Tips for Building Romance in YA

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Romance is often a big component in young adult literature mainly  because it’s the time when people first start exploring these new feelings and emotions. There is a lot of good and bad that comes with romance, which is great for us writers because it adds to the tension of the story. The key though is to make sure your romance feels real and alive to your readers.

Here are some quick tips to remember as you create a story with romance: 

1. Avoid clichés– One that comes to mind: New girl at school who meets hot boy or vice versa and they fall in love. That worked for a while in YA, but it’s been way overdone.

2. Beware of the love triangle. This can actually be very effective in a story, but if you’re going to have one, it better have a twist to it or it brings something new to the table.

3. Make me love the guy. I won’t want the romance to succeed if I don’t want the main character to fall in love with the love interest.

4. Be specific with your actions. Are they kissing? If so, how? Where are his hands? Where are hers?

5. Use sensory details. How does it feel when he touches your main character? Scents and sounds can add so much to a scene.

Here is a video where I give more tips to get you started:

After teaching and traveling internationally, Christina Farley started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA about a Korean-American girl with a black belt and deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows to be published by Skyscape (Amazon Children’s) March 1, 2014. Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, hanging out with her two Jedi warriors, and eating dark chocolate.

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