Fantasy romance: a genre where dragons meet damsels, and spells go hand-in-hand with kisses.
Here is how to write a fantasy romance novel:
Write a fantasy romance by combining magical settings with deep romantic plots. Introduce multidimensional characters and intertwine their emotional journeys with fantastical elements. Balance adventure with intimate moments, using the fantasy world to shape relationships and challenges.
Ready to write your own epic love story? Let’s go.
What Is a Fantasy Romance Novel?
A fantasy romance novel is a unique blend of two rich genres: fantasy and romance.
This hybrid genre combines the imaginative elements of fantasy, such as magical worlds, mythical creatures, and supernatural phenomena, with the emotional depth and character-driven narratives found in romance novels.
The core of a fantasy romance lies in the development of a romantic relationship set against a fantastical backdrop.
Authors of fantasy romance novels have the freedom to create expansive worlds with their own rules and dynamics.
They often draw on folklore, myth, or their own imagination.
However, at the heart of these stories is the romantic plot, focusing on the emotional journey of the protagonists as they navigate love in a world filled with magic and wonder.
Fantasy romance can vary in tone and style.
Some novels might lean heavily into fantasy world-building, with the romance as a compelling component of a larger narrative.
Others might focus primarily on the romantic relationship, with the fantasy elements providing a unique context and challenges for the characters.
Types of Fantasy Romance Novels
Fantasy romance novels come in various sub-genres, each offering a unique twist on the blend of fantasy and romance.
Here are ten popular types:
- High Fantasy Romance: Set in entirely fictional worlds with their own rules and histories, these stories often involve epic quests and a focus on the battle between good and evil. Romance blooms amidst these grand adventures.
- Urban Fantasy Romance: Set in a contemporary, urban setting where magical elements are interwoven into everyday life. Romantic plots unfold in a world that looks familiar but is filled with supernatural occurrences.
- Historical Fantasy Romance: Combining elements of historical fiction and fantasy, these novels are set in a real historical period but include magical or supernatural aspects. The romance is often influenced by the historical context.
- Paranormal Romance: Focuses on romantic relationships involving supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. These stories often explore themes of forbidden love and the merging of different worlds.
- Fairy Tale Retellings: These novels re-imagine classic fairy tales, infusing them with new romantic subplots and fantasy twists.
- Time Travel Romance: Characters travel through time, either to the past or the future, and encounter love across different eras, often dealing with the challenges of time-displaced relationships.
- Mythical Fantasy Romance: Draws on mythology, featuring gods, goddesses, and mythological creatures in romantic plots.
- Magic Realism Romance: Set in the real world but with magical elements treated as part of everyday life, the focus is on the emotional and romantic experiences of the characters in a subtly magical world.
- Steampunk Fantasy Romance: Combines a historical setting (often Victorian) with advanced steam-powered technology, creating a unique backdrop for romance.
- Fantasy Adventure Romance: These novels emphasize adventure and exploration in a fantasy setting, with the romance developing alongside the journey.
12 Point Plot Structure of a Fantasy Romance Novel
Let’s go over a 12-point plot structure for how to write a fantasy romance novel.
1. Whispers of Destiny
In “Whispers of Destiny”, the protagonist encounters subtle signs or events that hint at a greater fate awaiting them.
This stage is characterized by small, almost mystical occurrences that pique curiosity and suggest a world beyond the ordinary.
It’s a gentle nudge towards the extraordinary, creating an air of mystery and anticipation.
This initial phase is crucial for setting the tone of the fantasy element in the story, subtly blending it with the protagonist’s everyday life.
It’s where the seeds of adventure are sown, often intertwined with a hint of future romance.
Example: Liora, a healer in the mundane village of Thornfield, starts hearing a mystical voice in her dreams, calling her to a forgotten enchanted forest.
2. Heart’s Stirring
“Heart’s Stirring” is where the protagonist begins to experience a deep, emotional shift.
