Romance and Cliches
Some of you would say that the two are inseparable. Maybe they are. For the sake of Valentine’s Day, I think I’ve found a few ways to fend off the clichés though!
1. Avoid the stereotypical characters
There’s an abundance of character types that have been overused. The secretly sweet bad boy. The secretly smart jock. The not so secretly gullible goody two shoes. The nerd. Always have a twist that makes a character your own and fresh for your readers.
2. Don’t succumb for the gender roles
The female doesn’t always have to be the one to be saved, and the male doesn’t always have to be brave. The ones that I’ve seen the most are girls being virgins/afraid of intimacy while boys are experienced.
3. No Mary Sues or Gary Lous
Perfect characters are always obnoxious no matter how flawed their romantic interest is. It’s always a good idea to give all of your characters their own flaws, so that they’re unique. Not to mention readers can’t relate to a perfect character.
4. Steer clear of the fairy tale
Happy endings are fine, but no relationship is perfect. A perfect relationship is going to make your readers raise their eyebrows. Conflict between two people is only natural.
5. But don’t have too much conflict…
Only half way through your novel, but your characters are already lovey dovey? Don’t add a conflict for the sole reason of keeping your characters separate. Unless well done, these conflicts often come off as unbelievable and silly. The conflicts I speak of are often centered around one tiny misunderstanding and affect pages and pages of plot. These conflicts often irritate readers more than anything else.
6. Instead, go slow
Now, there are exceptions to every rule, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Relationships aren’t either! Make sure your character’s relationships develop at a realistic pace. Even if your plot is based off of a ‘love at first sight’ idea, there is more aspects to romance and relationships than love.
There’s your tips to what’s hopefully a cliché free romance whether it’s just a tangent or the main plotline! Have a happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!