Romance novels continue to be one of the top selling book genres, with lots of different sub-genres to explore. So, if you’re looking for heartfelt inspiration, some super swoony ideas or even saucy erotica prompts, then look no further.
We’ve compiled 69 romance prompts to kick-start your imagination and help you get your readers’ heart a-fluttering.
Dark Romance Writing Prompts
Not all romance has to be light and fluffy. Romance, like anything in life, is many shades of grey (ahem). So take a look at these thrilling and mysteriously sultry ideas if you want to add a little suspense to your romance.
- Your ex has wronged you for the very last time. It’s time for revenge. It’s time to get in contact with the mysterious and sexy ex you have stayed away from for so long…
- I was hired to kill you – I didn’t realise you were the person I used to have a crush on.
- They were paid to kidnap the evil sister, not this one! But now it’s too late, and if they can’t find the correct sister, they risk killing an innocent woman and their chance for happiness and redemption.
- The plan was to kill everyone in the bank and steal the money. He didn’t know that his long-lost love worked there. The only option was to take her with the money… but will love conquer greed?
- They realise they’ve been stalking each other for a long time and both know a lot more about the other than they bargained for.
- Seeing as we’re both trying to murder the same person, should we team up?
- At school they were friends, but their mob families are enemies. When love takes over, can they escape their toxic families and start a safe life for themselves and their child?
Fantasy Romance Writing Prompts
- The world is ending and only two rival tribes remain to save it. Can two young people from opposing tribes come together to save the world, and each other?
- Being a witch is hard enough without falling in love with a witch from a rival coven…
- Three apprentice wizards get caught up in a love triangle when they are abandoned by their mentor and left to fend – and learn – for themselves.
- A werewolf falls in love with a vampire – but they must keep it a secret or risk death from both parties.
- The ghost in your house has fallen in love with you and starts leaving romantic notes on the mirror.
- They are the last two fertile people on earth. Problem is, they hate each other.
Romance Prompts From The Classics
Some of the most famous love stories of our time were written years ago. So why not take inspiration from these classics and turn them into modern day treasures full of contemporary challenges!
- Romeo and Juliet both lived, but what happened next?
- What if it wasn’t Mr Rochester that Jane Eyre fell for, but, instead, his first wife in the attic?
- Imagine that Elizabeth Bennett didn’t put up with Mr Darcy’s unpredictable moods, and in fact fell for a delightful servant in the building?
- Pretty Woman, only feminist and on OnlyFans.
- After learning about Stockholm Syndrome, Beauty and the Beast decide to give couples therapy a try.
- Snow White must marry the prince, but she’s much happier hanging out with her seven wonderful friends. But what she doesn’t realise is that Grumpy is only grumpy because the prince has called off their secret love affair.
Contemporary Romance Prompts
Love isn’t just reserved for the olden days or for princesses from fairytales, there’s a lot of romantic inspiration you can find in your everyday life. Especially when you throw online dating into the mix! Here are a few contemporary writing prompts to get you started…
- You text the wrong person in a hurry and the person who replies is an old flame…
- You bump into someone who you matched with years ago on a dating app/site but never got talking to. He recognises you and you hit it off, except he’s now engaged.
- You go on a double date with a friend – what are you supposed to do when you like their date too?
- When you start talking about your romantic history with the new love of your life, you realise that you share an ex…
- You meet at the vaccine center after one of you passes out. The awkward part is he’s the nurse and he passed out!
- On your third date, you decide to follow each other on Twitter. When they get up your profile, you see they already have you blocked. Then they remember why.
- In order to get over his ex, he tries to get under someone else. He meets an older man on Grindr who invites him over for dinner but seems to want nothing else. Is our young protagonist about to learn that love doesn’t always need to be about sex?
- You meet your date but they look nothing like their profile picture, which was taken before the accident. Can you look further than the surface and see what really lies underneath?
- They start leaving notes for each other on the pinboard of their local coffee shop. But they have no idea they’ve already met before.
- She sells a sofa on a local Facebook group, and he replies. Then she remembers she left money in one of the cushions. Should she contact him?
- Your mum set you up with the snotty kid who used to live next door. Except he’s hot now and you’re…not what he was expecting.
General Romance Prompts
Romance is romance is romance, there’s no need to put a label on it. Here are some general romance writing ideas to inspire you.
- What starts as a ‘fake’ Visa wedding, starts a complicated but intense relationship.
- You didn’t realise that when you arranged to meet, they would also bring their boyfriend.
- You’ve been making eyes at them across the office for months but never spoken. Only now, on a team-building day, are you forced to speak and he’s nothing like what you expected…
- They’ve been friends for years, but a disaster in their friendship group brings them closer than they ever imagined.
- She hires him to help her build a website selling the products she started making after her husband’s tragic and early death. But she never meant to fall for him.
- After a head-injury, you’re forced to re-live every one of your previous relationships while in a coma. But who will be there when you wake up?
- Our children are best friends. I thought your kid was a bad influence on mine and now I think you’re becoming a bad influence on me…
- They meet at a gallery, both looking at a painting that unlocks secret from their mysterious pasts.
- You’re a tattoo artist and they visit your parlor twice – once to get their partner’s name tattooed on them, and then a month later to have it covered up. You ask if they want to talk about it.
- No one can tell the difference between you and your twin – but he can.
- The new girl across the corridor looks really familiar, but why won’t she look you in the eye?
- I’m locked out of my flat and I really don’t want to wait in the snow until my flat mate comes home – can I come in? I promise I’ll be really quiet, you’ll barely know I’m here.