It’s not just about external changes, but an internal awakening – often of love, desire, or a deep sense of purpose.
This stage marks the beginning of the protagonist’s emotional journey, laying the foundation for the romance that will unfold.
It’s where the first flickers of attraction or connection are felt, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of the protagonist’s desires and feelings.
Example: Liora meets a mysterious stranger, Elric, who seeks her healing skills. Their first encounter sparks a deep, unexplainable connection, drawing Liora towards her destiny.
3. Shadow of Doubt
In the “Shadow of Doubt” phase, the protagonist faces internal conflict and hesitation.
This stage adds complexity to the narrative, as it delves into the protagonist’s fears, insecurities, and the potential risks of their journey.
It’s a moment of introspection and uncertainty, where the protagonist weighs their newfound feelings and the call to adventure against their current life and responsibilities.
This conflict makes the character more relatable and deepens the readers’ investment in their journey.
Example: Conflicted by her growing feelings for Elric and her duty to her village, Liora hesitates to embark on the journey the dreams are guiding her towards.
4. Whirlwind of Fate
“Whirlwind of Fate” catapults the protagonist into the main narrative, often through a dramatic, fate-driven event.
This stage marks a clear departure from the protagonist’s routine life and thrusts them into the heart of the adventure.
It is characterized by a sense of urgency and a clear indication that the protagonist’s life will never be the same.
The romance element typically takes a significant leap forward here, as the protagonist and love interest are brought closer together by the unfolding events.
Example: Thornfield is threatened by a dark curse, and Liora realizes that the solution lies within the enchanted forest. She decides to leave, with Elric joining her.
5. Enchanted Crossroads
At the “Enchanted Crossroads”, the protagonist faces a pivotal decision or turning point.
This stage is marked by a significant choice that often involves a sacrifice or a challenging dilemma.
It’s a moment that tests the protagonist’s resolve and commitment to their journey and their romantic interest.
This point is crucial for character development, as it reveals the protagonist’s values and desires, and sets the course for the rest of the story.
Example: Liora discovers two paths in the forest: one leading to the cure for the curse, the other to the source of her mysterious dreams. She must choose.
6. Echoes of the Heart
In “Echoes of the Heart”, the protagonist’s emotions and relationships are put to the test.
This stage focuses on the deepening of emotional bonds, revealing the true depth and complexity of the protagonist’s feelings.
It’s where the romantic subplot gains substance, as the characters confront their feelings and the challenges they face together.
This phase is essential for developing a convincing and heartfelt romance, weaving it seamlessly into the fabric of the larger narrative.
Example: As Liora and Elric journey together, their bond deepens. They share their fears and hopes, solidifying their connection.
7. Dance of Shadows
“Dance of Shadows” is where the protagonist and their love interest face external conflicts and obstacles that challenge their relationship and their quest.
This stage is characterized by increasing tension and stakes, often involving antagonistic forces or situational challenges.
It’s a test of the protagonist’s resilience and commitment to their goals and to each other.
The romantic relationship is put under strain, and the fantasy elements of the story are heightened, creating a rich tapestry of conflict and intrigue.
Example: As they journey deeper into the forest, Liora and Elric encounter dark creatures and treacherous paths. Their resolve and commitment to each other are tested as they navigate these perils.
8. Veil of Illusions
In the “Veil of Illusions” phase, the protagonist confronts misunderstandings, secrets, or illusions that challenge their perception of their journey and their relationship.
This plot point adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, often involving revelations or twists that test the protagonist’s beliefs and feelings.
It’s a crucial stage for character development, as the protagonist must discern truth from illusion.
And this often lead to a deeper understanding of themselves and their love interest.
Example: Liora learns that Elric has a mysterious past connected to the enchanted forest, leading her to question his motives and the nature of their journey.
9. Eclipse of the Heart
“Eclipse of the Heart” is the emotional climax of the story, where the protagonist faces a profound emotional crisis or decision.
This stage is characterized by intense emotional turmoil.
