How Do Most Romance Novels Start?

How Do Most Romance Novels Start?

Romance novels have been a beloved genre captivating readers’ hearts for decades.

What makes them so popular is their ability to start with a powerful hook, drawing readers in and making them fully invested in the story.

In this article, we will delve into how most romance novels begin and the key elements that constitute a compelling opening.

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Setting The Scene: Establishing time, place, & mood

Setting the scene is crucial – it establishes the time, place, and mood.

Every good story needs a strong foundation, and romance novels are no exception.

Readers are first greeted with a detailed description of the setting, transporting them to another world and immersing them in the story.

Introducing The Protagonist: A strong, compelling main character

The Protagonist is the central figure whom readers will follow throughout the book, AKA the character that they tend to identify with most.

A successful romance novel requires a strong and compelling main character. This is not optional. If there’s one thing you need to work on refining over & over again it’s your main character.

The protagonist should be relatable and likable, yet possess enough flaws and complexity to be relatable while keeping readers engaged.

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Welcoming The Love Interest

The meeting between the protagonist and the love interest is a critical element in any romance novel.

It is the chemistry between these characters that drives the story forward.

The first encounter should be memorable, creating tension that intensifies as the plot unfolds.

The palpable attraction between the characters should be felt by readers, captivating their emotions.

What’s a Story Without Conflict

Conflict is essential in any story, and romance novels are no exception. Early on, internal and external obstacles to love should be established.

These obstacles can range from past traumas to social or cultural differences. Overcoming these challenges becomes the driving force behind the plot and ensures readers’ continued investment in the characters’ journey.

Building anticipation is another key element of nailing the genre. Romance novels thrive on the slowwwwww burn.

Readers should be tantalized by the promise of a romantic connection between the main characters. Subtle gestures, lingering looks, or a spark of chemistry can hint at what lies ahead, keeping readers eager to discover more.

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Wait, Did we Forget the Opening?

To truly engage readers, the opening of a romance novel MUST contain a compelling hook. The hook captures the reader’s attention and pulls them into the story.

It can be achieved by starting off with a dramatic event, a unique premise, or introducing an intriguing character, leaving readers yearning to uncover what happens next.

Furthermore, it is crucial to fulfill the expectations of the romance genre. Readers anticipate certain conventions, and meeting these expectations ensures a satisfying reading experience.

These conventions often include a happy ending, a focus on the development of the romantic relationship, and an overarching sense of emotional intensity throughout the story.


In conclusion, the opening of a romance novel plays a pivotal role in setting the tone for the entire story. By effectively establishing the setting, introducing compelling protagonists and love interests, establishing conflict, building anticipation, creating a hook, and meeting genre expectations, writers can craft an engaging and memorable opening that will keep readers invested until the final page.

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