Creating Romantic Tension in Your Novel

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. And over the weekend, I attended a marriage conference and read a romance novel. Is it really surprising that I might have romantic tension on my mind?

Besides romance novels, many novels have a romantic thread. Some of those threads the reader can feel, and some fall flat. I decided to gather some resources to help with making romantic tension feel more real.

Author Karen Weisner writes a great summary of 20 steps to writing great love scenes on Fiction Factor. I especially like number five, her explanation of "exaggerated awareness". Worth the read.

Barbara Bretton, another author, shows the difference between sexual chemistry and sexual tension, and shares the secrets of creating page-turning romantic fiction.

Maholo has a comprehensive article that includes a ten-minute video on including romantic tension in your writing.

And from the queen of romance herself, Nora Roberts, comes a fascinating article on crafting romantic suspense.

What makes the romantic thread in a novel "real" to you?


  1. I haven't read enough romance recently to know. Thanks for the resources.

  2. Believable romantic tension, whether in a novel or on a TV show, always draws me in. I tend to be torn between enjoying the tense push-and-pull of the would-be couple, and rooting for the couple to get to the first kiss already!

    Hope you had a beautiful Valentine's Day. :-)

  3. Thanks so much, Janette. I had a wonderful day, though my husband has suffered with the flu all week. I'm with you: believable tension gets me every time!


  4. real characters .... I think... I'm off to learn more and check out your links

  5. I agree with you, Michelle. I also enjoy novels where the characters' backstory is more than skin deep.




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