You can think of this as involving a sacrifice or a difficult choice regarding their love interest or their quest.
It’s a moment of truth where the protagonist’s deepest fears and desires come to the forefront, shaping the future of their relationship and their journey.
Example: Faced with the choice to save the forest or return to her old life, Liora realizes her heart belongs with Elric and the magical world they’ve discovered together.
10. Loom of Destiny
In the “Loom of Destiny”, the protagonist weaves together the various threads of their journey, preparing for the final confrontation or climax.
This stage involves strategic planning or gathering resources.
It’s where the fantasy and romantic elements of the story converge towards the resolution.
The protagonist is now fully equipped, both emotionally and physically, for the final challenge.
Example: Liora and Elric gather allies from the forest’s magical creatures, preparing to confront the dark force threatening their world and their future together.
11. Starlight Requiem
“Starlight Requiem” is the final confrontation or climax of the story.
This is where the protagonist faces their greatest challenge, often involving a showdown with the main antagonist.
It’s a high-stakes, action-packed phase where the protagonist’s skills, courage, and love are tested in the extreme.
The outcome of this stage is crucial, as it determines the fate of the protagonist’s world and their romantic relationship.
Example: In a dramatic battle under the starlit sky, Liora and Elric confront the source of the curse. Their love and courage triumph, breaking the curse and freeing the forest.
12. Dawn of a New World
In the “Dawn of a New World” phase, the protagonist emerges from the climax transformed.
This stage marks the resolution of the story, where the consequences of the final confrontation are explored.
The protagonist and their love interest face the future together, often in a changed world or with a new understanding of themselves.
It’s a time for reflection, growth, and, most importantly, the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.
Example: With the curse lifted, Liora and Elric look forward to a future together, leading Thornfield and the enchanted forest into an era of peace and unity.
What Makes a Good Fantasy Romance?
A good fantasy romance novel is a harmonious blend of the wondrous elements of fantasy with the emotional depth of romance.
It captivates readers by transporting them to an imaginative world while exploring the complexities of love and relationships.
In a compelling fantasy romance, the fantastical setting serves as more than just a backdrop.
It actively shapes the story’s dynamics, challenges, and character development.
The romance should be integral, not incidental, weaving through the narrative in a way that both complements and is enhanced by the fantasy elements.
Strong, multidimensional characters are essential, allowing readers to form deep emotional connections.
The plot should balance the thrill of fantasy adventures with the intimacy of romantic development, ensuring both aspects contribute to the story’s momentum and climax.
Additionally, a good fantasy romance novel often explores universal themes like sacrifice, courage, and the transformative power of love, making the story resonate with a wide range of readers.
Check out this video about how to write a fantasy romance novel:
What Are the Elements of a Fantasy Romance Novel?
Fantasy romance novels combine the best of both genres, creating a unique reading experience.
Here are some key elements typically found in these stories:
- Magical Setting: The world-building in fantasy romance is vital. Whether it’s a completely invented universe or a twist on our reality, the setting often plays a significant role in the plot and the characters’ development.
- Romantic Plot: At the heart of these novels is the romance between the main characters. This plot is characterized by emotional depth, development of feelings, and often, a central conflict or obstacle to their love.
- Fantastical Elements: Magic, mythical creatures, or supernatural phenomena are integral to the plot. These elements should be intricately woven into the story, affecting both the romance and the overall narrative.
- Conflict and Adventure: Combining elements of fantasy adventure, these novels often feature quests or challenges that the protagonists must navigate, adding excitement and tension to the story.
- Character Growth: The characters, especially the protagonists, often undergo significant personal growth, influenced by both the fantastical and romantic elements of the story.
- Themes of Love and Sacrifice: Central themes often include the power of love and the sacrifices it entails. These themes are explored within the context of the fantastical world, adding depth to the narrative.
- Happy or Hopeful Ending: While not always a “happily ever after,” fantasy romance novels typically conclude with a resolution that is satisfying and hopeful, particularly in terms of the romantic plotline.
