Learn to Write Romance by Reading Fairy Tales

So you want to write a romance story but you don't know where to start? Why not look to the classics for inspiration - the classic fairy tales that is. Here's the fairy tale formula to help you plan your story or book:

1. Once upon a time... Every story needs a setting. Where will yours take place and just as important, when will it take place?

2. There lived... Every story needs characters. Who will star in your story? Prince Charming? Cinderella? A fairy godmother? A shadow father (parent who is uncaring or unable to protect their children)? or maybe even a wicked witch.

3. Who had a wicked stepmother - or got lost in the woods, or was locked in a tower... You get the idea. Every story needs a problem. Problems equal conflict. A story without conflict is boring. Even a fairy godmother couldn't fix it.

4. And so they... Your characters need to solve the problem or problems. And unless your story is very short, they should fail at least once in their attempts.

5. But then... Something changes - a characters feelings, or circumstances or goal. Something has to change so that they can successfully solve their problem (or problems.)

6. And the spell was broken with a kiss... Throughout all of this, your hero and heroine must be growing closer to each other and forming a bond that can be "sealed with a kiss."

7. They lived happily ever after. Once the hero and heroine have resolved their problems and made some sort of commitment to each other, don't drone on and on. Wrap it up and give the reader what she's been waiting for - that "Aaaaw" moment at the end.

The purpose of this little piece is to help you think about some of the elements of a romance story. It's not meant to be a guide to the actual writing of a book or story. So if you are ready for more, here's a few good resources:

White Rose Publishing's Staff Blog

Christian Romance Magazine

Lyn Cote's list of Christian romance publishers

You can find more resources and ideas on my Squidoo page "Beginner's Guide to Writing Inspirational Romance"

Now off you go on your quest. Just make sure to have fun on the journey.


  1. This says it all, Kara. What a sense of perception you possess! Thank you for this post.

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