Can You Write Romance If You Haven't Experienced Romance?

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Rocket

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Sex is not romance. Even a relationship is not romance. A lot of people having the most sex and that are locked in relationships are experiencing the least romance.

Lesbian romance and relationships and sex are less defined and come with fewer specific expectations than heterosexual romance. It is very individual to the couple.

Lesbian virgins are not rare. A lesbian virgin is not necessarily less experienced with sex than many of her readers.
 

Roxxsmom

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I have to disagree with others here. One can always write something, but writing what one knows is a key phrase bandied around by teachers and coaches. If you never have had a serious relationship, you can end up using a lot of clichés and stereotypes in your story, because all you can do is copy from others. Hands-on life experience does help for creating something fresh and authentic sounding. My advice would be to write something else now, and then when you're older and have had significant romantic experience, try your hand at the genre.

I think "write what you know" is one of those overused or overapplied bits of writing advice, or one that tends to be interpreted in a very narrow way. If writers only wrote what they had personally experienced, we'd be stuck writing characters who are basically exactly like ourselves over and over again, and many great novels wouldn't even exist. We wouldn't have genres like SF, fantasy, or historical fiction either.

Knowing can come via observation and conversations with others too. People who haven't had a romantic relationship can hardly escape seeing them modeled everywhere they look. I don't think it's that hard to ferret out the difference between cliches and authentic experiences.

A writer also shouldn't be afraid to take risks, imo. Fear that one might not write something well can be paralyzing. You can't really know unless you try.
 

storywriter24

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what to do if your wrting a romance story and the middle of it lets say you brake up with some one then what?
 

storywriter24

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what if your wrtiing a sex scene and your a virgin lol then what
 

Dan Rhys

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Honestly, there is a case to be made for your lone status being MORE conducive to romance.
You are on the outside looking in right now, likely you want in, want in bad, want someone to hold, that person you feel safe cuddling with.
So you use your own desires as the basis for your lovers.

On the flipside, people who have been in relationships for a while often lose touch with romance. Just because you are in a relationship doesn't mean you know a damned thing about romance.
A starving man has a different perspective than the full man.
You are the starving woman. Write what you know.

Brilliantly put. In my case, due to bad luck and impoverished circumstances, I spent many, many years living a life without romance--and now being married with a 15-month-old now isn't conducive to it either--so my most romantic paragraphs addressing something I longed for tended to show up during that empty period. What I would add, though, is that having romantic experience does make a writer more aware and better able to relate the complexities of a romance to a readership.
 

PostHuman

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to write a good romance novel, it's probably more important to have simply read a lot of romance novels. Reading and writing a lot, you can get the hang of putting together a story that readers of the genre can enjoy, possibly even a great one. Once you have experienced an intense relationship, though, this will alter your understanding of people a bit, probably will influence your writing regardless of genre.
 
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Rocket

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Every relationship is so different. So, so, so different. The possible examples are so numerous, that there is no way to write THE way to do romance.

Today showed me that. So, okay, it took experiencing a real romance to come to that conclusion, BUT can someone read what I just wrote and run with it, and imagine a romance so much better than a romance I could write. I believe so. I know so. Today showed me that.

What humans CAN do in a relationship is limitless.
 

Sonya Heaney

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Sex is not romance. Even a relationship is not romance.

So much this. The misconceptions about the genre still infuriate me. I think they always will.

I can't say with any conviction if I'm good at creating characters, but in my books my characters come first. What interests me about the romance genre is the people an author can create, and all the unusual ways they can find their way to each other.

And, most importantly, A ROMANCE BOOK DOESN'T HAVE TO INCLUDE SEX!! Just ask Jane Austen.
 

DialogicalNovelist

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The question we should start with is - What is Romance?

Is it falling in love with a person?

Is it a relationship with a significant other?

Is it passion for a person only?

Or can Romance be falling in love with an idea. A cause. A belief. A deity. A project. A vision. Something else entirely.

Romance is not just love for another person. It is falling in love with something and acting on it. In that way, it is sort of like faith. As many have said - mere belief is not faith. A person can believe in something, but if they do not practice it they are unfaithful. Romance can be seen as a more modern notion of faith - a willingness to love and act for something. In a way that is passionate, in a way that means you give it your all. That you would die for it. That you would devote your life to it. That consumes the very heart and soul of your being. It revitalizes. It is obsessive. It is exhilarating - the greatest feeling. It gives us purpose and meaning beyond what is rational, but based less on a spiritual idea like faith, and something more from inside.

So if you mean Romance, as in you have never been in love with anything, then I suppose technically yes but only in the vaguest sense. Like a super-super-computer could write a convincing Romance based on brute, mental strength. But it will not be from the heart. It will not transcend or be written from a position, where an ordinary person can write it so that it will convince. So, my answer would be "No."

But if you mean, simply, you never had a date, or were gf/bf, or had an intimate relationship with another person - then it is a definite "Yes!" An enthusiastic yes. Like I said, you can fall in love with an idea, a cause, a project, a dream, etc, just as much as you can a person, and that does not cheapen it by any degree. The term Romantic refers to passionate people - Napoleon, the Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, the Three Musketeers. These people have a passion for something to the point, where while otherwise rational to a 't', they go crazy and are willing to die. That is, what I consider, the essence of Romance, and it can infect anyone at anytime.
 

Jan74

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Of course, just like you could write a novel about walking on the moon, and most likely you will never walk on the moon!
I'm not a man, but I have a male pov in my wip.

I think what I keep telling myself when I'm writing is this...write what you want to read. I have zero desire to read science fiction, so I don't write it, I don't enjoy explorer novels either so I won't write one. I love horror, romance, literary fiction, etc...so these are the stories I attempt to write. I will most likely never live in a demon possessed house, but it doesn't mean I can't write about it.

I wish you the best on your novel :)
 

SnugglePuggle

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I think you definitely can. I did at least. Even before I started dating, I was writing romance. Because I read so much and watched romance movies, I had a pretty good idea how to write it even after I got some experience myself (which isn't much, and my last take at a relationship ended in a disaster and left me with trust and mental problems).

Anyhow, don't let me derail you with my personal problems. Getting back into writing and writing about love as helped me feel better, and look forward to the day I can have a love as good as I write!
 

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