How Long Are Fantasy Romance Novels?
The length of fantasy romance novels can vary significantly, typically ranging from about 50,000 to over 100,000 words.
The length often depends on the extent of the world-building and the complexity of the plot.
- Shorter Novels (50,000-70,000 words): These are often more focused on the romance aspect, with the fantasy setting serving as a backdrop rather than the central focus. They tend to have a faster pace and less elaborate world-building.
- Longer Novels (80,000-100,000+ words): These allow for more intricate world-building and complex plots, intertwining the fantasy and romance elements more deeply. They offer more space for character development, subplots, and detailed magical systems.
Diverse Styles in Fantasy Romance Scenes
Fantasy romance novels can be written in various styles, each bringing a unique flavor to the narrative.
The style of writing greatly influences how scenes are perceived and experienced by readers.
Below are three examples of scenes from made-up fantasy romance novels, each showcasing a different writing style.
These examples highlight how the tone, pacing, and focus of a scene can vary depending on the author’s approach.
1. The Enchanted Masquerade: Lyrical and Descriptive
In “The Enchanted Masquerade”, the writing style is lush and descriptive, painting a vivid picture of the setting and emotions.
In the grand ballroom of the Moonlit Palace, under a cascade of starlight, they danced. Elara, in her gown of midnight blue, shimmered like the night sky itself, her eyes reflecting the room’s enchantment.
Around them, the masked figures of the court spun in a blur, but to Elara, only Darian existed.
He moved with the grace of the wind, his touch gentle yet filled with a silent promise. As they swayed to the haunting melody, their gazes locked, and the world fell away. In that moment, amidst the magic of the masquerade, their souls whispered secrets only hearts in love could understand.
2. The Warrior’s Heart: Dynamic and Action-Packed
“The Warrior’s Heart” adopts a dynamic, action-oriented style, emphasizing movement and excitement.
The clash of steel rang through the air as Lyra and Raiden fought back-to-back against the encroaching goblin horde. Their movements were a dance of deadly precision, each strike a testament to their skill and trust in one another.
With every parry and thrust, their bond strengthened, an unspoken understanding growing between them.
In the midst of battle, their eyes met, a flash of shared adrenaline and unyielding determination. As Raiden’s sword swept a goblin off its feet, Lyra launched a powerful spell, her magic erupting in a blaze of light. Side by side, warrior and mage, their hearts beat in unison against the tide of darkness, their love as fierce as their battle cry.
3. Whispering Realms: Intimate and Emotional
In “Whispering Realms”, the focus is on the emotional depth and intimacy between characters, with a gentle and introspective style.
In the quiet library of the Silver Keep, Aiden and Seraphina found a haven from the world’s chaos. Surrounded by ancient tomes and the soft glow of candlelight, their conversation flowed like a gentle river. Aiden’s hand brushed against Seraphina’s as they reached for the same book, a current of electricity passing between them.
Their eyes met, and for a breathless moment, they were lost in each other’s depths.
Words were unnecessary; their hearts spoke volumes in the silence. As Seraphina nestled closer, Aiden wrapped an arm around her, their souls entwining in the serenity of the library, a sanctuary for their burgeoning love.
100 Creative Ideas for a Fantasy Romance Novel
Crafting a fantasy romance novel requires a blend of imagination, passion, and a touch of magic.
Here’s a treasure trove of 100 creative ideas to ignite your storytelling spirit.
From enchanted realms to star-crossed lovers, each idea is a seed waiting to blossom into a captivating tale.
- A potion master falls in love with a person immune to all magic.
- Star-crossed lovers from rival dragon-rider clans.
- A time-traveling romance between a modern-day librarian and a medieval knight.
- A mermaid and a sailor’s forbidden love.
- Romance between a human and a shapeshifter who can’t control their transformations.
- A love story set in a city where everyone’s fate is predetermined by the stars.
- A romance between a witch who can bring illustrations to life and an artist.