- You’re my child’s favourite teacher and I don’t want to ruin it, but we have so much in common and you’re really attractive.
- They’re co-stars on a comedy special. Both trying to out-do each other to win a writing contract. But when they get together over drinks and realise that two heads are better than one, can love beat ambition?
- You’ve moved to the Scottish Highlands to renovate your late great-aunt’s cottage. The only local tradesman is the last person you want to see, but after an unexpected snowstorm hits, you’re both stuck there for the night and the past is unearthed. Can you put it aside and move on, together?
- You’ve both gone to a silent retreat to heal from past events. Although you’re not allowed to speak, the chemistry is palpable. But will it be the same once you can speak to each other?
In Transit Romance Prompts
Nothing says romance like being stuck in a car, plane and train together. Take a look at these ‘love in transit’ prompts and meet cutes, and get your romance novel going full speed!
- You fall asleep on a plane and your head falls on the shoulder of an attractive stranger next to you. When you wake up you’ve missed your stop and they offer to get you home.
- The tube lurches and you grab for the nearest pole to hold on to, and so does someone else…
- You lock eyes in the queue for a train ticket and are delighted when their allocated seat is in front of yours.
- The person next to you on the train is reading your favourite book. Do you strike up a conversation? Or pretend to be the author?
- A cyclist knocks the coffee out of your hand and offers to buy you another one. You get talking…and realise he’s the guy you nearly ran over last week. Will he notice?
- You’re getting on a plane for the first time since a traumatic incident. It’s a long flight and the last thing that’s on your mind is sleep. You start to talk to an insomniac flight attendant. The plane hits trouble and has to make an emergency landing. the last thing you expect is to be saving someone’s life…
- You – both single parents – ride your children’s micro-scooters back from the drop-off and accidentally scoot face first into each other. You have always hated one another. But now, with two broken noses and stuck in A&E, you have no choice but to talk.
- They pulled up to the hard shoulder to help you . Neither of you knew that a lorry would crash into both your vehicles and leave you with no choice but to spend a night in a road-side hotel together. But (you guessed it) there’s only one bed!
Sci-Fi Romance Prompts
In space no one can hear you scream. Even screams of pleasure! From robots to planetary travel, when it comes to romance there’s no frontier that can’t be crossed. Here are our sci-fi romance prompts to take your readers on an out of this world adventure.
- You’re the only two surviving people on a spaceship heading for Venus.
- They are the artificially created clone of your deceased ex-colleague and secret love.
- You have finally met the perfect person for you… the only issue is that you have to work for a corrupt government in order to be with them. Will you do it?
- When you inherited the moonstone necklace, your dying grandfather told you to find the owner of the other half. Connecting the necklaces is the only way to save the world, but when you find each other, and fall in love, you realise that it’s not as simple as you thought it was.
- You didn’t read the small print on a medical trial and discover it’s a year-long residency where you had to give up all technology and move to an off-the-grid island outside of Alaska. With one other person. Who you really really hate…or do you?
- There are limited seats on the spaceship to Planet B. You decide to seduce the captain to guarantee your safety, but things are complicated when you fall for the co-pilot instead…
- Things haven’t been the same since the crash. All the young people have been drafted to fight, you are the only one left under sixty. Can you make it to the next planet to find someone special? Is love worth dying for?
- Only the very rich can afford electricity and the internet these days. When people are not allowed to speak in person to anyone outside their immediate family, how do they fall in love?
YA Romance Prompts
There’s nothing more special than first love, and there’s nothing more painful either. Everyone remembers their first kiss…and more. Here are our young adult writing prompts to help you write your teen romance novel.
- You are in rival BMX troops/cheerleading groups/chess teams, but when push comes to shove and the national competition looms, will you sacrifice your potential chance for happiness for a year-long residency in LA?
- Your friends have been trying to set you up for years, but the night they finally get you in the same room, disaster strikes and you need to work together to save your friends. And, more importantly, save the rest of the world.
- The class ‘bad guy’ and ‘bad girl’ are both sent to a residential weekend for badly behaved children as a new incentive to change disruptive behaviour. When it turns out that the course is run by con men and criminals, they need to work together to escape.
- Your parents are leaders of a cult. You hate it there. When a new family joins, you and their oldest child form a bond that is unbreakable and decide to leave the cult and start a life for yourselves. But it doesn’t come without sacrifices…
- He has psychotic episodes. You work as a trainee mental health nurse. What if his diagnosis is wrong, and he’s trying to tell you something from his dark past that might also be the key to free him?
- You haven’t spoken a word since the incident two years ago. When they join your class, and you discover they can’t hear anything, you strike an unlikely friendship. But can it ever be romantic?
- You’ve been ignored for so long at school that you’ve turned invisible. When the new kid in class says hi, you think you must be imagining things…
Relish Writing Romance
And there you have it, 69 writing prompts for you old romantics.
Now, you may have noticed that we didn’t include any erotica scenarios and that’s for a good reason…because ANY of these can be turned into an erotica novel. They meet on a train (but what do they get up to?), they’re new neighbours (but he wants more than to borrow a cup of sugar). Neither did we include an LGBT section – because any one of our romance ideas can be applied to any couple!
So have fun adapting each prompt to a different romantic sub-genre, or better yet combine two or three together to build your plot and spark your imagination.
We hope you LOVED picking through our romance prompt, and we can’t wait to see what beautiful stories you create!
Jericho Writers is a global membership group for writers, providing everything you need to get published. Keep up with our news, membership offers, and updates by signing up to our newsletter. For more writing articles take a look at our blog page or join our free writer’s community.