I’m sitting here on a Saturday night watching a RomCom on Netflix. RomComs are my go-to movie for when I need a break, something to watch that is sweet and predictable that I can just enjoy.
I also enjoy reading romance stories.
Yes, the movies and books are light and predictable, and that is exactly why I enjoy them.
Romance books and movies are full of tropes such as enemies to lovers, blind date, someone going from the city to the country, fake engagement (or relationship), and many more. If you do a search for ‘romance tropes’, you’re bound to find lists of them. They also always have a happy ending.
One of the things I enjoy about these books and movies is looking at how the storytellers take the tropes and make them their own. This is done through the main characters and the events that happen along the way, including the inevitable twist that drives the main characters apart before they reunite.
There are thousands of these stories and, while they follow a formula, they are all different. Some may appear the same, especially some of the Christmas RomComs, however when you look closer, you’ll find differences.
From the view of a writer, one thing this shows me is that there are more stories to write. They may follow the same tropes or formula, however it’s the way the story is being told that is the key. The characters I create and the events in the story will be mine and will be what sets it apart from others in the same genre.
Readers will expect the formula in a romance, they will expect the happy ending. It’s the journey to get my characters through the formula to the desired happy ending that will keep the reader reading (or the watcher watching the movies).
Even if you’re not into romantic comedies, and are worried that every story has already been written, remember to embrace your genre and the various tropes, and make them your own.