- A forbidden love between an elf and a dwarf, set against a backdrop of war.
- A healer falls for a warrior cursed to feel no pain.
- A romance between a blind princess and a sorcerer who creates visions.
- Love between a ghost haunting an ancient library and the new librarian.
- A love triangle involving a human, a vampire, and a werewolf.
- A prince falls for a commoner who’s secretly a powerful sorceress.
- A fae and a human fall in love, but the fae’s time in the human world is limited.
- A romance between two rival potion shop owners.
- A love story between a gardener with the ability to make plants grow instantly and a royal heir.
- A romance sparked during a quest to find a legendary, wish-granting jewel.
- A bard who can weave magic with music falls for a deaf noble.
- A romance set in a world where people are born with their soulmate’s first words to them tattooed on their body.
- A fallen angel and a demon hunter’s forbidden love.
- A princess falls in love with the dragon meant to destroy her kingdom.
- A love story set in a floating city in the sky.
- A romance between a creature of fire and a creature of water.
- A love story involving a person who can see someone’s death and a person who is immortal.
- A forbidden romance between a member of the royal guard and the monarch they’re sworn to protect.
- A courtship between a star reader and a sun mage.
- A romance blossoming in a world where seasons never change.
- A love story between a person who can steal memories and a person who has forgotten their past.
- A romance between a spellbook keeper and a person who is illiterate but magical.
- Love between a guardian of a magical forest and a logger who initially came to destroy it.
- A story of two lovers separated by an ancient curse, reincarnated in different eras.
- A romance between a person who can transform into a wolf at will and a shepherd.
- A love story in a world where magic is illegal, between a rebel mage and a law enforcer.
- A romance between a person who can control weather and a person who is terribly afraid of storms.
- A romance set during a competition to become the next royal magician.
- A love story between a warrior who can only fight in the dark and a warrior who can only fight in the daylight.
- A romance between a person with healing powers and a person who is fatally ill.
- A love story between a mapmaker who can create real lands and a traveler with no home.
- A romance between a person who lives in dreams and a person who can’t sleep.
- A forbidden love between a light fairy and a dark fairy.
- A romance between a person cursed to turn into stone during the day and a person cursed to turn into water during the night.
- A love story in a world where music is the source of magic.
- A romance between an alchemist who can turn things into gold and a person who is allergic to gold.
- A love story between a person who can only tell the truth and a professional liar.
- A romance between a moon goddess and a mortal astronomer.
- A love story between a person who can travel through mirrors and a person trapped in one.
- A romance set in a world where people can switch bodies.
- A forbidden love story between a human and a figure in a painting.
- A romance between a person who creates portals to other worlds and a person afraid of leaving their own.
- A love story between a guardian of time and a person who lives backward in time.
- A romance between a candle maker who can imbue emotions into their candles and a person insensitive to emotions.
- Love between a star who has fallen to earth and a lonely astronomer.
- A romance in a world where each person has a shadow spirit, and two lovers’ shadows fall in love first.
- A love story between a person who can speak to animals and a person who turns into an animal.
- A romance between a dream walker and someone who never dreams.
- A forbidden love story between a guardian of the sacred forest and a city dweller seeking refuge.
- A romance between a person who can duplicate themselves and a person with a split personality.
- A love story set in a world where color is only seen when one finds their true love.
- A romance between a person who can control plants and a person who is a botanist.
- A love story between a person cursed to be invisible and the only person who can see them.
- A romance between a sun priestess and a moon priest, forbidden by their respective deities.
- A love story between a creature from the sea and a creature from the land, meeting at the shore.
- A romance between a person who can manipulate time and a person stuck in time.
- A forbidden love story between a human and a sentient statue.
- A romance between a spirit of the forest and a woodcutter.
- A love story between a person who can change their appearance at will and someone who falls in love with their true form.
- A romance set in a world where people are assigned a profession based on their magical abilities.
- A love story between a person who can predict the future and a person who lives solely in the present.
