inorganic or fake.

Sometimes, it is necessary to set aside a few chapters in which your partners speak with one another, whether that be about their dreams or their pain.

Do you have any recommendations for fantasy romance books?

For fantasy, I’d say the Lord of the Rings is a must. That trilogy was the foundation of classic fantasy, and most fantasy authors today were impacted by that series and draw inspiration of it. As a bonus, the Wheel of Time series is what many claim to be the foundation of modern fantasy. Just beware though, that series is quite long!

If your book has a large cast of characters and an intricate plot, George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is great.

There are romances in this series as well, whether they be pure or twisted. Admittedly, romance is still alien territory for me, but I have seen many, many films and shows with romances in them and drew from those.

However, and bear with me here, I would recommend the Twilight series of books. These books help to understand what you should NOT do in a romance. I find helping what shouldn’t be done helps more than knowing what is right.

Have you enjoyed this guest post with Finn? Let me know in the comments below! ❤️