5 Tips for Writing Romance in Fanfiction

Is there a romantic pairing that you really want to write about in fanfiction, except you’re not sure how to write about it in an effective way? Read on to see just how you can write a compelling romance in fanfiction.

Is there a romantic pairing that you really want to write about in fanfiction, except you’re not sure how to write about it in an effective way? Read on to see just how you can write a compelling romance in fanfiction.



1. Keep your characters in character!

This is the most important part of writing any fanfiction (unless your intention is to write the character in a different way from how they are portrayed in the source material, which is interesting too), but it is especially important to keep this in mind when you’re writing romance. Imagine if we had an enemies-to-lovers fanfiction where the two enemies immediately admitted their feelings for each other. That would feel silly and very unrealistic, and it completely misses the point of romance-focused fanfiction – to make the reader feel as though this is the way that the characters would actually interact with each other if they became romantically involved in the source material. So, keep your characters in character so that your romantic fanfiction feels like a storyline that really could have unfolded in the original story.

2. Provide a slow buildup.

Another important part of a romance is the buildup to the characters getting together. If the buildup is too fast, we don’t get to experience all of the tension that we could get out of the story. But if the development of the relationship takes time, readers will feel plenty of suspense. Some ways to slow down the romance plotline might be by having the characters take their sweet time with even realizing their feelings for each other or having the characters take a while to admit their feelings. For each new development in the romance, you want to keep your pacing in mind in this way. The readers might think they’re reading your fanfiction in order to see the two characters get together, but what they really want to see is the steady progress towards the characters’ eventual romantic relationship.

3. Think outside the box.

Take a look at the other fanfiction stories that have been written about the couple that you would like to write about. Is there a pattern you’re noticing? Maybe the characters are always portrayed in the same way or the same tropes are used over and over again. Put a new spin on some of these ideas, or come up with an idea that hasn’t been used before. Do other writers usually write cute, fluffy romances about this pairing? Then, write something with a darker and more serious tone. Is one character usually the one pursuing the other character? Make it so that it’s the other way around. Your readers will thank you for bringing something new to the table.  


Image via Time Magazine


4. Consider rarepairs.

Are you sick of seeing the same fictional couples being written about in fanfiction over and over again? Are you intrigued by a potential relationship between two side characters, but feel like no one will read a story about them because this pairing is a rarepair (a term for a fictional couple that isn’t popular within a fandom)? Just go for it – there will be readers out there who will be glad to click on your story. It’s always refreshing to see something new in fanfiction! Your fanfiction will likely stick out in readers’ memories because of the simple fact that it took a risk and deviated from the norm.

5. Include the other characters’ reactions to the relationship.

It can be fun to see how other characters would react to the characters having feelings for each other or being involved with each other. And if there’s something forbidden about this relationship, having other characters find out about the couple’s involvement will only make the plot ten times more captivating. A lot of consequences and juicy drama can ensue after the characters’ feelings or relationship are revealed, making this one way to increase the tension in your fanfiction.

Fanfiction writers often lose out on opportunities to make their romance stories more engaging, but those were some ways for you to make your romance fanfiction stand out among your competition. If you take some of these suggestions into account, fans of the original story will click on your fanfiction and immediately recognize how special it is, and they will certainly not be able to stop reading.

Featured image via history.com