- A romance between a keeper of ancient magical lore and a seeker of forbidden knowledge.
- A love story between a person who can turn to mist and a person who fears the fog.
- A romance between a person who can create illusions and a person who can see through any deception.
- A love story in a world where love is a tangible, tradeable commodity.
- A romance between a person who can speak all languages and a person who is mute.
- A forbidden love story between a celestial being and a mortal who can’t look at the sky.
- A romance between a guardian of a sacred grove and an explorer seeking new lands.
- A love story between a person who can weave fate and a person with no destiny.
- A romance between a person who can turn into a bird and a person who is afraid of heights.
- A love story set in a world where everyone must wear masks, and one falls for the person behind the mask.
- A romance between a person who lives only in daylight and a person who lives only at night.
- A forbidden love story between a creator of magical potions and a person immune to all magic.
- A romance between a being from a world of ice and a being from a world of fire.
- A love story between a person who can recall past lives and a person who is immortal.
- A romance between a person who can teleport and a person who is bound to their ancestral land.
- A love story between a person who can transform objects at will and a person who treasures things in their original form.
- A romance set in a world where people are paired by a magical system, but two individuals defy it.
- A forbidden love story between a person who controls weather and a person cursed to live in a climate-controlled bubble.
- A romance between a key maker who can unlock any door and a person trapped in an unbreakable prison.
- A love story between a person who can taste emotions and a chef who can’t feel any.
- A romance between a person who can breathe underwater and a person with a fear of drowning.
- A love story in a world where people’s shadows are alive, and two shadows conspire to bring their humans together.
- A romance between a person who can turn into a phoenix and a firefighter.
- A forbidden love story between a guardian of the dead and a necromancer.
- A romance between a person who can see through lies and a diplomat skilled in deception.
- A love story between a person who lives multiple lives simultaneously and a person who can only live one life at a time.
- A romance set in a world where magical abilities determine social status.
- A forbidden love story between a character who can manipulate dreams and a person who suffers from nightmares.
- A romance between a person who can talk to stones and a sculptor.
- A love story between a healer who takes on the wounds of others and a warrior who can’t be injured.
- A romance between a person who can control fire and a person who is made of ice.
- A love story in a world where emotions are forbidden, between two people who defy the rules.
How to Start a Fantasy Romance Novel
Beginning a fantasy romance novel is all about capturing the reader’s interest from the very first page.
The opening should establish the tone of the story, introduce elements of the fantasy world, and hint at the romantic subplot.
Here are key strategies for starting your novel:
- Set the Scene: Immerse your readers in your fantasy world right away. Describe a unique aspect of your world that sets the stage for the story.
- Introduce Your Protagonist: Give readers a glimpse into the life of your main character. Show what makes them special and hint at their desires or conflicts.
- Incorporate a Hook: Start with a compelling event, question, or mystery that grabs the reader’s attention and promises an exciting story.
- Foreshadow the Romance: Include subtle hints of the romance to come. This could be a fleeting thought, a brief encounter, or a legend that ties to the love story.
- Blend Fantasy and Romance Seamlessly: Ensure that the fantasy elements complement the budding romance, creating a cohesive and captivating opening.
In the Kingdom of Elyndor, where the stars whispered secrets and magic flowed like rivers, Aria, a young star-reader, gazed into the night sky, seeking answers in the constellations.
But tonight, the stars spoke of a different fate — a collision of heart and magic that would alter her path forever.
As she traced the glowing patterns above, a shooting star blazed across the sky, falling towards the forbidden Enchanted Forest. Compelled by a force she couldn’t understand, Aria knew she must find it. Little did she know, this star was a harbinger of love, a celestial sign of a romance as deep and boundless as the night sky itself.
Final Thoughts: How to Write a Fantasy Romance Novel
Ironically, to write about fantasy romance, you need to be firmly grounded in concrete storytelling techniques.
For more about these techniques, read the articles I’ve selected for you below.
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